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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Weight Gain, Diet & Exercise > Swimming during Pregnancy

Swimming during Pregnancy

Swimming is one of the best and safest exercises for your arms, legs, heart and lungs. It makes you feel lighter even after the weight gain. Although, it is safe to swim during pregnancy, it is recommended to consult your physician, especially if you have some complications. It is also very important to make sure that the swimming pools are clean and hygienic to prevent any kind of infection during pregnancy.

Benefits of Swimming

  • Eases back and other sore pains, including large muscle groups, such as hands and legs
  • Good cardiovascular exercise for your heart and lungs
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Strengthens your muscles to carry increased weight
  • Pool water protects you from overheating
  • Gets you proper sleep
  • Prepares you for labour and birth

When to Avoid Swimming

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) advises you not to swim or exercise if you have any complications (such as premature dilation, constant bleeding, preterm labour, ruptured membranes, and preeclampsia) in your pregnancy or if you are carrying twins (as it increases the risk of preterm labour). You should also avoid if you have any heart or lung problem.

You should immediately stop swimming if you experience fatigue, dizziness, pain in head or chest, difficulty in breathing, swelling, bleeding, contractions, or decreased foetal movement.

Safe Practice of Swimming during Pregnancy

Swimming is a good exercise, but you should consider the safety guidelines before you go for it.

Start slow

You can swim regardless of your swimming ability, that is whether you are an experienced swimmer or new to swimming. In both cases, you should start slowly and gradually increase to 30 minutes long swim. You should not overexert yourself.

Stay Hydrated

Doctor from Michigan State University recommends drinking water before you start swimming, some every 20 minutes of exercise and some after you come out of the pool. You would need more depending upon the weather.

Clean and Safe Pool

You should swim in a clean pool, or else it carries the risk of getting an infection. However, do not swim in pools which have high levels of disinfectant or chorine in it.

Choose a Comfortable Stroke

Choose a swimming style in which you are comfortable. You should keep switching from front stroke to floating on your back to get a good exercise. Do not dive into the pool.

Comfortable Swimsuit

Get yourself a swimsuit which is comfortable for your growing stomach. Choose it depending upon your body shape and size, which gives proper support you need.

Safety Tips for All Three Trimesters of Pregnancy

First Trimester

As per your ability and energy, you can swim for at least 30 minutes for about 3-4 days in a week. Starting your day with swimming can reduce nausea and boost up the energy level.

Second Trimester

You can continue with your swimming but follow your energy level to swim till the time you feel comfortable. You can change from front stroking to back stroking. It will have no affect on the flow of blood as compared to exercising in the same position on a hard ground.

Third Trimester

During this trimester, the body changes its shape due to increasing weight. Breaststroke is beneficial as it stretches the chest muscles and reduces the stress on back muscles. Experts suggest using snorkel to relieve pressure on your neck while you move up and down.

Swimming is considered to be safe during all the three trimesters of pregnancy. However, you need to take necessary precautions, such as start slowly and then increase your swim time, be well hydrated before going in for a swim and choose a comfortable style. If you feel any discomfort, pain or bleeding while swimming, stop immediately and consult your physician.

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