Swimming During Pregnancy Guide- Everything You Should Know

Swimming is the best exercise one can indulge in. Swimming not only relaxes your body but also your soul. So, pregnancy and swimming go well. If you are a swimmer then no worries as this is the best form of workout that your body needs. If you are a no-swimmer then start slow and enjoy it. 

Your body weights one-tenth of the total weight inside the pool. So, imagine yourself be weightless and floating in the water. Swimming is the best exercise during pregnancy as it relieves many aches and pains that are associated with pregnancy. 

What are the benefits of swimming?

The benefits of swimming are:

  • It is the best exercise to maintain weight
  • It improves sleep quality
  • It reduces stress on the spine and muscles
  • It increases strength and tones muscles 
  • It increases blood circulation
  • It benefits cardiovascular health
  • It relaxes and calms the body
  • Keeps you cools
  • Improves your labor and delivery experience

Swimming is the most recommended exercise that doctors prescribe during pregnancy days. It helps to maintain health in a more profoundly relaxing manner. However, if there are certain complications or a high-risk pregnancy, then certain precautions must be taken.

If you are a regular swimmer then there is no reason to not continue with swimming. Swimming helps to calm and relax your body. 

Swimming workouts for Pregnant women

Here is some swimming workout which pregnant moms rea do to feel relax and cool. If you are beginners then try these workouts and do it for at least 30 minutes and then just float around the pools and go home.

  • Start walking in low water for a minimum of 5 minutes. As you walk up, limber extends and lifts with shoulder shrugs and hip and hinged circles. If you like, you can paddle water deep down or hang onto the pool’s edge and kick. 
  • Watching your body warm-up, you can see your new-born safe and relaxed. Think about how that would be in a positive way even though you’ve never been through labor. For instance, picture labor as a profitable athletic event, with little pain, to achieve your goal. During each exercise, concentrate on your breathing, spread your belly a little while as you inhale, and tighten your abdominal body as you exhale.
  • Walk or run back and forth across the pool using a normal course. For various reasons, take steps, steps, or steps sideways on the heels or the toes. Continue to move for five minutes. Stand apart with feet of hip-width, arms stretched from side to shoulder height. Spring up and take the feet to the groin with them. Press down limbs simultaneously. Separate the knees, move the wrists up to the heights of the shoulder. Repeat 1-minute jacks (approximately 40–50 reps). Note that you are jumping up and down without retreating or reversing. 
  • Step forward, hip-wide apart. Stand with feet. Turn right onto the hip and turn left, over just past the knee (as the pregnancy progresses, you will not touch the knee). Return to the beginning stance and repeat with the left knee and the right elbow (about 30 reps). When the belly grows up, put the elbow down to the knee, and add a minor side bend. This helps in strengthening the abdomen. 
  • Place feet on the pool wall, facing and holding the pool’s edge at as high an angle as you can with the knees and feet (if the pool has no rim to grip, put feet under the wall) at 45 degrees. Bend the other leg (lung position) and remain straight 20–30 seconds before changing sides. Do 20 sets (10 to each side). Strengthens legs; stretches thighs and groin internally.

There is no specific workout routine but remember to not haste or strain yourself during swimming. Do not let competitiveness haunt you as you are in no safe to compete with other swimmers. Relax and enjoy floating or you can even do some light yoga in the pool. You are do paddling, squint, etc. 

Try and wear a relaxing swimsuit that suits your changing body with days. If you have tight muscles, then try walking in the shallow end of the pool rather than swimming. Or you can just lie or float on the water. The buoyant force allows you to float and makes you weightless. 

Swimming at different stages:

First semester

During the first trimester, ideally, you should swim for 30 minutes every day, provide the doctor approves and your body has the strength. Start your day with a swim and morning nausea will vanish.

Second semester

As you start growing larger and your pregnancy progresses, you don’t have to cut down your swimming activity much as it is a gentle activity. Buy a larger and comfortable swimsuit that suits your body shape and isn’t too tight on your body.

Third semester

With days things get a little more comfortable and uneasy. Remember your first semester days when you could still do different moves but in this last stage, all you need is to stay safe.

In these last few month’s comfort what is most needed, so try and do different strokes that are comforting and relaxing to your body. Wear something more accommodating to your changing body shape.

To reduce stress on the back muscles, you can try back stokes. You can do snorkel to relieve pressure on your neck. Be careful to wear non-slip footwear while you step out of the pool. You need to be careful in each step you keep out of the pool.

Signs to stop swimming

Pregnancy requires some planning, flexibility, and compromises. Don’t get tough on your body as you are carrying a soul inside you that is waiting to see the world outside.

Women’s high blood pressure, obesity, underweight, slow fetal growth, early labor, irregular heartbeats, bleeding during pregnancy have higher chances of developing problems. They should exercise only with the approval of the doctor or self-care provider. 

Here are some warning signs to check while swimming during pregnancy:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Tiredness 
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Fluid loss

Women with a history of multiple miscarriages, ruptured membranes, or any heart disease should avoid swimming or seek medical help beforehand. 

Aqua natal classes

If you love the idea of doing exercises in groups or with your friends who are pregnant then join aqua natal classes. You will find new friends here where you are gossip and enjoy your session. 

The prenatal swimming sessions include:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Warm-up sessions
  • Stretching
  • Strength exercises
  • Learn about good postures

Pregnancy women with little knowledge about swimming should join these classes and learn about good postures and proper swimming techniques.

Precautions to be taken

Whether or not you are a professional swimmer you should always start slow and then gradually increase your speed. Remember you are at no stage to compete with other swimmers now. The motive for your swimming is to relax and stay calm and enjoy the water time. 

Try and avoid jumping down from a height. You don’t need to be that cool at this stage. Women with a history of miscarriage should consult a doctor before swimming. Try and avoid swimming at extreme temperatures. If the temperature of the water is moderate enough then enjoy your swimming.

It is important to swim only in places you feel are safe when going to swim. Keep in mind that, if you swim far from a coast or beach, you should pull faster than if you are not pregnant. Take into account the tides, if the water is rough, and any bacterial reports in the water, before taking a swim.

Furthermore, you must avoid swimming in warm water during your pregnancy, because it will increase your body temperature. Because you don’t need to rise above 102.2 degrees F (39 degrees C), because in you your baby grows, the use of hot tubes, thermal water, or even very warm baths should be cautiously restricted – if done at all – to relax while pregnant. Especially in the first trimester, an increase in body temperatures due to hot water may lead to birth anomalies or a possible miscarriage, so this recommendation should be taken seriously.

Tips for swimming during the pregnancy period

  1. Look for the perfect swimsuit for you

Your size and shape will vary as your pregnancy progresses. It is no fun to try to fit into something that does not fit, so when your body is ready, invest in a new bath-suit. A good swimsuit or bath-suit will not cause any discomfort while swimming and it will also make sure you have room to breathe and move freely. A tight swimsuit can cause a problem for the child.

  1. Be careful while stepping into the pool.

Swimming pools and the area surrounding the pool are usually slippery. It is highly recommended to not hurry while getting into the water and while also getting out. Be careful not to tumble away or slip on a puddle of water in the shower room or the pool locker room. Keep in mind that you are pregnant and a heavy collision or a sudden jerk can be fatal for the child’s health. 

  1. Use a sunscreen that has a minimum SPF value of 30

Use of a good sunscreen is necessary as it will make sure you do not suffer from sunburns during the day or while swimming. It is recommended that you avoid swimming between 10 am and 4 pm when the sunlight is the strongest. Using sunscreen is recommended as it won’t cause further skin irritation. Skin rashes are very common during pregnancy, so to not aggravate that, use a good sunscreen. 

  1. Be hydrated always

You may also get dehydrated while swimming even though you don’t feel thirsty. The cool feeling of being surrounded by water will make you feel okay, so you have to take plenty of breaks to drink water. Avoid alcoholic drinks or caffeine-high drinks that promote dehydration. Staying hydrated feel not make you feel nauseatic and it will also help you energize.

  1. Make sure you are not swimming alone

Make sure you have a friend with you if you’re swimming in the area without a lifeguard. It is also a good idea to register for swimming lessons via the red cross or other local organizations if you are new to water sports, to improve your safety.

  1. Make sure your swimming strokes are comfortable

It’s important to have a comfortable swimming stroke. Maybe you want to wear goggles so you can swim down your head – it makes your body straighter and your back better. Try not to do too many powerful twisting movements because they would overwork or strain your deep tummy muscles. If your spine is not aligned properly, avoid breaststroke because a kicking action (Whip kick) will cause back pain. If you have symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), called pelvic girdle pain (PGP), it can also be unpleasant.

  1. Make sure you are being trained under a qualified swimming trainer.

There are many credentials for water training teachers. You can ensure that they qualify for the Amateur Swimming Association with a governing body (ASA). Ask what qualifies them specifically, and how they can adapt classes for pregnant women. You are glad about the answers. It is important. You may want to look elsewhere if you don’t adapt to the class and just suggest that you should slow it down.

FAQs

Is swimming in a pool safe? Swimming is the safest exercise during pregnancy. Yes, swimming in a pool is much safer than swimming in lakes or seas. 

Can swimming cause miscarriage?

Swimming is good exercise. Women with a history of miscarriage should avoid swimming as chlorine might not suit the body at the time of pregnancy. It is always better to consult your doctor as she knows your condition much better than you do. 

What swimming stroke is best for pregnancy?

At the early stage of pregnancy, all stroke is suitable. But generally, in the last trimester backstroke is most suitable as it relieves you of back pains and body aches. 

Why is swimming the best exercise during pregnancy?

Swimming is a cardiovascular exercise that keeps your heart pumping, boosts blood circulation improves oxygen level, and also helps to strengthen muscle and loosen joints. So overall it is the best fit for the body. 

Should I avoid swimming in cold water?

Yes, it will become unsafe to swim in cold water because it can cause uterine contractions. The perfect temperature for the water is from 78°F to 84°F (25.5°C to 29°C).

Which is the ideal stroke for swimming during pregnancy?

Freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke are recommended during pregnancy. But it varies from person to person. Make sure you are comfortable while swimming. Whatever stroke feels comfortable for your body engage in that.

The Bottom Line

Pregnancy shouldn’t be hard on you. So, take good care of yourself and the body mostly. Swimming is a relaxation that your body needs after a hectic day. During the times of pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes, you start bloating up and gain weight absurdly. Therefore to balance yourself you can do some light exercises underwater or even yoga to keep yourself balanced. 

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