Pregnancies sometimes come with pain and different types of discomforts. Although saunas provide an excellent feeling of relaxation, pain relief and reduced anxiety, it is not recommended for pregnant women. The overheating which increases the body temperature may lower blood pressure. It can also cause dehydration, dizziness and even fainting, which can affect the flow of blood and oxygen to the internal organs and the baby.
Since saunas raises the skin temperatures, it makes someone to sweat heavily hence losing a lot of water and minerals, a situation which is not good for a pregnant woman. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology does not recommend sauna and hot tubs especially during the early months of pregnancy. This is because the baby is still developing and overheating can cause miscarriages, birth defects like poor brain development or poor spinal development (Spina Bifida – which means split spine).
There are different types of Saunas; the most common ones being the traditional steam Sauna and the Portable Infrared Sauna. The difference is that steam sauna uses steam while infrared Sauna uses dry heat. Portable infrared Sauna is becoming popular because it can be moved around to a location of your choice, for example you can take it to the living room and watch Tv as you enjoy the Sauna.
Another thing is the less power that it uses as well as the fact that your head and hands are out when the rest of the body is warming. Although Portable Infrared Sauna is becoming popular because of its portability, efficiency and flexibility, it is still not recommended for pregnant women because of the risks that have been stated above. Infrared Sauna is great for other non-pregnant people. So what is this Portable Infrared Sauna?
A portable infrared sauna is equipment that uses light to generate heat, and can be taken anywhere with you. The natural source of Infrared light that we all know is the sun. So you can imagine that feeling when you are basking in the sun. Unlike the traditional saunas which generate heat to the whole surrounding, the infrared sauna heats the body directly without interfering with the temperatures of your surroundings.
This type of sauna serves the same purpose as the other saunas. The Infrared energy heats the body directly causing some excess sweating. These sweats help in removing toxins from the body and helps prevent diseases. The removal of toxins also gives you that radiant and glowing skin, which result into a youthful look. This is known as detoxification. The other health benefits of Portable Infrared sauna include:
- Relaxation: It relaxes the body and the mind so well that it reduces any stress or anxiety.
- Reduces inflammation from chronic pains and other inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
- It is good for your heart: It increases the heart beat rate hence releasing endorphins which is a natural pain reliever and a stress fighter.
- Boosts sleep: Taking a sauna session before dinner helps in improving the quality of your sleep, since it soothes the central nervous system.
- Keeps the body healthy and prevents bacterial diseases
- Provides an anti-aging and radiant glowing skin, since it stimulates cellular cleanup.
- Weight loss: You are able to burn a good number of calories during the session.
There are some factors to consider when investing in a Portable Infrared Sauna;
- Price: This will vary with the different brands available and their popularity
- Heating settings: it should come with various options on controlling the heat.
- Timer Options: It should allow you to adjust the timer, in case you want to stay inside longer or for a shorter time.
- Electromagnetic field safety. You should check to ensure that it doesn’t emit high level of radiations. This is for your safety when using it.
Pregnant women can take a warm bath (not hot) to relax their nerves. I don’t think that it’s worth risking your pregnancy when there are other alternatives to sauna for pregnant women.
Sauna alternatives during pregnancy
- Take a warm bath
- Get a massage from a professional
- Take a walk to get fresh air and sunshine
- Do some pregnancy Yoga
- Dance to some good music but not with high intensity or vigorous
- Get enough rest and sleep
IMPORTANT: When doing any exercise, do it gently and don’t strain as this may cause injuries. Also when exercising, avoid overheating. Take enough water more frequently so as not to get dehydrated.