5 Tips to Enjoying a Swim at the Pool During Pregnancy
One of the difficulties of being pregnant is the conflict between the need to exercise and finding something that is safe and easy to do. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are many benefits of swimming during pregnancy. For example, swimming will reduce backaches, increase energy and improve sleep quality. Swimming during pregnancy also has excellent health benefits. For example, swimming increases blood circulation and improves the cardiovascular system. Here are five tips to hitting the pool during your pregnancy.
Pay Attention to your Body
As with all exercises, pay attention to how your body responds to physical activities and exercise. If you experience any pain, weakness, headache, dizziness or shortness of breath, stop immediately and consult with your doctor. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Drink at least 8 ounces of water before swimming and double that amount after you are done. If you rarely exercise, consider starting slow and adding five to ten minutes each time. Never dive and keep your heart rate below 140 bpm. Be aware that during the first and second trimesters, no special care is needed. However, during the third trimester, take special care not to strain yourself.
Be Aware of the Environment
There are always risks with swimming. For example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends being aware of water quality. Bodily fluids and urine can easily find their way into public pools. Make sure that any children are regularly taken out of the swimming pool every hour to use the restroom and be sure to often check baby diapers. Water contaminated with germs or chemicals can cause Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs). These can result in diarrhea or infection. If needed, consider using pool test strips, available from most stores, which can test the chlorine and pH levels. Chlorine should be 1 to 3 mg/L and pH should be 7.2 to 7.8. Learn more healthy swimming tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) here: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming.
Know the Risks
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, but there are also risks. The stress of dealing with a swimming accident is something that pregnant women do not need. Be sure that children are always supervised and monitored to reduce horseplay. Pregnant women should avoid swimming in congested areas where others are swimming or diving. Be sure to keep lifesaving equipment close by. Avoid swimming during very hot weather and always use sunscreen.
Consult your Physician
If you have any medical conditions or have a high risk pregnancy, always first consult with a Maternal-Fetal Specialist, like Dr. Gilbert Webb, before swimming. A specialist can help you determine how to keep you and your baby safe while you are swimming. Learn more tips about how to safely swim when pregnant at http://www.babycenter.com/0_great-pregnancy-exercise-swimming_7822.bc.
Pregnant women should take advantage of the fact that swimming is one of the safest exercises for them by improving their swimming skills. You may not have another time in your life when you can have such an excellent excuse to focus on swimming. If possible, ask for improvement tips from an experienced swimmer or even take swimming lessons. Unless you live near a pool, it can be difficult to round up the family for an organized swim trip. Instead, focus on yourself and set the expectation that swimming is your personal time to relax and exercise. This is especially important because pregnancy is a stressful time and swimming is your chance to unwind by yourself.
In conclusion, swimming offers excellent benefits for pregnant women. Remember to be aware of your body, the pool environment and the related risks of swimming. Always consult with your physician and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.