Everyone knows that exercise during pregnancy is a must. When you’re aching and swollen in your third trimester, a little maternity aerobics is good for the soul! However, whether you’re swimming in lakes or just doing a few laps at the pool, it’s important to be aware of some critical safety guidelines. In this post, Sophia from Designs by PoolAid shares her ultimate guide to swimming during pregnancy precautions.
Let’s see what she has to say!
When you’re expecting, a lot of things that you may have incorporated into your daily routine might have to go. No more caffeine, for instance. Can you keep swimming even when you are pregnant? What are the risks involved and how do you ensure that you’ve taken the correct precautions when going for a swim?
Is Swimming Safe During Pregnancy?
Generally speaking, it is safe to swim during pregnancy, but there are still a few different considerations to take into account. For example, things like the temperature of the water and how heavily chlorinated the pool is can make a big impact. Safety should always be the priority and your baby should be considered before you partake in swimming.
You might think that it is time to get rid of swimming altogether if there is any risk to your baby, but actually, with such low risks and many possible benefits it is often a good idea to keep taking part. The benefits can be found below.
A lot of exercise that is high impact and can cause potential injuries should be removed from your routine if you are carrying a baby. Low-impact exercise like walking and swimming make the perfect forms of aerobic exercise while you are developing a baby.
Improving Circulation and Reducing Swelling
Swimming can boost your blood circulation. This aids your own health and the development of your child during pregnancy.
Improving your circulation can also help with swelling. Swimming is a great alternative to walking, as there is not so much pressure on your joints.
Exercise is great for your mood and for reducing the stresses that may come with pregnancy. Swimming triggers the release of endorphins in the brain, like other forms of exercise.Moreover, water can have soothing and calming effects on the body and mind.
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So, swimming while pregnant is certainly not off the table at all, but there are a few steps that you will need to consider before you dive in. Both mother and baby need to be kept safe throughout, and this means that the environment should be perfect.
Choose the Right Swimming Environment
The pool should be clean and well-maintained. There are hundreds of different waterborne diseases that can cause problems for mothers and for unborn babies. Just some of these diseases include Salmonella, Campylobacter, Legionella and Pseudomonas. This means that it is essential to make sure the pool is clean before you enter. It is hard to do this without new pools, so you may wish to swim in pools you know are clean and trusted. Many local authorities also have a way of rating pools for their hygiene and cleanliness.
You should also aim to avoid crowded pools, as these can increase the chances of a disease being passed on. It can also increase the chances of some form of accident taking place while you swim. A rowdy pool can mean a lot of swimmers and people playing games, which is not always a safe environment.
Limit Exposure to Chlorine
Can a pregnant woman swim in a chlorine pool?
There is a safe limit to chlorine (below five ppm), and you should not exceed it. One of the benefits of saltwater pools is the fact that they do not have chlorine or harmful chemicals in them. Some studies have linked high levels of chlorine with an increased risk of birth defects, so it is worth being safe in this scenario.
Considering water temperature is also crucial for expecting mothers. To be on the safe side, the temperature should not exceed 95F, and anything above 98F could be potentially dangerous. For the same reason, mothers who are expecting shouldn’t have baths that are too hot.
Use handrails and ladders for entering and exiting the pool
You should get in slowly while using the handrails and ladders for extra safety. It is easy to slip and injure yourself while getting in and out of the pool, especially as your body will be changing so rapidly during pregnancy.
Avoid Deep Dives and Jumps
There is really no need to take any risks while you are pregnant, and both deep dives and jumps in the pool are potential ways you could get hurt.Instead of deep dives and jumps, it will be better to focus on low-impact exercises in the water.
Wear Sun Protection and Hydrate Often
Of course, while you are swimming it is also important to ensure you don’t forget about some of the basics of taking care of yourself. If you are swimming in an outdoor pool and you are exposed to a lot of sunlight then it is crucial that you stay protected from the sun. Heatstroke can be an issue for those in direct sunlight for long periods, as well as sunburn which can require medical attention.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. If you spend a long time in the pool, you may forget to drink as there is not drinking water readily available, so make sure you leave some by the pool and get a partner or friend to pass it to you, or take regular breaks to hydrate. This is especially important in hot and sunny locations.
Talk to Your Doctor Beforehand
Before swimming, it is a good idea to get the approval of your doctor. Everybody is different, and some people may be more susceptible to potential issues that can come from swimming or spending time in a shared pool. When you have appointments with medical professionals, you can always check that your doctor is happy for you to spend some time in the pool.
Know Your Own Limitations
We all have our limits. If you aren’t a super strong swimmer at the best of times, you aren’t going to suddenly turn into an Olympian when you are pregnant. Instead, understand the limitations that you have, what are you able to do in the pool currently? Even a small amount of swimming can be good exercise.
As your pregnancy goes on and you approach the third trimester, you may also find things becoming harder in the pool. This means that the limitations will become even more difficult and crucial to pay attention to. It’s very important that you don’t try and overdo things with any form of exercise, and just because swimming in the pool puts less pressure on your joints doesn’t make it an exception.
To sum up, with all aspects of your life, when you are pregnant, safety needs to come first. You are, of course, protecting another life as well as your own.
It can also be more difficult to navigate things like getting in and out of pools. You may not be as agile as you were before, and carrying a baby can limit movement.
Conclusion: Swimming When Pregnant Should be Fun and Safe
With a few simple precautions and an awareness of the potential dangers, it is possible to incorporate swimming as a big part of your day-to-day routine and help you to stay active through the process of carrying your baby.
Veteran moms, what helpful tips made swimming easier during your pregnancy? Let us know below!