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Tips for swimming whilst pregnant

Tips for swimming whilst pregnant

Swimming for two

Ok so you feel fat and whale like and nothing is going to induce you to wear a swimsuit? Well think again. Swimming for two is a wonderful way to keep active in pregnancy. If you join a special Aquanatal class you will see all sorts of shapes and sizes and not a man in sight, so get yourself and your bump a well fitting and supportive swimming costume and get down to the pool.

There are many reasons why you will have been advised by your Midwife or Doctor to take up swimming but they may not have fully explained why.

Here are some of the many health benefits below:

Fitness

Swimming is an important addition to your pregnancy fitness plans. Yes, I did say fitness. Being pregnant isn’t an excuse to not start exercising, or stop exercising. The American, Canadian and British Board of obstetricians and gynecologists all recommend exercising during all three trimesters. Their Studies have shown a great deal of medical reasons why you should make swimming a part of your routine.

  • You are more likely to have a shorter labour than mothers who have been inactive in pregnancy
  • Can help to prevent the onset of maternal diabetes.
  • Can help to prevent against getting depressed in pregnancy as the body releases natural adrenalin and endorphins.
  • It will keep your muscles toned and supple which will help you get back into shape faster after you have given birth
  • Can help you to maintain your pelvic floor to prevent incontinence after birth.

 

Other Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is one of the safest exercises during pregnancy as it puts little pressure on the body, so the benefits are far greater than with other types of workouts.

  • You cannot get overheated in water
  • Blood pressure is reduced in water and so will not climb during exercise.
  • The buoyancy of the water protects your joints and ligaments from over stretching so you are less likely to get pulled muscles or damaged joints.
  • The resistance of the water gives a great whole body workout without you getting out of breath or over tired.
  • Swimming helps to improve circulation, so important for swollen fingers and feet.
  • Your bump becomes supported by the water, making you feel almost weightless. This is so important later in pregnancy to relieve an aching back and legs.
  • May help to relieve the symptoms of Restless leg syndrome, by exercising and flexing the calf muscles that can become achy and twitchy especially after long periods of inactivity.
  • If you join a class you have the added benefit of a wider social network. Being pregnant can isolate you from your normal friends especially if they don’t have babies. So it’s a chance to make some new friends.

 

When you shouldn’t swim

There are some conditions that mean you shouldn’t swim, if you have any of these or symptoms that worry you, talk to your midwife or Doctor before swimming.

  • PIH (Pregnancy induced Hypertension) this means very high blood pressure, not a bit higher than normal. Always check if you are unsure.
  • If you have had a history of 3 or more miscarriages
  • If you have Pre-Eclampsia
  • Cardiac Disease
  • If you have had a previous premature labour
  • Unexplained Vaginal bleeding

You should also check with your Midwife or Doctor if you have any of the following, it doesn’t mean you can’t swim but it may mean you have to take special care or indeed stop before your third trimester.

  • Extreme obesity
  • Raised blood pressure prior to pregnancy
  • Anaemia
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Carrying twins or triplets
  • Regular palpitations

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