Pregnancy, although a blissful experience, is often accompanied by pains and aches in the muscles and joint. Especially, lower back pain is the worst trouble of a pregnant woman that never ceases even after delivery. Thermotherapy or curing with heat is the safest method to treat such pains during pregnancy.
Heating pads of different shapes and sizes are available that can be controlled by a switch and just needs an electric connection for usage. Extremely convenient to use and carry, this device helps in reducing inflammation or easing soreness and it can also be highly effective for your sore knees or back. If you strictly follow certain guidelines, using a heating pad at the time of pregnancy is absolutely safe.
Here are some rules to follow while using a heating pad during pregnancy.
Do not Wear Pad for Longer Period
A very important thing that you should remember is that the core body temperature must be kept lesser than 102 degrees. You should not use the heating pad for a longer period of time. You should take breaks while using it. Do not use more than 20 minutes at a stretch.
Lower Down the Temperature Settings
Excessive use of heating pad on high settings may be the reason for skin burns and it may raise your body temperature. You may start with lowest setting and then move up as per requirement. But do remember; never use highest setting when you are pregnant.
Use the Pad on Localized Area
A heating pad is not meant to be used to heat large areas of the body. It is neither good for your skin nor your body temperature. If a larger part of the body is exposed to heating pad, there is a high possibility of increase in body temperature which is not good for a pregnant woman. It is better to use the pad on your shoulder, back or knee one at a time.
Use the Pad When you are Awake
Always use the heating pad when you are awake. If you use the pad during sleeping it may cause severe problems. It will burn your skin and also raise the body temperature. Always switch off the pad before you go to sleep and try not to use it in bed. If accidentally you fall asleep, it may have an adverse effect for your baby.
Visit Doctor for Pain in Abdomen
Never use heating pad at the abdomen and its surrounding areas. If you are facing abdominal pain do not waste time, visit a doctor immediately as it might be a reason for any serious problem concerning your baby. Though there is no such evidence that electromagnetic forces present in the heating pads can harm your baby, but a continuous temperature above 103 °F may cause certain developmental problems. Due to this reason, never use heating pad directly on abdomen.
Use Heating Pad to Warm your Bed
If you do not want to use the heating pad directly on your body you may put the pad under the blanket or between the sheets. This will warm the bed. Remove the pad and turn it off once you are ready to lie down.
Wrap the Pad in a Towel
Wrapping a heating pad with towel will subdue the effect and you can safely use it on your muscles.
As long as you stay cautious and maintain a proper temperature, you should not face any problems. Inappropriate use of this heating pad could lead to health problems.