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Advisory against pregnant women using hot springs to be lifted after 32 years

16 Comments

The government has decided to lift an advisory that has been in place for 32 years, warning pregnant women of the danger of soaking in hot springs. According to the Environment Ministry, there is no scientific basis to the belief, TBS reported Friday.

Since 1982, hot spring operators have been obligated to post guidelines warning that pregnant women face a risk from hot springs due to the presence of chemical elements in the water.

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16 Comments
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This whole story to me misses a much bigger issue.

The Japanese government is too bloated and expensive to the taxpayers of Japan.

Who seriously wants their tax dollars spent on having bureaucrats decide whether to advise people to take a bath in mineral water or not, whether it's good or bad for you? Aren't most Japanese people more likely to want to opt for lower taxes and more personal responsibility instead?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Well spoken fxgai! And now ask yourself how much it cost to decide to life the advisory and then to actually do it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

hmm first result on google says its not recommended, then again I ain't a medic nor a woman so why take the risk?

http://www.babycenter.com/406_is-it-safe-to-take-hot-baths-while-im-pregnant_1245313.bc

2 ( +2 / -0 )

when my wife became pregnant, I studied the subject. I didn't care about the compounds in hot springs, those can't have any hazards (except maybe of extreme onsets), I cared about the hot water (same with the bath tube). My research pointed to the conclusion that soaking in moderately hot water is ok, as long as it is not too hot or not too long. If you overdo it, then there are serious risks for the baby, such as rupturing of blood capillaries

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Hot baths are not suggested. No idea why Japan is changing this when it was fine as it was. Warm is fine, onsen temperatures? Nope.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Old Wives' tales seem to have a bigger foothold in the popular consciousness here. The ministry only lifted the recommendation that Gargling prevents colds a year or two ago; people still believe that cold drinks give you diarrhea and that you have to keep your stomach warm or your womb will shrivel or some nonsense.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's not the minerals or water that is dangerous..it's the temperatures..some spas or ryokan have onsen as hot as 50 celcius this can raise blood pressure in pregnant women and cause major issues to the developing baby.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Anything too much is hurting your body...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm 8 months pregnant. As a pregnant woman, I don't feel comfortable sitting in Hot hot water for too long. The heat will certainly make me pass out. Nothing to do with the chemicals.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The danger of hot springs comes when heat is over 100 degrees. I think it's obvious, don't you? Pregnant women should not soak in regular hot tubs unless it is their legs only.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The stick I took when I was pregnant in Japan for not doing the right thing (for "right" read: "Japanese") was amazing - no heels, no belt, no jeans, no western style maternity clothing (the standard uniform then was rollneck sweater, shapeless tent, white ankle socks and sneakers or sandals depending on the season), no bicycle (yes, I know this is a controversial one, but I had terrible sciatica and it was comfortable and much easier for me to cycle carefully than hobble), no hot tubs of course, but also no swimming (walking in the water was ok apparently), I was lambasted for not wrapping my belly because "the baby might get cold" - in August - no driving (seatbelt is too dangerous) and absolutely, NO partying in Roppongi. Heh heh heh. No body had the balls to tell me no sex either, but I guess they assumed that wasnt happening anyway as "nobody does it" once they are pregnant. And no allowing the customer to "see" you - how embarrassing! Ive "done it" - the proof was there for all to see.

Some of it was common sense - onsen may or may not be dangerous but theyre just not that comfortable after a while when you are pregnant anyway. Most of it could be completely disregarded and I took great pleasure in the constant "EEEEEHHHHHHHH???!!!!" everywhere I went. And that was before the baby came. After that the disapproval really ramped up....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

NathalieB - Let me guess, all your friend are over 80 year old? My wife did all sorts of things during preggers, nobody berated her like you're describing it... I only agree with no partying in Roppongi and no cycling.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Onsens are good for health.... I know this because every Japanese person I meet tells me so...

Ok now let me be serious. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures like in Japanese Hot-springs or any Hot Springs is potentially dangerous to the fetus, it can cause blood vessels to rupture thus resulting in death. This prolonged exposure to hot temputure can cause other problems too.

This is one reason why in most countries there is a warning next two hot tubs or Jacuzzis.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

can allowing to exercise be far behind?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Generally it not good to if the body gets above 102.2 F or 39 C. If you know the temperature of the water, you can calculate a duration but that not likely. Today, it's much easier to monitor one's own temperature so if it start to approach 102, get out of the water. For anyone, if you body temperature get 105 or more, you may die. I would think that if you were pregnant, you should avoid waters hotter than 38 C which would limit which onsens since many have water temperature of 45 C, naturally or otherwise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wouldnt be comfortable in temperatures above 40 anyway, pregnant or otherwise.

Ebisen - is your wife Japanese? Thats probably the difference. Ask any foreign woman. They all have the same stories to tell. unless they are doing it by the Japanese book. Many Japanese of any age have an opinion on what you are doing and you are absolutely entitled to hear it. One friend of mine after having the baby just settled down to relax at home with a nice magazine while the baby was asleep, when her MIL turned up, whipped away the magazine and pulled the plug on the TV, saying no TV or reading for a month after birth because it will damage her eyes! The midwife told me no bath for a month. And ask anyone about the ridiculous 8kg max weight gain allowed otherwise they put you on a diet!

Things are changing now. But just 10 years ago it was very different.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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