Who wants to crawl into a cold bed on a winter’s night? Not I, which is why my electric blanket has been one of my all-time favorite Christmas presents. I used to “preheat” my sheets so that everything would be cozy by the time I lay down. But once I found out I was pregnant one February day, I left my beloved blanket in the closet. I don’t remember asking my doctor about it, but I didn’t want to take any chances that the temperature would harm my growing baby. So, is it safe to use an electric blanket when you’re pregnant? While research studies haven’t found strong links between electric blankets and birth defects, experts generally take a better-safe-than-sorry approach to the issue.
Over email, Adrienne D. Zertuche, an OB-GYN at Taylor, Suarez, Cook, Carroll, and Khan (Atlanta Women’s Healthcare Specialists), tells Romper that “during pregnancy, women should avoid activities that may raise core body temperature, as some studies have suggested that elevations may increase the risk of birth defects. For instance, they should avoid the use of hot tubs, saunas, and electric blanket uses. In addition, if a pregnant woman has a high fever that does not respond to Tylenol, she should seek immediate evaluation and treatment from a physician.”
Zertuche’s recommendations are supported by a 1998 study published in Epidemiology, which “indicates that electric blanket used at the time of conceptionand in early pregnancy may be associated with a slight increase in risk of pregnancy loss.” This article also refers to previous epidemiologic studies on…
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