Swimming has already been proven to be one of the best forms of exercise. This is especially true for pregnant women. The buoyancy of the water helps to support the extra weight and prevents too much strain from being placed on bones and joints. If you swam as a regular part of your routine before you got pregnant, there is no reason to stop. If however, swimming is new to you, you should not just dive in. You should always warm up before swimming and spend time afterward stretching.
Swimming during Pregnancy
- First Trimester: During this term, you can swim between 20 to 30 minutes a session, every other day and see maximum benefits. The best time to swim is in the morning, especially if you suffer from nausea.
- Second Trimester: As you get bigger, you will not have to cut down on the exercise because swimming is such a low-impact workout. With regular exercise, this is the stage women start to slow down and often quit because of the additional size and weight. You may have to buy a maternity swimsuit, but the exercise does not have to stop. If gravity is becoming an issue, you can try swimming on your back. The same muscles get worked and there are less strain and discomfort to you.
- Third Trimester: As you reach your heaviest weight, exercise becomes too difficult, but not if you take up swimming. The buoyancy of the water supports you and is refreshing should your last trimester fall during the hot summer months. During this last stage, the breaststroke is the most comfortable and beneficial. It works your back and chest muscles which are the two muscle groups that get thrown out of alignment during pregnancy. As you get close to the end of the pregnancy, you should avoid the backstroke because of the position of the baby.
You should always talk to your doctor before starting a pool exercise routine during your pregnancy, but for the most part, it is harmless and very beneficial to you and the baby. There are a few warning signs to look out for and should you notice these, get out of the water and seek help.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or breathlessness
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of fluids
Swimming is an ideal workout for pregnancy because it works several large muscle groups at the same time and offers low-impact cardiovascular exercise. The best part is you feel completely weightless despite the additional pregnancy weight. You get a full body workout without the strain and aches or risk of injury. Swimming also helps to increase oxygen circulation, improved muscle tone and strength and builds your endurance. All of which will help during labor, delivery, and motherhood.