I have never had a problem recommending Dr. McCombs’ Candida Plan during pregnancy or breastfeeding, but in the end, we leave it up to the mother. Most studies that I have seen report that saunas and hot baths are safe in pregnant women. Many studies originate out of Finland where sauna bathing is a centuries old tradition. With a population of just over 5 million, Finland has over 1.6 million home saunas, almost one for every home. Germany, another good source of studies, has over 1.5 million saunas in homes. Some good studies haven’t been translated from Finnish or German, but you’ll find several at our online Candida Library. Only in America are people phobic about sweating.
There was a study that showed that elevated temperatures over a 24-hour period could induce neural tube defects. Neural tube defects take place between your 3rd and 4th week of pregnancy. This was most likely due to an infection and a fever in that study. I’m not sure why they related this to sweating and saunas. Several studies show that sustained fevers over the course of a day or more can be potentially problematic, but even then, defects are rare. Effects from these are more likely due to the infectious agent combined with the fevers. Infections can stimulate a specific type of immune response that the body tries to avoid during pregnancies. On Dr. McCombs’ Plan, you need to sweat about 10-15 minutes, 6 days a week. That’s a long way from a 24-hour elevation of temperature, even when adding all 6 days of sweating together. Additionally, most women are past their 4th week of pregnancy when they first find out that they are pregnant.
We have had approximately 49 women get pregnant while doing Dr. McCombs’ Plan, when they weren’t able to get pregnant any other way. Of those, several went on to have additional pregnancies. I know of only one pregnant woman that had a miscarriage while doing the Plan. The national average for miscarriages is 1 in 4 (25%), so our 1 in 49 (2%) is a much better outcome. Some of the women who became pregnant during Dr. McCombs’ Plan chose to stop and do it again after the pregnancy. Others went ahead and completed the plan. It’s really a choice that you’ll make and we support you either way.