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Sleeping with an Electric Blanket while Pregnant – Is It Safe?

electric blanket and pregnancyElectric blankets offer a cozy and convenient way to stay warm during the wintertime and when it’s cold outside. But is it safe to use an electric blanket while pregnant?

In general, it’s probably fine for you to an electric blanket when you’re pregnant; however, you shouldn’t sleep with it on.

Sleeping with an electric blanket while pregnant poses several health concerns. For one, you don’t want to fall asleep with an electric blanket on and accidentally end up overheated, if it’s not at the right temperature. In the first trimester, when your baby’s neural tubes are forming, becoming overheated can disrupt fetal development and may increase the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. There is also an increase risk of miscarriage when you’re overheated in early pregnancy.

Secondly, sleeping with an electric blanket can make you so hot at night that you begin to sweat a great deal. This can increase your risk of becoming dehydrated. You want to prevent dehydration.

Some pregnant women are worried about electric blankets while pregnant and the electromagnetic radiation that they generate. However, there’s no research that indicates that being exposed to low-level electromagnetic fields (EMF) will harm your unborn baby. Plus, you’re exposed to this low level electromagnetic radiation in your every day work- i.e. using a computer or laptop. But the levels are low and don’t appear to pose any health risks. However, if you’re worried about exposure to EMFs in pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. You can also avoid using an electric blanket if you’re concerned.

Tips for Using an Electric Blanket While Pregnant

If you want to use an electric blanket while pregnant, use it warm your bed at night. That way, your sheets are nice and toasty when you get in. And turn off the blanket right before you go to bed. That way, you don’t risk getting overheated. And you will get to fall asleep to a nice and warm bed.

Always make sure that the temperature settings are at a safe temperature. Consult the instruction manual for your electric blanket if you’re unsure.

If you’re pregnant and want to use an electric blanket, but you’re concerned about EMFs, consider buying a low-voltage electric blanket.

Alternatives to using an electric blanket in pregnancy is a microwavable Bed Buddy hot pack. Microwave for a minute and use it to keep you warm at night. You may also want to consider getting flannel sheets. Flannel is not only soft, but it will keep you toasty warm in bed.

Do you have tips for keeping warm in the winter?

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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