Is it safe to use a hot water bottle during pregnancy?

hot-water-bottle-pregnancy

by Sophie Knight |
Updated on

There’s nothing quite like cosying up with a hot water bottle to soothe aches and pains and those pregnancy symptoms that might develop towards the end of your pregnancy. It's a known fact that heat from a hot water bottle can act as pain relief. Relaxing your muscles, improving blood flow and keeping the cold away are all benefits of a hot water bottle. However, are hot water bottles safe to use during pregnancy?

According to the NHS, the answer is yes, it's perfectly safe to use a hot water bottle during pregnancy. They say, "Put a hot water bottle on areas that ache, such as your lower back, underneath your bump or between your thighs. Please be mindful not to use a hot water bottle directly on your skin and place it over a layer of clothing."

The heat from the bottle can help to combat any aches or pains you might be experiencing throughout your pregnancy such as pregnancy back pain. And don’t worry, your baby won’t be able to feel the warmth from it. You would be amazed at how much protection there is, thanks to the layers between the hot water bottle and your baby.

How to use a hot water bottle safely

Whether you’re pregnant or not, there are a few rules you should follow when using a hot water bottle for your safety.

• Always use one with a cover to avoid any burning.

• You should check your bottle before each use for any tears or damage and if you spot any, replace it.

• Ensure the lid fits on securely.

• Let any boiling water cool a little before pouring it into a bottle as this could cause the bottle to tear.

• Don’t use a hot water bottle at the same time as an electric blanket, just in case there is a spillage of water.

• If sleeping with your bottle, make sure you avoid laying or sitting on top of it to avoid it bursting.

• Only fill to three-quarters full to avoid overfilling.

While it is advised that pregnant women should avoid saunas and hot tubs as it has been linked with spina bifida, a hot water bottle is too small to cause the core body temperature to get too high. The good news is that you can still have a bath during pregnancy, just as long as it's not too hot.

The best hot water bottle for pregnancy

Take a look at our pick of the best hot water bottles.

Best transparent water bottle

With a transparent water bottle, you'll clearly be able to see how much water is in it so that you don't overfill it. Not to mention, it also comes with a knitted cover that's got nine different colours to choose from!

Pros

  • Transparent so you can see the water level
  • Different colour options to choose from
  • Flexible bottle

Cons

  • Advised not to use boiling hot water in this bottle
  • Flexibility means the bottle isn't as sturdy

Best highly rated hot water bottle
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Price: $14.99

This one is a great choice if you're wanting to snuggle up on the couch and get cosy! With a thick faux fur cover, it'll provide plenty of protection against your skin. It's also available in a few different colour choices and is a brilliant budget option.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Soft fluffy cover provides good protection

Cons

  • Difficult to get the bottle out of its cover

Best long hot water bottle

This hot water bottle is ideal for cuddling up thanks to its soft cover. Its durability means you can hug it for hours on the sofa or in bed. A full body hot water bottle is perfect for those days when you're needing a chill day.

Pros

  • Body length pain relief
  • Thick cover provides good protection
  • Stays warm for a long period

Cons

  • Have to be especially wary of leaks

Bestselling hot water bottle

A John Lewis bestseller, this hot water bottle with fluffy cover comes in a variety of prints and colours, perfect for curling up on the couch with.

Pros

  • Fantastic review
  • Different colour options to choose from
  • Soft fluffy cover provides good protection
  • Stays warm for a long time

Cons

  • Faux fur may shed

Best hot water bottle for all the family

An adorable koala bear inspired wrap is perfect for the whole family to use. With a thick protective pouch, it's a safe way to get some pain relief or cuddle up. The great thing is the design is perfect for kids too.

Pros

  • Wraps around your body
  • Thick cover provides good protection
  • Cute koala cover

Cons

  • Small sizing

Best wrap around hot water bottle

Similarly, this popular YUYU hot water bottle can be used as a wrap, or as a long hot water bottle for curling up in bed with. Ideal for days when you're feeling those aches and pains, as it feels like a warm hug. Such a versatile option and always there whenever you need it!

Pros

  • Fantastic reviews
  • Wraps around your body
  • Thick cover provides good protection

Cons

  • Tie around the back may be awkward

Best verstaile hot water bottle

Another hot water bottle that can be wrapped around your stomach, lower back or neck when you need to relieve some tension, or warm yourself up on a cold winter's evening. With multiple covers, use as a regular hot water bottle or as a wrap around when you feel like it.

Pros

  • Different options to choose from
  • Wraps around your body
  • Thick cover provides good protection

Cons

  • Small sizing

Best microwavable heat pack
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Price: $12.76

As an alternative to a hot water bottle, there's also a microwavable heat pack. While like every heated item, you should treat them with caution, a microwavable heat pack doesn't come with the risk of bursts, spillages or hot water burns. Just pop it in the microwave and place it around the area causing you discomfort for relief.

Pros

  • No hot water required
  • Safe to use
  • Slow and steady heat

Cons

  • May not stay as hot for a long period of time
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How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.