Should You Swim While Pregnant?

Posted by Ruby Gray on June 09, 2015

Swimming is one of the best exercises to do when you are pregnant. You can swim throughout your entire pregnancy without doing any harm to yourself or your baby. As with any exercise you participate in during your pregnancy, you will need to ask your doctor or midwife before starting. Those with high-risk or complex issues may need special guidelines or instructions.

There is quite the debate about the chlorine in pool water. There is no conclusive study that shows any ill effects to you or your baby. As long as the chlorine content, presence of bacteria, and chemical concentration of the pool is watched closely, you'll be fine. It is advised that you don't use a hot tub or sauna as they are kept at too high of a temperature.

There are many benefits to choosing to swim while pregnant. Taking into account the buoyancy of water, you'll feel weightless and get a break from carrying all the extra weight of the baby.

Your feet and ankles will thank you, in light of the fact that the low-impact aspect of swimming  is better for them than doing land exercise because they won't have those extra pounds slamming down on them. Swimming is a good cardiovascular workout that helps increase endurance, improves blood circulation, and strengthens and tones muscles.

Pregnancy pushes your shoulders and spine forward, sometimes causing your pelvis to tilt slightly out of line. Swimming strengthens the muscles that hold them where they should be, causing less back pain.

You burn calories in a relaxing way and that will probably allow you to sleep better. Many women say that a quick dip in the pool the first thing in the morning eased their nausea and halted morning sickness.

Go ahead and splurge on a nice maternity suit so you'll be comfortable. Start out with gentle stretching before you enter the pool, then warm up by walking around the edge. About 30 minutes swimming and splashing in the pool should give you a good workout.

Try to get your heart-rate up to 120 - 140, but be careful not to overdo. You should be able to hold a conversation without being winded. Never dive into the pool which could put too much pressure on your belly. Remember to apply sunscreen and stay hydrated.

Check to see if your pool offers a prenatal swim class where you can get proper instruction, feel secure that someone is watching out for you, and interact with other soon-to-be Moms that have just as much trouble getting back out of the pool as you.