Tips for swimming during pregnancy

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Swimming is one of the complete sports that exist: it is a low-impact aerobic training that improves the strength and endurance of all the muscles of the body, and that helps those who practice it to maintain a stable weight and a correct cardiovascular and respiratory system functioning, among many other benefits.

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But if we combine the advantages of swimming with the care that our body requires during pregnancy, the equation is perfect for several reasons:

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  • The buoyancy of water cushions pregnant women’s body weight, resulting in greater freedom of movement.
  • Water prevents sudden movements and minimizes the risk of injury.
  • The areas of the body overloaded by the pregnant woman’s weight are relaxed.
  • We relieve lumbar pain and strengthen the joints.

However, even if you enjoy pregnancy without complications, it is convenient that you take into account specific tips to practice this sport safely and healthily.

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What to do before you start swimming

There are indications that, although they are extended to anyone, they are essential for pregnant women:

  • It would help showered before entering the pool or bathing in the sea to avoid sudden temperature changes. When you get out-of the water, you should pour again with body wash to remove any microorganisms or other chemicals from the pool.
  • Try to remove your wet swimsuit and replace it with a dry garment as soon as possible.
  • Wear non-slip rubber shoes up to the very edge of the pool.
  • Use a dry towel for sitting on it at the edge of the pool if you are going to do any warm-up.
  • Avoid prolonged dives. Apneas prevent blood from oxygenating properly.

What is the most suitable style for swimming

Of the four most common styles of swimming, only one is discouraged for pregnant women: the butterfly style. It is a demanding swimming posture that requires a remarkable effort with the upper body, especially with the lumbar area and neck, and great body and respiratory coordination. In addition, each stroke is accompanied by a blow of the torso against the water very inappropriate for pregnancy. The rest of the styles, however, have their advantages:

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  • Carol. It is the most complete because it activates arms and legsrelieves the tensions of the lumbar area and favors coordinated breathing, and improves the cardiovascular system.
  • Back. It is the most straightforward style since it allows to dose the effort. It is especially suitable for people who are not used to practicing this sport.
  • Breaststroke. Its extraordinary incidence in specific body areas such as the buttocks, abductors, and perineum makes this style especially suitable for the last weeks of gestation. The only drawback it has is that every time you take your head out of the water to take in the air, you have to make a small effort, which can be avoided by using a mask with a breathing tube.

There is no adequate time for pregnant women to practice swimming, but doing it for 20 or 30 minutes allows you to get all the benefits of this sport without risk. If you feel fatigued or need to relax, make short stops between each set floating on your back or with a foam rubber churro under your knees.

Contraindications

Despite the apparent benefits of this sport, there are situations in which its practice is discouraged for pregnant women:

  • Risk of preterm birth.
  • Placenta previa.
  • Dilation of the cervix.
  • Vascular problems.