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first trimester of pregnancy and onsen 2012/1/12 12:58
I've read and been told that pregnant women should not soak in onsen, as it raises their blood pressure and can cause neural defects. If I visit one in my first trimester, would it be culturally inappropriate to wash myself as per usual and then merely sit on the edge of the bath with my feet/legs in? Or should I avoid the entire process completely?
by curious (guest)  

Re: first trimester of pregnancy and onsen 2012/1/12 18:55
would it be culturally inappropriate to wash myself as per usual and then merely sit on the edge of the bath with my feet/legs in?

No problem.
But I think this problem is not about culture but about health.
Please take care not to tumble, throb, have a rush of blood to the head, and get cold.
by ajapaneseboy rate this post as useful

Re: first trimester of pregnancy and onsen 2012/1/12 23:10
curious,

Most onsen baths do have a sign warning the pregnant to avoid bathing. Also, the first trimester in general is a very sensitive stage of your pregnancy.

Consult your doctor if you can, bath at your own risk if you need to, and if anything should happen to you don't blame it on the risks you decided to take.

Note that generally speaking, Japanese locals chose to wait until their 6th months or so to do any kind of long-distance traveling.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: first trimester of pregnancy and onsen 2012/1/13 13:52
the Dr already said not to bathe, and that's accepted as sound advice. But my impression of bathing = sitting in the onsen, water up to shoulders/chest. I was specifically referring to sitting on the side with water only on the legs, and no higher. Though I can't see why that wouldn't be a medical concern, there's no point asking the doctor if the viewpoint is that it would be inappropriate or too weird for other onsen users. If it's not too strange a request, the confirmation will come from a medical professional. The whole point is trying to take in the atmosphere and ambience of the onsen without risking the baby.
by curious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: first trimester of pregnancy and onsen 2012/1/13 19:33
It is fine to go to an onsen when pregnant (a friend does it all the way to her 40 weeks however she goes during mornings when place is empty) however remember floor can be wet with overflowing water. The chance of slipping is great. For first semester, I would not recommend it.

by Donaldl rate this post as useful

Re: first trimester of pregnancy and onsen 2012/1/14 11:58
You'll be fine to sit on the side of the bath at the onsen with just your legs in- there are no cultural issues and also no risk to the pregnancy with just your legs in the water.

Uco san, I'm wondering if the thinking here has changed a bit since you were pregnant? I have found that people here usually consider anything after the 16th week to be "anteiki" so no need to be as cautious as before, and my hospital's advice (ordinary suburban west Tokyo hospital) was that that it was best to travel in the second trimester (i.e. 4-6 months) since it's usually the most comfortable time of the pregnancy. From 6 months on most people are starting to get uncomfortable again- I know I did anyway!
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

clarification 2012/1/14 18:42
Curious,

What you're talking about is close to what people call "ashi-yu." If you're seeing a Japanese doctor, you can ask what the doctor thinks of ashi-yu to confirm that you are doing the right thing.

There are also tubs specifically for ashi-yu where you just soak your feet (typically outdoors) without taking your clothes off. It's very comfy, and that way you won't need to place your naked hips on the edge of a cold tub and you won't have to risk yourself walking on slippery floors.

Again, I'm not saying you shouldn't do what you want to. I'm just trying to give advise on how you can be more reassured.


Sira,

Thanks for pointing that out. What I meant was that your traveling is usually expected to wait until your anteiki (stable period) as opposed to your shoki (first trimester), and my understanding is that anteiki is 16-28 weeks.

The slightly confusing part is that, at least in Japan, they call 16-19 wks "5 months" and they call 20-23 wks "6 months." I think traveling during your 16-19th week is fine, but 20-23 isn't all that bad either because others will notice your tummy and try to look out for you.

I remember doing a lot of adventures around that time of pregnancy, but later on my tummy got so big that it was even hard for me to sit on a seat! Anyway, I admit that the guy that was in there had his Seijinshiki this year!

This is just for reference.
http://www.happy-mama.com/16_premama/calendar/16_cal_4.html
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: first trimester of pregnancy and onsen 2012/1/17 08:15
thanks everyone, you've been very helpful!
by curious (guest) rate this post as useful

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