Is it safe to use a heating pad at 24 weeks?

Is it safe to use a heating pad at 24 weeks?

Answered by: Margaret Comerford Freda, Ed.D., R.N.

Question: Is it safe to use a heating pad for my sore back, at 24 weeks pregnant?

Answer: Heating pads are generally safe for sore backs, but you have to be careful when using them. Some heating pads become extremely hot and have burned people. Some people fall asleep while on heating pads and become overheated. As you probably know, it's not good for a pregnant woman to become too overheated, so if you want to use a heating pad, and your doctor says it's OK, I’d suggest that you buy one with a feature that forces you to hold a clicker down to make it hot. This is a great safety feature, for you hold it down, the heating pad heats up, you let go, and then it gradually cools until you consciously hold the clicker down again for additional heat. You can't fall asleep and keep the heat on by mistake, for if you do, your finger will fall off the clicker! If you use a heating pad, be sure to use it for only the recommended amount of time (usually for 20 minutes, twice or three times a day).

You also might find some relief for your back if you put your feet up several times a day, and if you discontinue carrying heavy objects. Let someone else carry the groceries or the laundry, and don't pick up small children (sit on a chair and pull them towards you instead of standing and picking them up). Sit whenever possible, and try to rest with your feet up twice a day, even if it's at work during a coffee break.

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