Swimming has long been an efficient method of exercise and recently was dubbed safe for pregnant women too. The additional weight gained during pregnancy can make it challenging to find ways to stay in shape and many exercises can be risky for the baby. The buoyancy of the water helps support the extra weight so no unnecessary strain is placed on the body, meaning that pregnant women can exercise safely. If you already swim regularly then you can continue to swim through your pregnancy. If you are new to the sport and trying it for the first time then you should start off slowly. Whether you are a pro or novice, warming up before swimming is a must and you should always spend adequate time stretching afterward. Throughout your pregnancy, there are a few key points to remember.

Is Swimming Safe While I am Pregnant?

First Trimester

During the first few months, you can safely swim between 20 to 30 minutes at a time. It is recommended to limit swimming every other day. If you suffer from severe morning sickness, then swimming during the morning is a great way to relieve this.

Second Trimester

Most women give up exercising at this stage because they get bigger which makes workouts harder. Swimming is a low-impact workout, so it can be done at all stages of pregnancy without risking your health or the baby. You should buy a maternity swimsuit to keep you comfortable but you can continue exercising at this stage.

Third Trimester

As you reach the final stages of pregnancy, and your heaviest weight, exercise gets more strenuous and harder to do. The buoyancy of the water supports you during swimming so it is the one exercise that is not strenuous. Being in the water is also refreshing especially if your last trimester falls during the summer heat. During this term, the breaststroke is the most comfortable and it effectively works your back and chest muscles. These muscles get most thrown out of alignment with pregnancy. You should avoid the backstroke this late in the pregnancy, as it may cause breathing problems or harm to the baby. You should consult your doctor first before embarking on a swimming program during pregnancy. For the most part, swimming is safe and a great way for pregnant women to stay healthy and in shape. The warning signs to watch for during your swim include:

  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Being out of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Loss of fluids
  • Contractions

Final thoughts

Swimming is a safe workout for pregnant women, so long as you take care and watch for warning signs. It works for several muscle groups at once and offers low-impact cardiovascular exercise. The best part is you never even feel the extra weight as the water helps support you. Swimming delivers a full-body workout without the strain or risk of injury. Swimming also helps to increase circulation, improve muscle strength and build endurance, all of which help get you in shape for labor and motherhood.


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