I have already written about our incredible visit to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland during December. But what I didn’t say about that trip until now was – I was pregnant while we were there!
My husband and I wanted to do one last BIG adventure travel trip before the pending arrival of our baby swallowed us into domestic bliss. When we decided on Iceland, a visit to the Blue Lagoon was a top priority. Only one problem – one of the top items on the list of “no-nos” while pregnant is enjoying a sauna, hot tub, or steaming hot bath. Hmmm…
I was just crossing into my second trimester when we were there. Barely beginning to “show” and enjoying my tiny bump like crazy.
As with all things, my first stop was to dive into some research. I will share what I learned as well as the advice I got from my own doctor, and some tips of my own for visiting the Lagoon. However, please note that none of what is printed here should NOT be construed as medical advice. I am not a physician, and any woman who is pregnant should consult with her doctor before making decisions about her pregnancy, safety, travel, etc.
The Blue Lagoon website actually addresses some questions in their FAQ section, here:
As I mentioned in my post about visiting the Blue Lagoon, the water itself is full of heavy minerals, specifically silica. While drying to the skin, silica is not a danger to a pregnancy. And it actually inhibits many of the harmful bacteria found in some natural springs. Plus, the Lagoon is a man-made spa, and its waters are carefully monitored for Ph levels, etc. all the time.
Slightly more informative are these two FAQs:
This is the area that you probably want to focus on when visiting while pregnant – the temperature. Because the real danger is in having your body’s core temperature raised to unsafe levels while pregnant. I printed off both of these articles and took them to my doctor. She said that the lower end of the temperatures they mention were ok for short periods of time, but the higher temperatures should be avoided. She recommended that overall, I avoid staying in the water for longer than 5 minutes in the hot areas, and 10 minutes in the cooler warm areas. And she recommended that I cool down between dips into the water for at least twice the amount of time I was in the water warming up. Basically: 5 minutes in, 10 minutes out.
The questions neither of us could answer was – how do you know which area is the hot part and which is the cooler “warm” part? Well, now that I have been there, I have the answer!
Tip #1: Avoid the Hot Water Pumps
The water in the Lagoon is constantly refreshed by pumps pumping out new very hot water. Turns out, these large wood blocks are covering the pumps! (Not the wood ledge, but the wood block in the middle.) If you wander close to one of the pads with a large wood block, you will feel how hot the water is next to them. If you wander away from them, the water steadily cools down.
So one easy tips for staying in the cooler “warm” water is to avoid those large blocks. stick to the middle zones between them (which are very wide) or the edges of the Lagoon, the “shore” if you will.
Tip #2: Find the Walkway Ledges
I couldn’t get a good photo of this. But – Throughout the whole Lagoon is a network of wood plank walkways. Some of these drop straight down into the water. But others, have a small step or ledge about a foot below them. You can see some people enjoying this in the photo above. If you are pregnant at the Lagoon, these ledge areas are your best friend!
If you find a ledge area, it is easy to sit on the plank walkway, with your feet in the water. Then you can also easily step down into the water for a few minutes, float around, and then step back up on the ledge to get out of the water again.
Remember my doctor’s “5 minutes in, 10 minutes out” rile? Well this made it pretty easy to follow. Much easier than constantly swimming back over to the “shore” slope and walking out.
My husband could also sit on the ledge (in the water up to his shoulders) while I sat on the plank walkway.
For those hoping to find this mysterious “ledge” they tended to be on the areas of the pool where there is a wood plank walkway, but no water pump nearby. The first one we found was over the wood bridge, to the right of the main “beach”/”shore” area, and again to the right, as you head towards the water bar area. My husband was able to grab a drink for himself and sparkling water for me at the bar, and we could sit on the ledge (me with my feet in, him submerged to his shoulders) and enjoy!
Tip #3: Enjoy Wading in the “Beach” areas
I talked to my doctor about the idea of enjoying wading and standing in the water up to my knees or thighs. She said that the real issue was my core temperature. So I needed to be sure that the majority of my body was staying cool most of the time. Not cold, mind you, but a comfortable temperature.
Well, we visited in the winter time, and it was cold out. It was snowing for the first hour we were there! So, the combination of the warm water, the cool outside air, and the steam, actually made that very easy to achieve.
I was able to spend some time standing around the “beach” areas, in warm water up to my knees or hips, with my belly and body in cool air. And I could dip in and out of the water, as it felt comfortable.
Tip #3: Hydrate!
The most important thing at every stage while pregnant is to stay hydrated. I am happy to report that this was easy to accomplish at the Blue Lagoon. There is an indoor cafe area, and a couple of wet bars in the water, all of which offer bottled water – still or sparkling, and also some juices.
The most annoying part is having to go to the bathroom in a wet bathing suit a few times. Because of this – I have my last recommendation:
Tip #4: Flip Flips & Robe
As I mentioned in my previous post, the Blue Lagoon offers upgrade packages that include a robe and flip flops. I think you can also bring your own. I would highly recommend both, if only for the moments where you will inevitably need to visit the Ladies Room.
The walkways and beach areas of the Lagoon are fine for bare feet (like a pool). However, the locker room and shower area are typical (though nice) facilities of a pool. The floors tend to be wet (of course). And I personally would not have wanted to walk around barefoot in those areas. It was also nice to be able to cover up when I wanted.
The interesting thing about the upgrade packages is that they come with a robe, rubber flip flops, and a glass of champagne included.For us, what this meant is both my husband and I got a robe, rubber flip flops, and he got to enjoy two glasses of champagne – ha!
As I mentioned in my previous post all of the monetary transactions after you enter the Lagoon work off an ingenious wrist band scanner system. Your wrist band is scanned by the wet bar merchants and cafe to put things on your tab, which you pay when you leave.
We simply had to trade wrist bands for Bruce to be able to get both drinks.
So that’s about it as far as tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon while Pregnant. I may have forgotten to mention the most important part – it was amazing! It was an incredible experience. I enjoyed it thoroughly, even though I had to enjoy it in increments. The water was heavenly. And I would recommend it to anyone.
(Caveat: always talk to your own doctor first, and follow their advice, not mine.)
Feel free to ask any questions I didn’t cover in the comment area below.