Swimming is an all-around great way to stay fit and healthy. It improves circulation, strengthens muscles, burns calories and much more. However, some pregnant women may wonder if this water activity is safe for them. Let’s set the record straight! In today’s blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about swimming during pregnancy.
The Benefits of Swimming During Pregnancy
In most cases, swimming is considered safe for pregnant women. In fact, women who don’t have complications related to their pregnancy are often encouraged to participate in this activity.
According to most doctors, most expectant mothers should partake in a healthy dose of exercise in some form or another. This should be music to your ears, but most pregnant women also know that physical activity can become difficult, especially in the third trimester. Luckily, swimming is a great option, as the water helps to support your extra weight. This makes your workout a low-impact one that puts less stress on your body. As a result, many pregnant women even find swimming to be relaxing. Some even find that swimming can help to ease morning sickness. As some moms-to-be experience uncomfortable symptoms, including swollen feet and backaches, the buoyancy created by the water can provide great relief.
For How Long Can I Swim During Pregnancy?
Swimming is typically considered safe throughout all three trimesters. That said, every woman and pregnancy is different, so it is important to consult with your doctor or midwife before any physically exerting activities, including swimming.
The extent at which you should exercise depends on how active you were before becoming pregnant. In most cases, you should be able to continue with your usual routine. However, you should start off slowly in order to ease your way into your workout. If you were not a regular swimmer before pregnancy, it is typically recommended that you work in sessions of about 30 minutes at a time.
It is important to remember that you may not have the same energy level or physical stamina as usual, so be sure not to overexert yourself. Listen to your body. If you get tired, stop and take a rest!
What Activities Are Safe?
As we mentioned above, it is most important to pay attention to your body and its limits. We’ve written some tips for beginning swimmers that can help with this situation. When swimming, choose a stroke that feels comfortable. Alternately, a low-impact water aerobics workout is a great adaptive exercise option that also allows for social interaction with other swimmers. Consider joining a pregnancy workout class for a more structured routine. If you are opting for pure relaxation, there are even floatation devices available that will accommodate your growing belly!
It is vital that you always use caution when exercising while pregnant, whether you’re swimming or otherwise. Some precautions you should take include:
- Watch your step. Be careful when getting in and out of the pool, as surfaces can be slippery.
- Be aware of the pool’s temperature. The ideal temperature for swimming is between 78 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, but if the water feels too hot or cold, wait before getting into the pool.
- Avoid hot tubs. An elevated body temperature can lead to complications.
- Use sunscreen, and reapply it, liberally. Often, a pregnant woman’s skin is more sensitive to the sun.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water when doing any exercise, including swimming.
- Be careful of public spaces. Public pools, lakes and the ocean can pose an additional risk because of potential exposure to bacteria if water is contaminated.
- If you don’t feel well or experience unusual symptoms, stop swimming and speak with a medical professional.
Before engaging in a physical activity such as swimming during pregnancy, it is advisable to consult with your doctor. As long as they give you the go-ahead, have a fun and safe swim!