If you’re an expectant mom, pregnancy-related discomforts, like trouble sleeping, lower back pain, muscle cramps, and body aches are pretty much a part of pregnancy along with baby growth. It’s possible to seek out alternative therapies like infrared light therapy for pregnancy aches and pains, depression and anxiety. So, the first question is infrared heating safe during pregnancy? Can you use an infrared sauna/mat when pregnant?
While lying on a deep-penetrating infrared heating pad to relieve lower back pains and other postpartum discomfort may sound wonderful, it’s imperative that you consider the potential risks with the impending benefits to both yourself and your body. In this article, we’ll discuss the intricacies of infrared therapy and pregnancy so that you can balance risk and benefit before undertaking any infrared therapeutic sessions.
Is infrared light safe during pregnancy?
When it comes to infrared therapy and pregnancy, there have been many studies that suggest that infrared therapy is safe for pregnant women and baby growth. A recent study, published by Anna Wirz-Justice and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, provides evidence that light therapy may be a useful non-pharmacologic treatment for women suffering from depression during pregnancy. The authors point out that there are no studies assessing the risk of light therapy to the fetus; however, they reason that because one hour of light therapy provides a level of exposure similar to one hour of outdoor daylight, this treatment should not pose any risk to the fetus.
The use of a heating pad during pregnancy is safe so long as you take the proper precautions. As you lay on the far infrared heating pad, the long wave far infrared rays penetrate your body, improving blood circulation, reducing pain and decreasing inflammation. A heating pad is an excellent option for relieving lower back pain and muscle cramps.
For pain relief during pregnancy, you can also try a regular heating pad instead of an infrared heating pad.
Follow these guidelines when using a heating pad during pregnancy:
- Directly applying a heating device to your skin is not recommended. It’s advisable to cover it with a thin towel first, or use it over your clothing.
- Don’t apply heat for longer than 20 minutes, which is the normal cycle length of most heating pads.
- If your heating pad has temperature settings, use the lowest setting that still makes you feel better.
- Avoid falling asleep on your heating pad.
- Speak to your doctor if you have questions or concerns about the safety of a specific heating pad.
Benefits of infrared therapy postpartum
The postpartum period is a very crucial period for caring for new mothers. It causes discomfort during the puerperial period. It is important to pay attention to your body and not ignore pregnancy-related health problems. In the weeks after childbirth, you can expect certain pains and discomforts, like belly cramps or fatigue. These pains and discomforts are normal parts of healing. And some women have serious health problems such as heavy bleeding, infection, high blood pressure, and even severe postpartum depression. No matter what the circumstances are, always be aware of your current feelings and symptoms. To achieve your wellness goals, you need the right techniques in postpartum care like Infrared Light Therapy.
Infrared light increases circulation, decreases inflammation and has been clinically proven to combat many symptoms associated with the post-partum period, including pain relief (muscles, joints, and chronic pain), fatigue, anxiety, and overall inflammation born during pregnancy.
While on an infrared heating pad, infrared light penetrates the skin’s surface, raising the core body temperature. Unlike traditional heating pads, infrared heat mats don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they warm the core body temperature directly, which penetrates human tissue and skin more effectively. As your body temperature absorbs this infrared heat, a deep and relaxing sweat is induced, which clears out any unwanted toxins.
Let’s look at some of the many benefits an infrared heating pad can provide pregnant women and postpartum new mothers.
1. Inflammation and wound healing
All pregnancies spark mild systemic inflammation in the body – it’s part of what happens to everyone during pregnancy. Women who undergo episiotomie surgery may experience pelvic or perineal pain and discomfort after giving birth.
Infrared light penetrates the body’s soft tissue to where inflammation occurs, significantly increasing circulation in the body and expanding the blood vessels to carry oxygen throughout the body thus helping to bring inflammation down to healthy levels.
Infrared light has the therapeutic effect of aggregating blood supply and relieving pain. As a result, oxygen and nutrients will be easily accessed to the tissues, which will accelerate the removal of waste products and help resolve inflammation. When the heat is mild the relief of pain is almost certainly due to the sedative effect on the superficial sensory nerve endings. In addition, it assists in muscle relaxation and the release of muscle spasms in injury and inflammation.
This intervention offers an effective substitute intervention for those with episiotomy injuries because of the release of chemical vasodilators, histamine, and has direct effects on blood vessels.
When properly utilize far infrared techniques in wound care, the benefits of far infrared therapy is able to activate the water molecules in the body. This will improve microcirculation, cleanse the blood, improve skin texture, so wound healing can happen faster.
Dr. SV Kakade, the Associate Professor of Statistics, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, studied and found that there was significant improvement in wound healing in an experimental group of mothers who had undergone mediolateral episiotomy. And he concluded that Infrared light therapy is an effective method of treatment on healing of episiotomy wound among post natal mothers.
Many studies evaluated the effectiveness of infrared light therapy on healing of episiotomy wounds among post natal mothers. They showed there was a significant improvement in wound healing and the effectiveness of infrared light therapy on healing of episiotomy wounds among post natal mothers.
2. Perinatal depression
Perinatal depression is a major public health problem affecting 10% to 20% of childbearing women. This “baby blues” period is completely normal because new mothers are bombarded with hundreds of different emotions, hormones, and life changes in a very short time. If the baby blues don’t seem to be going away or getting worse, they might be indicative of postpartum depression (PPD). While the baby blues usually fade within a week or so, PPD symptoms are more intense, last longer, and can interfere with caring for your newly born baby or other life tasks. Untreated PPD can last for months.
Infrared light therapy like appling infrared sauna or infrared heating pad is an effective treatment for periental depression. It is low cost, home-based, and has a lower side effect profile than pharmacotherapy. It uses infrared heat to gently penetrate human tissue to provide a list of benefits (relaxation, better sleep, clearer skin, detoxification, pain relief, lower blood pressure, and weight loss), as well as boost the immune system. Infrared light is actually what hospitals put on babies to keep them warm after they come out of the womb.
A 2011 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of light therapy for antepartum depression, focused on bright light therapy in pregnant women with depressive disorder. The study provides evidence that light therapy, a simple, cost-effective antidepressant modality with minimal side effects for the mother and no known risk for the unborn child, may be a useful nonpharmacologic approach in this difficult situation.
During an infrared heating session, pregnant mothers can get some relaxation and time for themselves. It helps detoxify any medicine used during delivery such as epidurals, and can reduce joint pain from carrying a baby. Most pregnant mothers experience swelling in their ankles or feet, and the sauna can help shed that water weight. It also boosts metabolism, helping new mamas lose pregnancy weight.
Given the rise in post-partum anxiety and increased risk of post-partum depression, infrared therapy can benefit all new mothers as a preventative measure.
Breastfeeding is an enjoyable and natural process that allows mothers to nourish and bond with their babies. It is a crucial time in a baby’s life, as breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients and antibodies to grow and develop. While breastfeeding, some new mothers may wonder if using infrared light therapy is safe.
Infrared saunas and infrared mats emit harmless rays of infrared light for cleansing and healing. These light rays penetrate the skin, increasing blood circulation and targeting fat cells. The result is a deep-tissue massage that helps circulation and reduces stress levels.
Using an infrared therapy during breastfeeding supports the production of essential nutrients for the baby. Some women postpartum experience increased milk production after infrared heat therapy, improving milk supply.
4. Cope with postpartum fatigue
Feeling tired is one of the most common woes among new moms – affecting nearly 64% of new mothers. Postpartum fatigue is marked by an overwhelming sense of exhaustion that can leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained, lacking in energy, and unable to concentrate.
Infrared therapy has been proven to treat chronic fatigue due to the deep penetration of infrared light into joints, muscles, and tissues to increase circulation throughout the body. Infrared sauna hormone balance is another added benefit, helping you feel a greater sense of normality.
5. Alone time for new moms
When you’re a mom, finding the time to focus on yourself and only yourself can feel downright impossible. Unfortunately, a lack of alone time affects moms negatively. Moms who do not get any alone time can experience parental burnout, feelings of resentment, being overwhelmed, isolation, anger, and a loss of sense of self.
The simple act of self-care can be hugely positive. Lying on an infrared heating pad, letting the healing FIR heat transferred by the all natural gemstones and crystals warm inside from your body, even for just a short 15 minutes session, can be a effective healing self-care time. You’ll be extremely rejuvenated and more able to deal with everything motherhood throws at you.