When the temperature starts to drop outside an electric blanket seems like the perfect solution. A warm bed is a joy that many pregnant women are worried will harm their growing baby. Raising your core body temperature too high can potentially cause abnormalities in your developing fetus and there are also concerns about electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
Can I Use a Heating Pad or Electric Blanket While Pregnant? We don’t recommend it because there are opposing arguments as to the safety of heating pad and electric blankets used while sleeping for any person, not only pregnant women. The electric current and heating your body may have more serious side effects than first realized.
Electromagnetic Fields And Electric Blankets
When you switch on a heating pad and electric blanket a current begins to run. Whenever electricity is flowing, electromagnetic fields are formed. The greater the voltage – the stronger the field. All of your household electronic devices are emitting low doses of EMF – your microwave, television, hairdryer – even the computer you’re reading this on right now.
You are constantly in contact with EMFs from outside sources. Within your body, there are also small electrical currents. These are from natural processes that take places such as your beating heart, your brain activity, and even your digestive system working.
Using an electric blanket while you sleep will place your body in direct contact with EMFs all night. While many electric blankets now produced claim to be EMF free, generating no harmful electromagnetic radiation they may still generate electric fields.
Pregnancy And Body Temperature
When you are pregnant, your body temperature goes up slightly and you are more sensitive to heat. You have an additional blood supply and your body is working harder, thus a higher temperature. If your core body temperature goes too high you can be at risk of abnormalities in your developing fetus. When you go to bed and you have an electric blanket switched on, you re sleeping on heat, which could potentially make your body too hot. While this risk is considered to be slight, sleeping on an active electric blanket throughout the night still poses some risk.
Using a Heating Pad and Electric Blanket in Your Third Trimester
If you are in your third trimester it is advisable to avoid using an electric blanket throughout the night. If your waters break while you are in bed you could potentially be at risk of an electric shock. Electric blankets are manufactured to be safe even when children wet the bed, so technically if your waters break you should also be safe. However, electric blankets are still using electric current and you are sleeping on top of it.
More Research on Safety of Electric Blankets While Pregnant
There are many baby websites, forums, and opinions of professionals online who vouch for the safety of electric blankets in the home for use by pregnant women. There are thousands of women who use and will continue to use an electric blanket throughout their pregnancies. Additional research is required and ultimately it is a woman’s choice.
I’m Freezing – What Else Can I Do?
If you are still cold and determined to warm your bed, try turning on the electric blanket and leaving the room. Once your bed is warmed, turn off the blanket and unplug it from the wall. If you choose not to use an electric blanket, wear socks, flannel pajamas, a hat, and take a hot water bottle to bed. Sleep between two blankets rather than sheets.
If you have a warm flannel blanket and place this under your sheet you will also be warmer. Take a warm shower immediately before getting into bed. Snuggle up to your partner!