Red Light Therapy During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?
During pregnancy, the general rule of thumb is to be doubly careful about anything and everything you put in or on your body. After all, it is inextricably connected to your unborn baby’s, and the developing fetus is at its most fragile state. In other words, what’s safe for the mother may not be safe for the baby. Spas, for instance, offer many benefits in terms of physical health and well-being. However, saunas and hot tubs are generally not recommended during pregnancy, as hyperthermia can affect the fetus’ developing organs. Even seemingly harmless activities like changing your cat’s litter box can pose a risk to the fetus.
One of the main reasons red light therapy is rising in popularity among medical experts and consumers alike is its impeccable safety profile. Not only is it effective at treating a number of conditions and health issues, it’s unanimously considered completely safe, non-invasive, and without serious side effects.
*For a detailed run-down on how red light therapy works as well as its many benefits, check out this blog post.
So what’s the consensus on using red light therapy during pregnancy? The short answer is that there isn’t one. That’s not because of any evidence that it is unsafe to use; it’s simply because there isn’t a lot of research on the topic. One recent study set out to gather all the research to date in order to settle the matter once and for all. Did they succeed? Let’s take a look.
A Review of Red Light Therapy and Pregnancy
The study, entitled “Utilization of laser therapy during pregnancy: A systematic review of the maternal and fetal effects reported from 1960 to 2017”, analyzed 22 articles between 1960 and 2017 using laser therapy at various wavelengths. The evidence they found supports the safety of laser therapy during pregnancy for both the mother and the fetus. A total of 380 women in all trimesters were included, and among them only one suffered premature rupture of membranes (which normally occurs just before the onset of labor). Researchers could not be sure whether this was caused by the laser treatment.
Healthcare professionals tend to advise against any sort of laser treatment during pregnancy, again not because of evidence that it is unsafe. In fact, there is a glaring lack of evidence to that effect. They are merely erring on the side of caution, and rightfully so until there is more evidence to the contrary. After all, though the above study found no evidence that laser therapy is harmful during pregnancy, it’s important to note that there were only 22 studies covering this topic over a period of almost 60 years.
So what’s our conclusion? We recommend talking to your OB/GYN about whether red light therapy is safe for you to use during pregnancy. They may not recommend it. And we think that’s ok. Why? Two Reasons.
First, pregnancy is not a permanent state (thank goodness, right?) Stopping your red light therapy treatment for a few months is perfectly fine - there are no withdrawal effects, and because of the nature of how red light therapy functions, the effects can last for some time after pausing treatment.
Second, you can start or resume treatment immediately after delivery without missing a beat. In fact, red light therapy has been shown to help with a number of postpartum issues, including:
- Nipple pain during breastfeeding;
- Milk production;
- Postoperative pain from cesarean;
- Healing episiotomy wounds;
- Postpartum hair loss;
- Fat loss;
- Stretch marks.
Pamper Yourself for Pennies a Session With Red Light Therapy At Home
An at-home red light therapy device is the convenient and economical choice for virtually everyone - and if there’s anyone that can appreciate convenience and economizing, it’s new parents.
A baby’s feeding schedule can make it difficult to take an hour or two out of your day to visit a clinic or spa for treatment. Not to mention that it can take a while to recover from childbirth, particularly after a cesarean section, so elective procedures and treatments may fall to the wayside during this time. Plus, many parents take the opportunity to stay in as much as possible to bond with their new little bundle. A personal red light therapy panel allows you to enjoy the benefits of the treatment while always remaining within arms reach of your baby.
And we certainly don’t need to tell you that babies are expensive. All that disposable income you once enjoyed is suddenly tied up in diapers and daycare (and you wouldn’t change a thing). With a personal red light therapy device, you get unlimited treatment at the roughly the same price as a handful of in-clinic sessions. And given that consistent, frequent treatment is key with red light therapy (we’re talking three to five times per week), it’s a no-brainer.
You spend months preparing for the arrival of your baby and making sure they have everything they need to be healthy and happy in their new environment. Why not do the same for yourself? Check out Rouge’s family of red light therapy devices todays, and take self-care to the next level. After all, you just made a whole human; you deserve it.