It is well known that one of the best sports during pregnancy is swimming. Exercise provides many benefits, including the work of major muscle groups, protecting joints and ligaments, and is characterized by low impact activity. Interaction with water has a beneficial effect on the body of the expectant mother and allows you to begin timely preparation for childbirth. During swimming exercise, a woman’s muscles are toned, and the body is in a relaxed state.
Medical specialists believe that swimming during pregnancy is one of the most gentle ways of physical activity, which is important for the body of the future mother. Exercises in water distribute load on the body evenly, almost all muscle groups are involved. The intensity of exercise depends on individual capabilities and may include swims of short distances or sets of training exercises.
Benefits of swimming for pregnant women
Visiting the pool for pregnant women has undoubtedly positive effects on:
- The respiratory organs, as diving and swimming exercises allow you to prepare for proper breathing in childbirth;
- The spine, because being in the water relieves strain on the spine and allows you to relieve or avoid back pain;
- Cardiovascular system, which improves blood circulation, stabilizes blood pressure, increases the elasticity of heart muscle and blood vessels, solves the problem of hypertension and varicose veins.
In addition, the movement in the water removes excess fluid from the body, relieving swelling.
In addition, water exercise allows you to burn more calories than normal exercise, without the risk of strain helps to get rid of excess weight, strengthens the immune system. Swimming for pregnant women is useful in reducing anxiety, improving sleep, mood and appetite.
Nuances of swimming in the 1st trimester
It would seem that in the first trimester the appearance of a woman has not yet undergone serious changes and nobody, except for her, can even guess about the “interesting” situation. And that means that nothing has changed visually in order to visit the swimming pool even in your favorite outdoor swimsuit, if before such exercises were regular physical activity. However, the internal restructuring of the body has already begun, and doctors do not recommend that you go swimming in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
These restrictions are connected with the fact that the mucous plug preventing the penetration of pathogenic germs into the cervix is only just beginning to form. At this stage of pregnancy the risk of exposing the fetus to pathogens of infectious diseases is the highest. That is why swimming during pregnancy should be postponed until the “golden period” of pregnancy – the 2nd trimester.
Swimming in the 2nd trimester
This period for water procedures – is the most favorable time. The 2nd trimester of pregnancy is characterized by the absence of toxicosis, small weight gain, good health. In the middle of carrying the baby nothing prevents you from going to the pool for aqua aerobics for pregnant women or, if there is a possibility, regularly going to the beach by the sea or on the river.
If it is decided to go on vacation and even to go to another city for this purpose, in the second trimester there are no contraindications for flights and train travel yet. But before booking a trip to the swimming pool, going to the sea or deciding to swim regularly in the river, it is advisable to consult a gynecologist, who is in charge of the pregnancy. Having a complete picture of the expectant mother’s health, the doctor will be able to decide whether this woman should go swimming during pregnancy.
Swimming in the 3rd trimester: peculiarities
Exercise swimming for pregnant women in the absence of contraindications is also acceptable in the third trimester. However, the “golden time” of pregnancy is over, and the approaching delivery dictates new changes in the body, and with them some restrictions. This includes water activities. As in the 1st trimester, they are related to the necessity to minimize the risk of infections of the fetus in open reservoirs and in the pool.
This risk is caused by the fact that the mucous plug, which is designed to prevent the penetration of pathogenic microbes into the cervix, is already starting to peel off, reopening the canal and repeatedly increasing the risk of bacterial infection of the future child. Specialists advise in the 3rd trimester, in the absence of contraindications, to continue exercising up to week 36, as plugs usually move away a month before delivery.
Recommendations of Doctors
Tips of specialists regarding swimming during pregnancy contain recommendations regarding the choice of health complex, the duration of training and other nuances. Doctors recommend paying attention to
- How far away from home the sports and recreation complex is located – the closer it is, the better;
- what methods of water purification are used – the priority should be given to facilities with ultrasound, ozone units, high-frequency electromagnetic pulses, the ideal solution – filling with sea water, but the cost is worth considering;
- whether there is easy access to the water – are there handrails, gentle descent;
- What is the temperature regime – comfortable for pregnant women is a temperature of 28 to 31 degrees.
In addition to compliance with the frequency of classes swimming for pregnant women 3-4 times a week, starting with 20 minutes, gradually increasing the time to 45 minutes.
What styles of swimming are suitable?
An important consideration when practicing swimming when pregnant is to choose the style in which it is best to swim future mother. There are many special exercises that you can do when you visit a health club, but experts advise swimming breaststroke and crawl. The first style is an excellent way to train the muscles of the perineum, an opportunity to increase its elasticity, strengthening leg muscles.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that it is not recommended to swim long and actively on the back. This is due to the possible pressure of the fetus on the inferior vena cava, which can cause dizziness. The safest during pregnancy is the crawl. This style is characterized by slow, unhurried movements, free breathing. Compliance with the maximum distance of 200 meters, rest at the edges can minimize the load. To insure, you can and should use the boards.
Even if you really want to do swimming while carrying a baby, you should refuse these activities, if a woman is acute toxicosis, diagnosed infectious, dermatological, blood diseases, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, chronic appendicitis, bleeding. But even if there is nothing of the kind, pregnant women should not slacken control over their well-being, because there is a risk:
- falling on a slippery floor in uncomfortable shoes;
- Having an allergic reaction to chlorine;
- overexertion in aqua aerobics;
- Infection with fungal infections.
Understanding the benefits of swimming for pregnant women, it is necessary to approach these activities in moderation, without fanaticism. It is important that the process is under the control of a specialist of the health center, and the state of health – under the vigilant attention of the gynecologist, who supervises the pregnancy.