This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "Expecting Better" by Emily Oster. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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Do hot baths really cause miscarriage? Learn the risks of hot baths and high temperatures when you’re pregnant.

Raising your body temperature above 101 degrees in the first trimester increases risk of gastroschisis and anencephaly, a neural tube defect. 

Hot tubs and Bikram Yoga are around 105 degrees, as are very hot days, so avoid these in the first trimester. After the neural tube forms in first trimester, it may be safer.

A Spanish study did find that very hot days seemed to induce labor earlier (by about 5 days). So if you’re near your due date, consider staying inside on hot days.

Can Hot Baths Cause Miscarriage?

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Here's what you'll find in our full Expecting Better summary:

  • Why much parenting advice you hear is confusing or nonsense
  • The most reliable way to conceive successfully
  • How much alcohol research shows you can drink safely while pregnant (it's more than zero)
  • The best foods to eat, and what foods you really should avoid

Allen Cheng

Allen Cheng is the founder of Shortform. He has a passion for non-fiction books (having read 200+ and counting) and is on a mission to make the world's best ideas more accessible to everyone. He reads broadly, covering a wide range of subjects including finance, management, health, and society. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and attended medical training at the MD/PhD program at Harvard and MIT. Before Shortform, he co-founded PrepScholar, an online education company.

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