It's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout your pregnancy, and most forms of light exercise will assist in easing up aches and pains as well as your breathing, helping you to utilise oxygen more efficiently. Swimming is a fantastic low impact exercise, making it perfect for light activity throughout pregnancy. By exercising in the pool, the water will help to support your joints and ligaments, as well as counteract any increased muscle strain from your growing bump. We've put together some top tips to ensure you get the most out of swimming during pregnancy.
If you have the time and energy, you should try to swim on a daily basis during the first three months of pregnancy. By swimming for up to 30 minutes as regularly as possible you can add a huge boost to your mood and health during this time. In the early stages of pregnancy, you should still feel comfortable swimming your regular stroke or carrying on with your usual training regime, but ensure that you don’t overexert yourself and that you take to a more relaxed pace.
As swimming is not strenuous, as an expectant mum, you can continue to swim throughout your pregnancy. It's a great way to reduce nausea and feel energised. The buoyancy provided by the water will help to ease muscles and reduce aches and pains caused by the additional weight of your bump. Backstroke may become the most comfortable stroke for you at this stage, but you should always stick with the stroke that makes you feel the most comfortable and confident in the water. You will find our video on improving your backstroke technique here.
As you reach your third trimester, you may be left with pains in your back and chest. It is important to focus on regular breathing and maintaining a comfortable stroke at this stage, breaststroke will therefore be the most beneficial and supportive stroke. If you have concerns with breathing, it may be worth incorporating a snorkel into your swimming kit so that you can focus on your stroke and enjoy your time in the water.
If you didn't swim or exercise regularly prior to your pregnancy, then you will need to ease your way into a swimming routine. As swimming is such a low impact exercise, you should be fine to go ahead and get in the pool, but we recommend checking with your GP or health visitor first. You should always warm up and cool down, ensuring you don’t push yourself and that you know when your body has had enough.
Swimming during your pregnancy also improves circulation, increases muscle tone and strength and builds endurance, perfect for maintaining the strength needed when carrying an extra load! If you swim, you are also working towards keeping your weight within a healthy range, which can be pretty tricky when dealing with pregnancy cravings. Swimming has been known to reduce fatigue, burn calories, improve sleep and help with the mental challenges faced by pregnant women, some expectant mums have found a morning swim can even relieve morning sickness.
All-in-all, swimming offers an abundance of benefits for pregnant women, whether it's strengthening muscles, relaxing the mind or simply maintaining a healthy weight.
You can ensure you've got the best kit to support you throughout your pregnancy swims with our range of maternity swimwear, designed to offer an exceptional, soft fit. Our maternity swimsuits will grow with you and your bump and feature a variety of features such as bust supports and adjustable straps so you can enjoy the water in comfort. Once your baby arrives, we also have a fantastic range of hints and tips for introducing your baby to swimming.