The simple answer is yes but with some precautions. Swimming is often encouraged by midwives in the UK.
Here are some of the benefits of swimming while pregnant
- Swimming is a great low impact aerobic exercise that takes the weight off the joints.
- It allows you to move freely in the water which is something you may struggle to do out of the water as your pregnancy advances.
- While you are in the water your blood pressure is likely to be lower
- Swimming is great for relaxation and exercise helps you sleep better at night
- Its low risk. With land based exercises you risk hurting yourself and baby if you fall. Once you are in the water you are supported so any slip is much less risk. Be careful before getting in though.
A few words of caution though.
- If you have never exercised before, start slowly, warm up and cool down gradually before getting out.
- Avoid any stroke that feels uncomfortable
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration as it can get hot in indoor swimming pools
- If in doubt, check with your GP
- Swimming is ok but scuba diving isn’t because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream)
So now that you have decided to go swimming, the next important question for a pregnant woman is:
What to wear when swimming?
In the first trimester of pregnancy you should be able to wear your existing swimsuits. However by the second trimester you will need to invest in a maternity swimsuit. Swimsuits like this Emma Jane Swimsuit available from www.bunnybumpkin.com have ruched sides to allow for body changes during pregnancy. There is also an elasticated bra shelf for comfort and support.
The swimsuit you buy in the second trimester should also see you through to the third.
Another option is a maternity tankini. The tankini has the advantage of not having to remove the whole swimsuit when you need to go to the toilet.
So what are you waiting for? Take the weight off your feet, cool yourself down and take a dip