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Epsom salt bath = really good.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I recently was at the dollar store and saw a box of Epsom salts. I'd never used them but like to try new old things often, and for a dollar why not? I can't extol enough the usefulness of other products like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel and all those other items I associate with the type of Grandma I never had, but apparently hope to become one day. Luckily the internet is there to fill in the gaps of my knowledge.


Today I woke up feeling achey, and tired, so I ran a bath. I poured in my epsom salt, and some baking soda and settled in with a book. I soon noticed the ache in my lower back dissipating, my grumpiness melting away. It was heaven.


I turned the shower on, rinsed, then as I stepped out of the tub, I couldn't help but notice how soft and supple my skin had become. Skin that's been feeling itchy and dry for weeks, months now, suddenly as soft as a baby.


So I am a convert, and felt the need to share because the relief was great. Epsom salt is now a part of my life after only one bath.


Does anyone else subscribe to the idea that inexpensive products like this are just awesome?

post #2 of 21

i am all about the epsom salt baths when pregnant.  I buy so much that I once had a cashier ask me if i was making a bomb or something lol.gif


it's great for aches, swelling, and yes makes your skin super soft.  wonderful!

post #3 of 21

Just be careful about being submerged in super hot water for a long time--this can harm the baby. I mention this only because I like my baths scolding hot and don't know if others are in the same boat as me. I think up to 101 degrees F is perfectly fine, but I'm not sure about anything above that.

post #4 of 21

Also- if you are diabetic/gestational diabetic, you need to avoid epsom salts.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

Warm baths are fine from what I've read. If it's super hot, you'll feel overheated. Too hot can increase your blood pressure and decrease blood flow to baby, which has the potential to put baby at risk. Paying attention to body signals can help eliminate risk. Also a bath as opposed to a hot tub or sauna gradually cools the longer you stay in, further reducing the risk of overheating.


It's good to know not to use Epsom salts if you've got gestational diabetes. I don't have to worry about that, but I know some ladies may need to.

post #6 of 21

I love to use epsom salt and so does my husband! I never heard of using baking soda in a bath...I'll have to goggle that. 

post #7 of 21

i jusrt heard the warmer/hot bath thing doesnt apply anymore and never really did . I have always taken them too. Not super hot but pretty warm.  I just read that somewhere that the baby is fine with the regulation in temps in the womb . I guess they did studies on it and debunked it, I guess you could google it for sure.

post #8 of 21

where did you read that?

post #9 of 21

I would be interested to know as well! I poked around a little last night and the only thing I found was a study done on women before the 20th week of pregnancy to see if hot baths increased risk of miscarriage (this study found that it did)... I sure miss my HOT hot baths... soon enough though :)

post #10 of 21

can you take baths while having lochia? I can't remember. I'm really looking forward to that first super hot bath after my baby comes! I just don't know if I need to wait. 

post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by Kindermama View Post

can you take baths while having lochia? I can't remember. I'm really looking forward to that first super hot bath after my baby comes! I just don't know if I need to wait. 

I did, but you may want to rinse first (peri bottle should do the trick) just to be less worried about icking the water.  Those first baths followed by a well placed ice pack were heaven.

post #12 of 21

DDC crashing from new posts.  I know there is always a mix of info out there, but my midwife told me just to make sure my own body temperature isn't 102 or higher.  At that point, it can get too hot for baby inside.  I still take my super hot baths and then just add in cold water or sit up if I need a little cooling off.

post #13 of 21




Originally Posted by Kindermama View Post

can you take baths while having lochia? I can't remember. I'm really looking forward to that first super hot bath after my baby comes! I just don't know if I need to wait. 

I was told to wait 6 weeks after birth before taking baths because of risk of possible infections...haven't asked my doctor about it this time around.  Its a different doctor, so maybe he will have a different opinion.



I am dying to get in my parents hot tub though!!!  Everytime I go over there I am sticking my legs in it and wishing I could just dive right in, it would be heaven!!


Anyone find anything online debunking hot baths while pregnant?  I'm looking but not seeing anything...

post #14 of 21

Okay, I apparently really want a hot bath... I used the university reference database and found a few studies...


In many studies, essentially, it seemed difficult for researchers to separate hyperthermia (high body temp) due to fever from hyperthermia due to, say, a sauna. So any issues found could have been from underlying disease processes related to fever, OR could be related only to body temperature... 


In the International Journal of Hyperthermia (talk about specialization) there was a study done on temperature elevation during pregnancy. The study is from 2003 - I'll post the abstract here and if you'd like to read more, the title is "Effects of heat on embryos and foetuses"


Objectives : This paper reviews the effects of elevated maternal temperature on embryo and foetal development in experimental animals and in humans. Conclusions : Hyperthermia during pregnancy can cause embryonic death, abortion, growth retardation and developmental defects. Processes critical to embryonic development, such as cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and programmed cell death (apoptosis) are adversely affected by elevated maternal temperatures, showing some similarity to the effects of ionizing radiation. The development of the central nervous system is especially susceptible: a 2.5°C elevation for 1 h during early neural tube closure in rats resulted in an increased incidence of cranio-facial defects, and a 'spike' temperature elevation of 2-2.5°C in an exposure of 1 h during early neurogenesis in guinea pigs caused an increase in the incidence of microencephaly. However, in general, thresholds and dose-response relationships vary between species and even between different strains of the same species, depending on genotype. This precludes rigorous quantitative extrapolation to humans, although some general principles can be inferred. In humans, epidemiological studies suggest that an elevation of maternal body temperature by 2°C for at least 24 h during fever can cause a range of developmental defects, but there is little information on thresholds for shorter exposures. Further experimental and epidemiological studies are recommended, focusing on stage-specific developmental effects in the central nervous system using a variety of sensitive assays.



So essentially, there isn't much data available for shorter term rises in *human* maternal temperature (certainly as of 2003 and from what I can tell there hasn't been a lot of progress...) There were several studies I found linking hyperthermia to neural tube defects, but this is certainly of much greater concern in very early pregnancy. 




For me, I just "use my judgment". I have taken my temperature at times if I felt worried, and I keep the bath water around 101c and don't totally immerse myself in it until it cools down a little more. That said, I will definitely have a truly hot bath once the lochia is a bit settled down! 


post #15 of 21

I had a thermometer in my 2nd pregnancy that would tell me if the water got too hot (one of those floating ducks for baby baths) and then I just learned to judge it by feel.  For me, if I don't have to lower myself in slowly, it's not too hot.  And if I start to feel flushed or overheated at all, I get out.  


I totally take baths after the birth.  I had a c/s with my first so did wait till 6 weeks for the incision to heal, but with all of my vaginal births I have been in the bath within a few days.  



post #16 of 21

























post #17 of 21

Wait, does that mean I can get in a hot tub/jucuzzi?  Please tell me yes, that would be SO divine right now!

post #18 of 21

I went in the hot tub with ds2 & ds3. I limited myself to a max of 10 minutes or if I felt too hot I'd get out. It was lovely.

post #19 of 21

I personally wouldn't do a hot tub.  A bath starts to cool off right away and your body is always partially out of the water.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

I wouldn't chance it with a hot tub, either, most of what I've read on the topic is in line with what softlysinging stated. A hot tub or sauna maintains a constant high temperature and your body tends to be fully immersed, increasing the likelihood of overheating. A hot bath begins cooling right away, and typically you're not entirely underwater, so the chance of overheating is lessened. I'm sure there are some precautions one could take using a hot tub, decreasing the temperature, and limiting time, but I don't really know.

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