Swimming for Pregnant Women
Swimming is the safest form of exercise for expectant moms. It can benefit you – and your baby – by strengthening your heart and making it more efficient at pumping blood. This improves circulation to your whole body and boosts oxygen levels in your blood. Swimming gives you all this and more!
The benefits of swimming during pregnancy
- It works both of your large muscle groups (arms and legs).
- The water keeps you from overheating and prevents injury by supporting your joints and ligaments as you exercise, which is especially helpful for moms-to-be with round ligament pain. The buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy a feeling of weightlessness despite the extra pounds of pregnancy.
- It counteracts increased back strain from your expanding belly. Pregnancy can make your spine and shoulders round forward and tilt your pelvis out of alignment, but swimming gently strengthens the muscles and offsets this tendency.
- Immersing yourself in water alleviates swelling in your arms and legs.
Getting enough exercise is essential especially for breathing which will be very helpful during labor and getting the right doppler will be very helpful to ease fear and anxiety during pregnancy.
Swimming tips for the first, second and third semester
First: Swimming first thing in the morning may prevent nausea and energize you for the rest of the day. Use a kickboard, noodle, or another type of pool equipment to vary your workout and keep it fun.
If the smell of chlorine triggers nausea or causes skin or eye discomfort, see if there’s a saltwater pool in your area. If you want to swim in a body of water like an ocean, lake, or pond, check your healthcare provider first because germs and bacteria in open water can cause illness.
Second: As your pregnancy progresses and you grow larger, you won’t need to cut down on swimming very much because it’s such a gentle activity for expectant moms.
The water’s buoyancy also reduces the effects of gravity on your body, so you can lie on your back to do the backstroke without risking the impaired blood flow such positions can cause on dry land.
Third: Comfort is key during the last weeks of pregnancy, so try different strokes to see which ones feel most comfortable. You may also want to get a maternity swimsuit to accommodate your expanding belly. You can use a snorkel to relieve the pressure on your neck when you bob up and down for air.
If you have sore or tight muscles, try walking in the shallow end of the pool instead of swimming. Move your arms through the water as you walk for more resistance. If you feel tired, use a paddle board to support your upper body, and take breaks as needed.Be extra careful when getting out of the pool, and wear non-slip footwear for walking on wet surfaces.
Try to swim for 20 to 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. If you swam regularly before pregnancy, you should be able to continue without much modification. Just be sure you know the warning signs to slow down or stop exercising.
A good guideline is to aim to drink one 8-ounce glass before you start your swim, one glass for every 20 minutes of exercise, and one glass after you get out of the pool. In hot or humid weather, you need more.