Pregnancy is a time when you will have many restrictions on what you do. Every person in the household or near and dear keep on telling of what to eat, and what not to eat, what type of exercises to do, and which exercises to avoid during pregnancy. One such activity where the restrictions arise is swimming. Many people oppose pregnant ladies to do swimming. While it is quite safe to swim during pregnancy, excess swimming can cause danger to the mother to be and the unborn baby present in the womb. Swimming is considered one of the best exercises to perform during pregnancy because it eases many pains such as leg pains, cramps that are common during pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Swim During Pregnancy:

American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, in their research state, that doing regular exercise during pregnancy is good for the health of the pregnant lady and the mother, swimming is considered as one of the best activities during pregnancy. They also stated that swimming is entirely safe during pregnancy as long as you do it in a healthy environment and for a specified time. Make sure that you don’t do water sports like water skiing, scuba diving, and regular diving.

How to Swim While Pregnant:

If you are a beginner or a newbie to swimming, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor before starting this exercise. Initially, start slowly and listen to your body. Don’t strain too much as you may end up restless and cause you fatigue, which is harmful to your health and also to the baby. Perform only regular freestyle swimming, don’t try new swimming techniques.

See More: Different Types of Swimming Styles

Health Benefits Of Swimming During Pregnancy:

Doctors suggest doing regular exercise during pregnancy. All other exercises like walking, running, gymming may end you up restless throughout the day. Swimming is one such exercise where you will enjoy the exercise, besides it has some health benefits during pregnancy.

1.  Morning sickness is one of the common issues faced by pregnant women. Swimming can ease morning sickness, and the cold water provides some good relief from vomiting and nausea.
2. During pregnancy, the bodyweight increases than usual, you feel pain in the joints and bones. Swimming is a low impact form of workout. The pregnant woman surrounded by water will help in elevating some pressure on the body from the extra weight.
3. Many pregnant women complain about the difficulty in sleeping during the night. Performing aerobic exercises will give you better sleep during the nights, swimming or spending some time in the pool will help you.
4. Swimming is said to relieve ankle and foot swelling during pregnancy. Spending some time in water helps push fluids from the tissues back to the veins. Also, swimming helps in the continuous flow of blood throughout the body.
5. The mood swings during pregnancy are difficult to predict. Sometimes you feel very anxious, or depressed, or irritating. Spending some time in the pool can ease your mood and keep you fresh without any tensions.

What to Wear in Swimming While Pregnant:

The general outfit for swimming will usually be tight. But, the same outfit cannot be continued if you are pregnant. As your bump increases, the gear you choose should be comfortable for you and the baby present inside you. Many outlets offer you maternity swimsuits for pregnant women also. Two-piece swimwear will be perfectly suitable for you when you are pregnant.

Swimming Workouts for Pregnant Women:

Swimming at the beginning may be scary or intimidating, but once you excel in it or gets habituated to it, you will definitely enjoy it, and you will feel relaxed the whole day. These are the things that are important for a pregnant woman. Some of the basic workouts are

For Beginners:

If you know how to swim and have exercised once in a blue moon, you should be very cautious when pregnant. Most of the pools have special aerobic classes for beginners and, most importantly, for pregnant women. Follow your instructor carefully and make sure not to perform beyond 30 minutes for 3 to 4 days a week. Don’t forget to maintain a slow to a moderate pace that will not leave you breathless. Some of the strokes that you can practice are

  • Stroke and crawl: A freestyle swimming is the best and safer one to perform during pregnancy.
  • Double backstroke: Backstroke swimming can help you ease your back pain. Swim backward with each arm stroking alternatively.
  • Frog kicks: Grab a floating board and rest your hands on it and push your body forward by kicking the legs just like a frog.
  • Sprint and slow: Swim fastly one lap and then swim back slowly at a recovery pace that can help you catch your breath.

For Intermediate and Advanced Swimmers:

Before pregnancy, if you had the habit of swimming on your own once or twice a week and if your medical consultant gives you the green light, it’s absolutely safe to continue to participate in your regular swimming as your baby bump grows. Just remember one thing to avoid breathlessness; it is a danger sign that your baby is running out of breath.

You can try these workouts using your favourite swim strokes or alternating between different ones:

  1. Four sets of 100 yards (4 laps) at a moderate pace, with 10 to 20 seconds rest between each set. Stretch and rest for one minute when you’re done finishing lap.
  2. Six sets of 50 yards (2 laps), focusing on your form. Rest 30 to 40 seconds between each set. Rest for 2 minutes when you’re done finishing the lap.
  3. Ten sets of 100 yards (4 laps), focusing on the speed with an effort that’s about a seven on a scale of 1 to 10. Rest 20 to 40 seconds between each set. Rest for 2 minutes when you’re done finishing the lap.
  4. Grab a floating board and do four laps, just kicking.
  5. Ditch the floating board and swim four more laps at a relaxed pace to cool down.

See More: Importance of Exercise During Pregnancy

Tips for Pregnant Ladies During Swimming:

Performing any one of the exercises helps for a healthy delivery. If you choose to do swimming during pregnancy here are some of the tips that you need to follow.

  • During the first trimester swim for at least 30 minutes, three days a week to ease from morning sickness, nausea, and vomitings.
  • The second trimester is generally referred to as the honeymoon stage as you will overcome the morning sickness. During this stage, you will be tempted to do more exercising, but limit your visits to the pool and also the duration you spend in the pool. Do not overdo, as this may exhaust you.
  • In the final trimester, even though you have a big bump, you can go for swimming to boost your mood. But, spend relatively less time in the pool than that of the previous trimesters.

Precautions for Pregnant Women During Swimming:

Performing any one of the exercises helps for a healthy delivery. If you choose to do swimming during pregnancy here are some of the tips that you need to follow.

  1. All the swimming pools present are usually slippery. Observe your step so that you don’t fall and injure yourselves.
  2. Find comfortable swimwear. Tight clothes can exert pressure on the bump along with the water pressure. This may harm your baby inside.
  3. It is said that 30 minutes of swimming is equal to 2 hours of walking. You may get dehydrated while swimming. Hence drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  4. Make sure that there is always someone around you while swimming. It is better to have a friend or closed ones who is good at swimming.

When to Stop Swimming:

Though swimming is good for health, everything has its limitations. Overdoing swimming can cause fatigue, breathlessness in the pregnant woman. Ultimately, you, as a pregnant woman is the best judge of when to stop. If you feel any unusual pains in the joints, ankle, or feel fatigued and breathlessness, or if you have vaginal bleeding, stop swimming immediately and contact your doctor.

See More: What Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

Lastly, it can be said that swimming throughout your pregnancy is quite safe and healthy. Swimming not only gives you some pregnancy relief from joint pains, but it also offers you sound sleep, improved fitness, and a calm mind during pregnancy. If you want to swim during pregnancy, follow the tips mentioned above and take necessary precautions. Make sure that you consult your doctor before planning for swimming during pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

Q1. Can pregnant women swim in chlorine water?

Ans: Some studies said that swimming in chlorine water had no effects on the health of the mother and the baby. If you are swimming in a pool that has chlorine content, make sure you don’t consume the water accidentally and have a bath after swimming.

Q2. Is it safe to swim in a river or beach during pregnancy?

Ans: Swimming in a river or beach is considered to be unsafe because of the uncontrolled flow of water. The streams may have some stones or pebbles that may harm your body, or the impact may lead to serious health complications.

Q3. Is swimming bad for pregnancy?

Ans: Swimming not at all bad for pregnancy. It is quite safe and has numerous health benefits, as mentioned in this article.

Q4. Can I learn Swimming during pregnancy?

Ans: Yes, you can learn swimming during pregnancy. Learning amateur swimming takes not more than seven days. Swimming during pregnancy is quite beneficial for the health of the pregnant woman and the baby inside.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are just suggestions, and the website is no way responsible for the side effects it may cause. It is better to consult a doctor before you plan anything, especially when you are pregnant.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.