Hot Tub: Safe in Early Pregnancy?

I am 13 weeks pregnant and I'm worried about using a hot tub when I was about two weeks pregnant. I got into the hot tub twice and stayed 10 to 15 minutes each time. I asked my doctor about it and he said not to really be worried, but if I was concerned to schedule an alphafetoprotein test done. Should I be concerned?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

The bottom line is that we are unsure of the precise risks of hot tub use and how these risks increase in some women and not in others. Add to this the variables of length of time exposed and temperatures and precise gestational ages, and you can understand how difficult it would be to make predictions.

I would definitely get an alphafetoprotein test at about 15 weeks. This will tell you if the baby has any open defect, but of course would not necessarily tell you "everything." There are other chromosomal tests done with amniocentesis that could tell you more, but the risks may outweigh the benefits.

Editor's Note: A study published in the November 15, 2003, issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who used hot tubs or Jacuzzis in early pregnancy were twice as likely to have a miscarriage as women who did not.

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