Sore and aching muscles are part of pregnancy, so you might be tempted to reach for the bottle of icy hot while pregnant to soothe the pains.
Icy hot is a topical rubefacient that contains menthol, camphor, or wintergreen. The purpose is to relieve aching muscles and joints. You might use it if you have a backache, sprains, cramps or a strained muscle. So, it is natural that you might wonder if icy hot is safe while pregnant.
Can You Use Icy Hot While Pregnant?
Unfortunately, doctors do not recommend Icy Hot for pregnant women for the entire duration of pregnancy, and it is not recommended while breastfeeding.
It is not safe because Icy Hot is absorbed through the skin when you apply it. That means it can reach your bloodstream, allowing small amounts to cross the placenta to your baby.
Unless your doctor indicates otherwise, you should assume that Icy Hot is not safe while pregnant.
Another problem with Icy Hot is that it stimulates the nerve receptors, giving your skin a cold and hot sensation that reduces pain. However, it could lead to the irritation of your nervous system. Your nervous system controls your baby’s development in your womb, so you don’t want to cause any problems there!
I Already Used Icy Hot! Is My Baby Okay?
Don’t start panicking! The chances are that your baby is fine despite your usage of Icy Hot. Make sure that you stop using the product immediately now that you know it is not safe for pregnancy.
Only your doctor can determine if your baby is okay. However, it is unlikely that one usage of Icy Hot caused any dramatic problems with your unborn baby.
Pregnancy Safe Alternatives to Icy Hot
So, you can’t use Icy Hot, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer throughout your entire pregnancy. Try using Vicks Vaporub on your aching back instead of Icy Hot. You could also apply some gentle heat, such as from a warm compress if you desire the warmth.
Another pregnancy-safe choice is JR Watkins Ointment. This choice gives you that mentholated feeling that many people love and associate with Icy Hot. However, JR Watkins contains safer ingredients. Some other methods to ease your aching body without medication include:
1. Stretching and Physical Activity
As long as your doctor approves of fitness, you should continue to exercise and stretch throughout your pregnancy. If you exercised before pregnancy, continue with the same schedule unless you lifted heavyweights.
Even those who didn’t exercise before can try yoga and light stretching. These activities are perfect for less active women, and they help to reduce your hip and back pain.
2. Massage Therapy
Now is the perfect time to seek out help from a good massage therapist who is certified in prenatal massage. A good massage can eliminate back and hip pains that most pregnant women experience during pregnancy.
3. Side Sleeping
You might sleep on your back when you aren’t pregnant, but it can lead to more back problems during pregnancy. The best sleeping position during pregnancy is on your side, with your knees bent. Some pregnant women prefer to use a pregnancy support pillow for their back, neck, and abdomen.
4. Good Daily Posture
Your center of gravity changes as your baby grows, so you might find yourself unbalanced. Pregnant women tend to lean back to compensate, which leads to lower backaches.
Instead, remember to stand tall and straight, hold your shoulders back, and maintain a wide stance for better support. Take breaks if you are standing for long periods, and sit on a chair with back support.
5. Ditch High Heels
Before you were pregnant, high heels might be part of your daily wardrobe, but they can cause a lot of discomforts. High heels can cause you to feel imbalanced and strain muscles as you struggle to maintain your center of gravity. Pick shoes with lower heels and good arch support.
6. Apply Cold and Heat MethodUsing cold and heat on your back can ease the pain. Make sure you speak with your doctor first! You can wrap a bag of ice or frozen vegetables in a towel and hold it over the area that is sore. Leave it there for around 20 minutes, several times throughout the day.
Then, after a few days, switch to using heat. You can try a heating pad on low or a warm compress. You don’t want it to be too hot. Continue using heat several times per day. Continue to alternate.
Don’t Turn to Icy Hot
Even if the pain persists, remember not to use Icy Hot while pregnant unless your medical doctor indicates that it is a safe choice for you. Try the alternative choices to reduce your pain, and you could try a medication, such as Tylenol if you are uncomfortable. If there is no end in sight for the pain, call your doctor!