- Aquatic Therapy and Flexibility. Relaxing fully immersed in warm water lets your aching body experience true buoyancy. You can completely relax your muscles and stretch unimpeded in an environment where you are more naturally flexible. This will help you stay loose and limber, even as your muscles cramp, and tighten and your joints shift or swell during the course of your pregnancy.
- Hot Baths Leave You Lukewarm – in a traditional bathtub – it’s often too tough to regulate the temperature. You need to make sure the water in your tub is between 98-100 degrees. Getting that bathwater to the right temp is tough – it’s usually too hot – and then it cools off too quickly. Plus, bathtubs are usually too narrow or shallow to allow you to be covered with water and you miss out on many of the benefits of stretching and actually being able to float in the water. Typically, your poor baby bump gets left out in the cold while the rest of you overheats…it can actually be more annoying than relaxing.
- Bust out the water weights and get toned! If you get a hot tub with 4 or more seats, you will be able to have enough space to use in water weights for your arms and ankles, and do some aquatic toning exercises to keep up your muscle mass and tone during your pregnancy. It’s relaxing because it’s low impact exercise, but it’s still effective because of the water resistance – plus you’re working out in luxurious warm water – a win win situation.
- Stress Reduction – everyone tells us we’re supposed to relax and not worry when we are pregnant. “Stress is bad for the baby!” they say, meaning well, not realizing that they just helped up our dose of anxiety a little bit. Taking time out of your busy schedule, away from your “to do” list, and disconnecting from the constant stream of pregnancy data available on our electronic devices – will help you get true peace of mind. Leave the cell phone and ipad inside and soak in the warm water while you stargaze with your sweetie. You don’t even have to talk about baby names – just chill out and relax together.
- Invest NOW in your FUTURE health. As soon as your precious babe is born, you and your partner are going to be entering one of the most stressful phases of your life – investing the cash in a hot tub NOW before the onslaught of medical bills, busy schedule and sleepless nights – will assure that you continue to this heavenly habit to connect to each other and relax your tired bodies and brains on a regular basis – at home – where you will be stuck hanging out together for a while.
Now, I just so happen to work for a hot tub and swim spa dealer in Las Cruces New Mexico. I’ve also been a swimmer for years – and enjoy regularly swimming in our swim spas in the Las Cruces showroom after hours – it’s not only a great workout, it’s extremely relaxing and I don’t have to share lanes with anyone at the public pool! Because of my job, I know a LOT about hot tubs and swim spas. I know about pool chemicals, water care, and I know about our Master Spas brand – that our ecopur filters and ozone treatment allows us to use BARELY any chlorine in the water – so I have felt safe swimming in the water – even since I found out about my little pea in the pod 7 months ago.
But the hot tubs I did more research on. There is evidence of HOT water in early pregnancy (first trimester) being a potential cause of spinal cord defects in infants. Obviously -we want to avoid something like that. I consulted with my physician and with my acupuncturist to get more details on things to avoid. Turns out the list is pretty short – and here it is for your convenience!
- Keep the water at 98-100 degrees – no hotter. It still feels REALLY good at this temperature – to get in an soak. Just the buoyancy alone is a fantastic feeling let alone being in a LARGE water vessel and being able to float in warm water.
- If you turn the jets on in the tub – turn off the ones on the balls of your feel, middle of your back and over your shoulders – these are pressure points you want to avoid – because they can stimulate early labor (especially in the 3rd Trimester)
- Soak for 10-15 minutes at a time, then cool off.
- Wait a day if you add chlorine or chemicals to the water – water that smells like chlorine is not that enjoyable anyway.
- Use the cool Spazazz Aromatherapy crystals to add additional ambiance and a lovely scent to the water – the lavender ones are highly recommended.
Swimming in the store swim spa has also been a terrific source of pain relief, and has helped me stay flexible and toned throughout my pregnancy! I have been able to swim regularly, use the pilates resistance bands and do gentle walking and stretching in the water against the current – to keep my muscles working – but able to do it in a low impact water environment which is easier on my joints – especially my hips and lower back muscles. I have a lot of clients who have purchased swim spas to help with arthritis.
At the beginning of my pregnancy I weighed 204 – now 7 months in, I weigh 205 – AND in the past 7 months, with the help of my swim spa exercise and eating healthy – I have converted much of my previous “wine & cheese weight” to an adorable baby. My doctor told me it is fine that I haven’t gained weight – he even advised me in the beginning that I didn’t need to gain any – so I’m thrilled at what we have dubbed “The baby diet”. Once the baby is born, I’ll actually weigh less than pre-baby AND have more muscle. So I’m planning to parlay that into more swimming – to get in better shape.
In summary – using a hot tub daily, at lower temperatures throughout my pregnancy at home has been a HUGE physical relief to me. It has helped me reduce stress and enjoy the experience.
It has helped soothe my back muscles, leg muscles, tight belly cramps, headaches, neck aches, and allowed me to relax and get some peace and quiet both at the beginning and the end of the day on a regular basis over the past 7 months.
Having space to move around in a hot tub, enough water to actually “float” in and do stretching in warm water has been great. A bath tub is JUST not the same when your belly is 3x as big as it used to be. There isn’t enough water to cover your baby bump – so it’s left out there all cold and alone. You end up feeling like you’re wedged into a butter dish with some lukewarm water filling in the gaps.
One last benefit I cannot emphasize enough – taking time to connect to my honey -is a HUGE one that I didn’t even really consider before I started using the hot tub during pregnancy.
We have a busy life – and taking time to sit and soak together in peace and quiet at the end of the day – and gaze at the stars and moon in our hot tub – while getting our minds ready for a peaceful night of sleep – is a treasure I could not possibly put a price tag on. These are the last months of our “freedom” as a married couple without kids -and important months for bonding together and getting on the same page as partners. I want to appreciate every moment we have before our kiddo comes along and turns our life upside down. Spending time each day talking, holding hands and laughing together away from electronics, the TV or other distractions has been an enormous benefit, and a habit I’m sure we’ll continue after the baby comes along.
Whether you are currently pregnant and seeking pain relief, or looking for an exercise option during AND after pregnancy – I can personally recommend hot tubs and swim spas during pregnancy – AND LONG AFTER – as a huge value added health and stress relief bonus in your life. There is really no other past time, hobby or habit that gives you the opportunity to connect to the people around you in the same way AND adds health benefits on a daily basis in the long run.
Come see us at the El Paso Home Show this weekend March 10th-11th or email us for more details about our spa models!