By the time you reach eight months in pregnancy, you may not feel like moving much anymore due to your size and discomfort. Exercise continues to play an important role for overall wellbeing during an uncomplicated pregnancy. Swimming works well as an aerobic exercise throughout pregnancy, according to physician James N. Martin, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists president.
By the time you reach your eighth month of pregnancy, it’s common to feel assorted discomforts associated with the growing fetus and weight gain. Many mothers retain fluid, which can cause swelling in feet and hands. Swimming can help reduce fluid retention, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery. The buoyancy of the water can increase flexibility, make increased weight feel more comfortable and decrease pressure on the pelvis, states physical therapist Nadine Day in an interview with U.S. Masters Swimming.
During exercise, your body temperature goes up. Later into the pregnancy, an increased body temperature can limit the rate at which the fetus grows, according to physician Jane Moore, writing for the U.S. Masters Swimming website. Swimming results in less elevation of the body temperature than exercising on land, which may help you stay more comfortable and limit the impact of elevated body temperature on the fetus.
No Balance Issues
As your belly expands to hold the growing baby, it’s common for balance problems to arise, warns the American Pregnancy Association. As your center of balance changes because of the extra weight at the front of your body, you have a higher risk of tripping and falling. Falls can occur during everyday activities, including exercise. While swimming, you won’t have the risk of losing your balance and falling.
During pregnancy, hormones cause ligaments that support joints to relax, according to information published by the ACOG. This relaxation increases the potential for injury and it could cause pain, especially in late pregnancy. The lower back and pelvis are two areas especially prone to stress and pain during late pregnancy. Exercising in the water minimizes the stress placed on joints and provides a comfortable, pleasant form of prenatal exercise.
Although swimming can be an ideal exercise during an entire pregnancy, it's still important use caution while exercising. For example, if you experience dizziness, breathlessness, pain, exhaustion, lower abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, uterine contractions, vaginal bleeding or an absence of fetal movement, stop exercising and contact your caregiver immediately.
- Pause: Your Complete Guide to Midlife HealthThe Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
- Hospital for Special Surgery: Exercise During Pregnancy
- U.S. Masters Swimming: Swimming During Pregnancy
- U.S. Masters Swimming: Swimming and Pregnancy
- American Pregnancy Association: Exercise and Pregnancy
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Exercise During Pregnancy