For all those who want to know whether it's safe to swim while you're pregnant, the answer is; YES! Expectant mothers can definitely pursue swimming if they wish to do so. A pregnant woman is guided to work out to maintain good health. There are separate exercises and planned schedule for the expectant mom in her daily routine. Some doctors do recommend swimming as one of the exercises but, a lot of people have their doubts, whether swimming can be a good exercise during pregnancy or not.
In fact, many of them believe and have a firm opinion that swimming during pregnancy is harmful for the unborn baby. They do not want to give a second thought to their opinion and see if it can work positively. Fortunately, it is a good form of exercise even during pregnancy. The benefits obtained through swimming are equal to those gained from other exercises during pregnancy. You only have to take a few precautions for ensuring safety. The following part will tell you the benefits of swimming during pregnancy followed by the precautions to be taken.
- Swimming during pregnancy does not put an additional stress on the body parts like other forms of exercises do, rather, water supports your body and makes you feel lighter in weight in spite of the heavy weight in the lower abdomen.
- It increases your body's ability to produce and use more oxygen, improves blood circulation, and tones the body muscles.
- According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is the safest exercise during pregnancy as it has lesser chances of injury.
- Many expectant ladies have a problem of nausea during morning, which can be reduced with swimming.
- Swelling is also a major problem in most of the pregnant women and it makes them feel uncomfortable at times. Swimming helps reduce swelling.
Precautions to be Taken
- It is safe for a healthy pregnant woman to swim, but, those with health problems like constipation, heart problems, lung problems, etc., need to consult the doctor before taking up the activity, because in such cases, bed rest is highly recommended.
- You will need a maternity swimsuit at the third trimester, till then you can use a normal swimsuit.
- If you were used to swimming before pregnancy, you can continue it without any major change in your routine.
- Even if you are not a regular swimmer, you can swim during pregnancy after consulting your health care provider.
- You should remember that you cannot dive in, but, start off slowly and gradually.
- Don't forget to stretch and warm up the body before swimming.
- If you are good at swimming, you can stay for at least 30-40 minutes in the water to provide sufficient workout to your body.
There are many other issues related to swimming during pregnancy, like its safety in a chlorinated pool, in a lake, etc. You ought to know that there is no research, which says that it is unsafe to swim in a chlorinated pool. Instead, experts say that it is beneficial for the mother as well as the baby. The only thing is to check whether the pool is disinfected, to get rid of the pathogens. The expectant mom should shower before swimming to remove loose organic matter because the organic matter like skin cells come into contact with chlorine and form its by products which is harmful.
The problem with lake for many people is 'water temperature'. The ideal water temperature recommended by USA Swimming Association is 74 to 84º F and swimming in warmer waters can be harmful. However, while swimming in a lake, care should be taken only with regards to entry and exit in the lake because of your growing body structure. Though you are familiar with the lake before pregnancy, it might get difficult during pregnancy. Avoid stepping onto the slippery edges so as to prevent yourself from slipping.
Thus, scrap out any misconceptions about swimming during pregnancy as it's one of the best exercises to keep yourself as well as your baby healthy. Do not forget to consult your doctor before including swimming as a part of your exercise regime.