Active Pregnancy
Swimming for Pregnant Moms


Swimming does much more than cool you down. Spending time in the water has a lot of other benefits that make this activity highly recommended for pregnant women. Plus, it’s one of the few physical activities that almost anybody can do, regardless of your fitness level or swimming skills. Start with easy swimming for 20 minutes a day, three to four times a week or some water aerobics if you’re not into doing laps.

Swimming has numerous benefits:

  • It’s a great cardiovascular workout and moves the majority of your muscle groups.
  • The floating feeling relieves pressure and stress from tired aching bones and joints.
  • It helps promote better sleep and rest.
  • It promotes movement without any sort of weight-related joint stress or threat of injury.
  • It provides resistance and aids posture as you exercise.
  • It helps decrease over-all blood pressure. Simply standing in shoulder-deep water helps due to increased circulation and relief from swelling.
  • It’s good for maintaining AF (amniotic fluid) levels.
  • It can help turn breech babies.

For a good, safe workout, here are a few things to remember:

  • Check with your health care provider and get his thumbs up before engaging in any fitness regimen and program.
  • Swim in a chemical-free pool whenever possible to avoid chemical ingestion; avoid public swimming pools.
  • Check out the sanitary and safety features of the swimming facility, shower rooms, and surrounding areas.
  • Inquire about the nearest medical clinic in the facility.
  • Stop when you experience any discomfort or pain.

In the water:

  • Watch your strokes. The front crawl is a good, safe stroke for a high intensity workout that won’t put undue pressure on your pregnant body. You can use a snorkel with breast stroke arms and front crawl legs as a good resting stroke for intervals.
  • Some techniques are not recommended after a certain period. The breast stroke creates an over extension of the arch in your lower back that may not be good for pregnancy back pain. Breast stroke legs can also over-stretch softened joints and ligaments which can lead to more injury, pain, and disorders. Meanwhile, the back stroke after the 16th week can be uncomfortable as the weight of the uterus puts pressure on the vena cava.
  • Do not eat anything two hours prior to swimming to avoid acid indigestion and gastric reflux. Just have a light snack.
  • Always shower and wash your hair thoroughly after leaving the pool to reduce uptake of chemicals into your bloodstream.

Photo credits:

Philippine Association for Childbirth Education

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