Pregnancy is a life-changing experience. It turns your whole life upside down and leaves you constantly asking yourself whether what you are doing is safe for the baby or not, and whether it can harm the baby in anyway. The health of the baby becomes your topmost priority and it is the only thing deciding the course of your life and making choices for you during pregnancy.
Exercising properly during pregnancy is essential for ensuring good health for both the baby and the mother. Swimming is a great exercise that can be practised during pregnancy. It helps to reduce the stress and keeps you strong and fit. And apart from the common myth that the chlorinated water can harm the baby, swimming is completely safe for pregnant women.
Benefits of Swimming
1. Swimming, apart from keeping you fit and stress-free, also helps to improve the blood circulation.
2. It burns the extra calories and keeps your body active and energized.
3. In the first trimester, 20 minutes to swimming is recommended.
4. It provides relief from nausea and morning sickness which is a common complaint among pregnant women. It may also help in promoting good sleep.
5. As an exercise, swimming tones muscles and builds strength and endurance.
6. It reduces ankle and foot swelling
7. Swimming also prevents you from getting a heat stroke, especially during summers.
1. Step or slip in the pool carefully. Tread with extra caution as a baby belly can change your centre of gravity.
2. Check for water safety. Make sure the body of water you are going to swim in is not contaminated, to prevent the water-borne illnesses and ensure safety. Try to swim only in the well-chlorinated pool. Although a public beach is fine to swim in, be careful about smaller water bodies.
3. Drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated. You sweat when you swim and your body cannot afford dehydration.
4. Do not hold your breath for long intervals as your baby needs oxygen. Keep your breath steady and continuous while swimming.
5. Start with small swimming sessions and gradually move on to longer sessions.
6. Swim in a stroke that you find comfortable and avoid swimming in uncomfortable positions.
7. Swim in a good maternity suit that fits you well.
8. In the third trimester, breaststroke maybe the most effective stroke.
If you go for swimming, please keep the above precautions in mind to ensure a healthy, safe and productive swimming session during the period of pregnancy. However, if you have concerns or doubts and if you are not sure whether it is good for you, you can always consult your doctor about the same, so that you can rule out any possible problems. Swim only as long as you feel comfortable. The moment you feel tired, come out of the water. Always remember that you exercise to keep yourself fit and try not to push any limit so that the baby’s health is away from any danger.