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When you are carrying a whole new life inside you while you are pregnant, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. When we enter a pool or any other water body, we only weigh a tenth of our actual weight, and this is something that works in your favour when you swim while pregnant. Imagine becoming weightless in water. Swimming could be the best exercise for a pregnant as it can take care of many aches and pains that are associated with pregnancy.
Is Swimming Safe During Pregnancy?
Mention swimming as an exercise during pregnancy and the first thought that crosses one’s mind is, can pregnant women swim? Fortunately, swimming is a highly recommended exercise for pregnant women, as it helps to maintain their health in a profoundly relaxing manner. However, if there are certain complications or the possibility of a high-risk pregnancy, then certain precautionary measures are necessary. If you have been doing prenatal swimming, there is no reason why you shouldn’t continue during this period, unless medically advised not to. It would be challenging to learn swimming during pregnancy though. You should not exert the body beyond its limits and understand how much your body can give in to this exercise.
What to Wear While Swimming?
As your stomach expands your favourite swimsuit will no longer be able to hold you. A two-piece suit gives a lot of space for the growing baby, so try one. You can opt for a maternity swimsuit f you are not comfortable flaunting your bloated tummy. Check with your regular swimwear brand for one, as maternity swimwear is quite fashionable.
Suggested Swimming Workouts in Pregnancy
There are many pregnancy swimming exercises you could try out in the pool. In fact, you should be prepared with a basic workout before you step into the water. Speak to your instructor and brief him/her about your condition and he could design a suitable regime.
If you have occasionally swum earlier, begin slowly and gradually and increase the duration and number of laps. The key is to remain comfortable during the session and work up a moderate speed that does not make you breathless. Double breast-stroke and frog kicks are ideal for beginners.
If you have been a regular swimmer before pregnancy and your doctor has green-signalled it, you can continue your daily workout. Carry out 5 to 6 sets of 4 laps each using a single style or alternating between different ones to give a complete work out to your body.
Benefits of Swimming
Is swimming good for pregnancy? If this is the question that comes to your mind, then check out the benefits of swimming during pregnancy:
- Swimming is the perfect exercise for pregnant women to maintain their weight
- It is a low-impact exercise that benefits cardiovascular health
- It increases strength, tones muscles and improves blood circulation
- It reduces the stress on the spine and surrounding muscles
- Swimming helps to strengthen muscles and their functionality around the shoulders and spine
- It helps a pregnant woman to relax and lower fatigue levels
- Swimming is also known to improve sleep quality
- It is better than other exercises since it is easy on ligaments and joints of a pregnant woman
Tips for Swimming When Pregnant
Here are a few tips for pregnant moms to know if they love the swimming pool:
Swimming During Pregnancy: First Trimester
During the first trimester, you should ideally swim for 30 minutes every day, provide your doctor approves and you have the strength. Start your day with a swim and your morning nausea will vanish, while improving your overall strength.
Swimming During Pregnancy: Second Trimester
As the baby size grows and the body becomes heavier, most mothers-to-be abandon their swimming or reduce the frequency. If your back is acting up, do the backstroke since it will help you to lie on your back and won’t affect the blood flow too. Buy a larger and a more accommodating swimsuit if the present one is cramping your swimming style.
Swimming During Pregnancy: Third Trimester
If you want to reduce the stress on your back muscles, the breaststroke is the best style to use. It also works on the chest muscles and helps elongate it. Using a snorkel is also a good idea as it helps to relieve neck pressure. Be careful while walking on wet surfaces and use anti-slip footwear.
Warning Signs to Check for While Swimming During Pregnancy
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek help and leave the pool immediately:
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Pain in the Abdomen or lower
- Fluid loss
- Uterine contractions
- Dizziness, light-headedness or breathlessness
- Irregular heartbeats
Overall, women who have had multiple miscarriages, ruptured membranes or any heart disease should avoid swimming during pregnancy or seek medical advice before starting.
Precautions to Take During Swimming
Swimming is an excellent way to exercise your body and relax at the same time, provided you take the following precautions during swimming:
- Make sure you are keeping yourself hydrated enough if you are swimming for 30 minutes or more, by drinking fluids and glucose supplements.
- Do not jump or dive into the pool as this could cause harm to your baby and you.
- Avoid swimming if you feel unwell or feel a cold coming as this could aggravate it further
- Do not swim in the sea or the lake if the weather is bad or cold. It is also best to stay close to the shore and have someone look out for you.
- Swimming in unknown waters can be unsafe for you and your baby, especially if the water is contaminated.
- Make sure you are not straining yourself too much, keep in mind that you need to be extra careful with your movements. Follow correct posture in pregnancy and do not make jerky movements.
There are many positives one can derive out of swimming when you are pregnant. A relaxing swim in a pleasant environment is much needed to soothe the nerves and calm yourself. Take the right precautions during these sessions to get the most out of it while having fun.
Also Read: Walking During Pregnancy