Home / Blog March 12, 2024 Updated on March 20, 2024

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How To Use A Hot Water Bottle When Pregnant

In this blog, we discuss whether or not you can use a hot water bottle when you’re pregnant. We begin by describing the causes of cramps during pregnancy and then offer safe alternatives for pain relief.

How To Use A Hot Water Bottle When Pregnant


Hot water bottles are an excellent option for relieving pregnancy-related discomfort.

Prenatal exercises, foot elevation, and acupuncture are also safe alternatives.

Regularly communicate any concerns or symptoms with your healthcare provider.

Did you know?
Hot water bottles have been a comforting companion for pregnant women for centuries, dating as far back as the 16th century.

Ever wonder how to ease persistent back aches and cramps that accompany pregnancy? Navigating discomfort during this period requires careful consideration of safe remedies. In this blog, we delve into the safety of using hot water bottles, explore effective alternatives, and highlight the importance of open communication with your doctor.

Let’s begin by looking at what causes cramping and pain during pregnancy!

What Causes Back Aches And Cramps During Pregnancy?

Here are some potential causes of discomfort during pregnancy:

  • Normal Physical Changes: The body undergoes significant changes during pregnancy, including hormonal fluctuations and changes in weight distribution. These tend to strain the muscles and ligaments, causing back aches and cramps.
  • Uterine Growth: As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby, it exerts pressure on surrounding muscles and organs, leading to discomfort and cramping.
  • Round Ligament Pain: The round ligaments – that support the uterus – stretch and relax during pregnancy. This causes sharp shooting pains, especially during quick movements or changes in position.
  • Gas and Constipation: Hormonal changes can slow digestion, leading to gas and constipation. Gas can cause bloating and discomfort, while constipation can lead to abdominal cramping.
  • Braxton Hicks Contractions: These are often referred to as “practice contractions” and are the body’s way of preparing for labor. Braxton Hicks contractions cause discomfort and a tightening sensation in the abdomen and lower back.
  • Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake contributes to muscle cramps. Staying hydrated is crucial during pregnancy.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Infections in the urinary tract cause discomfort, including back pain and cramping. UTIs should be promptly addressed with medical attention.
  • Preterm Labor: In some cases, backaches and cramps may be a sign of preterm labor. Any persistent or severe pain, especially accompanied by other signs like vaginal bleeding, should be immediately evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Depending on the cause of your pain, the heat from a hot water bottle can bring relief from discomfort in your abdomen, back, shoulders, feet, or any other part of your body that may need soothing. A heated bottle like our Snuggler, that is gently weighted, helps alleviate cramps while providing Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) as well.

But is it safe to use a hot water bottle when pregnant? Let’s discuss!

Are Hot Water Bottles Safe During Pregnancy?

Hot water bottles are a safe option for alleviating pregnancy-related backaches, provided they are not excessively hot. They effectively provide relief without causing a significant increase in core body temperature, ensuring minimal impact on the developing fetus.

As a precautionary measure, always wrap a hot water bottle in a towel before applying it to your skin. It’s crucial to note that raising the baby’s temperature to dangerous levels would require an elevation in the mother’s core temperature first, and a hot water bottle is usually incapable of causing such an effect.

Regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s essential to adhere to specific guidelines when using a hot water bottle to ensure your safety:

  • Always use a hot water bottle with its cover on to prevent any risk of burning, and verify that the lid securely fits in place.
  • Inspect the bottle for tears or damage before each use, and promptly replace it if you identify any issues.
  • Allow boiling water to cool slightly before pouring it into the bottle to avoid potential tearing.
  • Avoid using a hot water bottle simultaneously with an electric blanket to prevent water spillage.
  • Avoid using the hot water bottle while spilling, as you may accidentally lay on top of it and cause it to burst.
  • Fill the bottle only up to three-quarters full to prevent overfilling.

While it is highly recommended that pregnant women avoid saunas and hot tubs due to a potential association with spina bifida, a relatively small hot water bottle does not pose a risk of significantly raising the core body temperature. In the same way, taking a warm bath during pregnancy is considered safe, as long as the water temperature is not excessively high.

Can I Use A Hot Water Bag During Early Pregnancy?

Yes, but before using heating devices directly on your abdomen area, consult with your doctor. If they approve, be sure to exercise caution and adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Low to moderate temperature: Avoid using extremely hot temperatures that may raise your body temperature significantly. High body temperatures, especially in the first trimester, have been associated with an increased risk of certain birth defects.
  • Localized application: Limit heat to a specific area, and avoid applying it to large areas of your body for an extended period.
  • Short durations: Use the hot water bag for short durations, typically no longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Prolonged exposure to heat can be harmful.
  • Stay hydrated: Ensure you are well-hydrated, as heat can increase fluid loss through sweating.

Most people wonder if they can use a hot water bottle early on in pregnancy because of concerns about miscarriages. Next, let’s discuss whether there is any relationship between hot water bottles and miscarriages.

Can Using A Hot Water Bottle Cause A Miscarriage?

The use of a hot water bottle is generally considered safe during pregnancy if used properly. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures has been linked to potential miscarriages. However, the use of a hot water bottle for short periods and at moderate temperatures should be safe for localized pain relief.

Next, let’s consider alternatives for relief from pregnancy-related discomfort.

Safe Ways To Deal With Pregnancy Cramps And Aches

While it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice, there are several generally safe methods to help manage pregnancy cramps and aches. Here are some suggestions:

  • Prenatal Exercise: Engage in prenatal exercises that are safe and recommended by your healthcare provider. Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga can help improve flexibility and alleviate muscle tension.
  • Proper Posture: Maintain good posture to reduce strain on your back. Invest in a supportive chair and an ergonomic body pillow to maintain a comfortable sleeping and sitting position.
  • Prenatal Massage: Consider getting a prenatal massage from a qualified therapist experienced in working with pregnant women. Make sure to inform the massage therapist that you are pregnant.
  • Maternity Support Belt: A maternity support belt can support your lower back and abdomen, helping to alleviate muscle strain.
  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated to help prevent muscle cramps. Dehydration can contribute to muscle tension and discomfort.
  • Foot Elevation: If you’re experiencing leg cramps, consider elevating your feet when sitting or lying down. This can help improve circulation and reduce cramping.
  • Acupuncture: Some women find relief from pregnancy-related aches and pains through acupuncture. Ensure that the practitioner is experienced in working with pregnant women.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: Some over-the-counter pain relief options may be safe during pregnancy, but consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication.

When To See A Doctor

While some discomfort is normal during pregnancy, certain signs and symptoms warrant prompt medical attention. These include:

  • Severe or persistent pain
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fluid leakage
  • Changes in fetal movement
  • Signs of preterm labor
  • Fever
  • Severe headaches or visual changes
  • Signs of infection like burning during urination or flu-like symptoms
  • Sudden or severe swelling of the hands, face, or legs
  • High blood pressure
  • Symptoms of gestational diabetes like excessive thirst, frequent urination, or unexplained weight loss.
  • Breathing difficulties

Remember that each pregnancy is unique, and it’s vital to communicate openly with your healthcare provider about any concerns or symptoms you may have.


Managing backaches and cramps during pregnancy requires a balanced approach, considering both the safety of interventions and effective relief. When used correctly, hot water bottles can be a safe option for alleviating discomfort. But it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider when in doubt and explore other safe methods for pain relief, like exercise, proper posture, and hydration.