The great benefits of swimming during pregnancy05/25/2021 | Written by Nikos Kaskaras in Fitness & Nutrition Tips
The period of pregnancy is “sacred” for the life of a woman. Preparing to bring a child into the world is probably the most meaningful activity in the world. At the same time, a pregnant woman has new challenges to face through the constant physical and psychological shifts taking place. Let's see why swimming can provide great benefits for all women carrying a foetus.
Is swimming safe for pregnant women?
As far as pregnancy is healthy and there are no implications, swimming is safe for pregnant women. Keeping fit through the nine-month pregnancy period is strongly recommended by all doctors. The element of water makes the life of pregnant women easier. Buoyancy helps them carrying their extra weight easier and facilitates their movement in the water. A significant piece of advice though is that pregnant women should swim in a controlled swimming pool and not in open water. The medical community warns that open water swimming can increase the risk of gastrointestinal illnesses or stomach bugs, which can cause irritating symptoms. On the other hand, the swimming pools offer the benefit of regulating the temperature and quality of the water and make it the perfect location. In all cases, there is a universal law for all pregnant women: It's a prerequisite that doctors in charge, who have the full picture of their medical condition, have the final word.
Swimming offers relaxation to pregnant women
One of the greatest benefits of swimming is the amazing sense of relaxation it offers. Again, this is due to the water, which makes movement so easy and provides a feeling of weightlessness at the same time. Such benefits would feel like a privilege especially during the final months of pregnancy when the weight reaches its maximum level. The effortless body motion together with the increased elasticity and synchronicity of movements, transform the whole experience into a pleasure. While all people can appreciate the gifts of swimming and also get a similar sense of satisfaction, it's a different story for pregnant women, who don't enjoy the same fluidity in movement. Furthermore, they can enjoy swimming using numerous techniques and strokes, thus adding variety. Instead of a boring routine that takes place just to keep fit, swimming offers relaxation and stress relief.
Swimming enhances the cardiovascular system
This is a crucial positive impact that all pregnant women should consider: cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of pregnancy-related mortality in the United States. According to a medical journal by the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology “advancing maternal age and preexisting comorbid conditions have contributed to the increased rates of maternal mortality”.
This seems indeed a global issue, as more and more women become mothers at a more advanced age. The clear statement of the US doctors is that for this category, the health of the heart should be the top priority. And there's no better way to strengthen your heart than taking part in swimming sessions. In that case, there are two main advantages of swimming:
- It's a low impact exercise
- It's an aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercises are good for the heart. Exercising the heart results in pumping more blood to the body which results in lowering the risk of heart disease. In other words, swimming will produce the optimal results for the heart condition of the pregnant with the lowest required effort.
Swimming improves sleep for pregnant women
A night of healthy sleep is the basis of the overall well-being of people. This notion is especially true for pregnant women who carry within them another life. What is a cause for alarm is that sleeping problems are a general issue for a large part of the population of Australia. According to Sleep Health Foundation estimates, 7.4 million Australians “routinely missed out on adequate sleep in the 2016-2017 financial year. This lack of sleep had harmful effects on everyday function and exacerbated health conditions from heart disease and stroke through to diabetes and depression in tens of thousands of Australians.” If it was that bad four years ago, one could imagine how worse the situation would be during the pandemic period of the last couple of years. Pregnant women are, anyway, facing sleep problems because of their increased hormone levels and weight. Swimming is an excellent means of maintaining a healthy sleep pattern. All pregnant women need to make it one of their top priorities.
Swimming protects from overheating
Overheating during pregnancy could both cause discomfort and harm the foetus. Naturally, it is mainly during summertime when such incidents occur more frequently. The leading cause of overheating for pregnant women, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), is dehydration. Pregnant women need more water than the average person and APA suggests that they drink at least 8-12 glasses daily. Combining regular water drinking with frequent swimming can be the ultimate cure for pregnant women to deal with overheating. Apart from the wonderful sensation of cooling the body, swimming regulates the temperature of their bodies that is naturally high. This is due to the baby's metabolism that transforms the extra heat to its mother's body. Again, the sense of coolness that will surround the body of the pregnant, when she enters the swimming pool, would feel like paradise and produce an uplifting experience.