It used to be that swimming during pregnancy was frowned upon, when in fact we now know that swimming is one of the best exercises during pregnancy. There are a number of different reasons why swimming during pregnancy is a great idea –
- Swimming is a complete exercise that exercises the whole body, keeping it healthy during pregnancy and helps to prepare for the event of child birth as well.
- It is low impact exercise since the water forms a soft and protective cocoon around the pregnant woman’s body. There is no jarring that can come from jogging or similar high impact exercise and also the chances of injury are reduced. There is no strain on the joints and muscles because of this.
- It can be easy to do, since the body becomes weightless in the water and pregnant women find that the extra weight they carry becomes inconsequential when swimming. Pregnant women are comfortable and light in the water.
- It can keep you cool while exercising. While other physically strenuous activities can cause overheating, swimming will help keep the body temperature safely low.
So what are best strokes to do when swimming during pregnancy?
Generally, breast stroke and free style (crawl) may be the best bet. Butterfly is anyway a difficult stokes and pregnant women may find it too difficult or strenuous to manage during this time so it is best avoided.
Also the back stroke is not a good idea during pregnancy, because women pregnant women are advised not to lie on their backs after a point during their pregnancy. Due to the pressure that the baby may put on major blood vessels, the back stroke is best avoided as well.
What about the chlorine in the pool?
Many women could be worried about the chlorine in the pool when it comes to swimming during pregnancy, and how it could harm the baby. However the general rule of thumb is that normal levels of chlorine in the water are fine, and will not cause harm so long as the mother doesn’t drink any of the water.
What precautions should be taken when swimming during pregnancy?
It may be a good idea to stick to clean water to swim in, such as pools that have filtration and chlorine to keep the water clean. Swimming in lakes, rivers and streams could expose the mother and baby to certain bacterial and other infections so this is best avoided.
How long can one continue to swim during pregnancy?
It is safe to keep swimming throughout your pregnancy, generally speaking, unless there is a medical contraindication to this. If the doctor or care giver has advised against activities such as swimming at any stage of the pregnancy, it should be avoided; otherwise it is safe to continue.
It should also be kept in mind that as the belly grows larger balance can become a problem and chances of falling or slipping on the pool side etc tend to increase.
Also after the water breaks and the mucus plug is dislodged, swimming during pregnancy should be avoided to prevent possible infection.