Swimming is one of the very best exercises you can do, even during pregnancy. It is a low-intensity workout that allows pregnant women to relieve lower back strain. Besides reveling in the feeling of weightlessness, swimming provides various health benefits during pregnancy because it utilizes multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Yet while swimming is so beneficial, it is recommended that pregnant women do not dive when entering a pool.
Benefits of Swimming
Swimming improves glucose utilization, which increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Improved insulin sensitivity may decrease risk factors for gestational diabetes. Swimming may also reduce the risk of heart disease, improve heart health and increase lifespan.
Swimming is one of the few exercises that is both safe and effective for the majority of pregnant women, but diving is risky.
Swimming is one of the few exercises that nearly all pregnant women can participate in even if there are underlying medical considerations and risk factors that may limit activity. If you’ve been placed on bed rest, talk with your physician about swimming as a healthy means of remaining active during pregnancy.
Hazards Of Diving
When your body changes altitude too quickly, bubbles form inside your body and your growing baby cannot expel them. While most women don’t dive into extremely large pools in which the altitude is vastly different, scuba diving is never safe during pregnancy. The problem with scuba diving while pregnant occurs with the fetus since their blood is oxygenated with the placenta. The fetus does not have the lungs to filter the nitrogen. If the mother gets decompression illness and passes it onto her fetus, the fetus does not have any way to expel any bubbles that may form. This increases the likelihood that the bubbles can move around and harm the fetus' vital organs, spine, brain, etc.
Diving into a pool with a large belly will also impede your balance and perhaps your ability to twist and turn gracefully which could result in an injury. The impact from the water may also feel different and possibly painful.
Alternatives To Diving
You can safely swim using many of the strokes that you did before getting pregnant. You can have a very enjoyable time in the water every day while also getting in a good workout. Swimming is one of the few exercises that is both safe and effective for the majority of pregnant women. As is the case with any exercise activity, stay hydrated, do not overwork muscles, including the heart, and stop if you feel any unnatural pain while swimming. Always talk with your physician before starting a new exercise program during pregnancy.