But chances are if your pregnancy falls during the warmer summer months, the idea of floating around in a refreshing pool of water is not only appealing but will benefit your changing body.
Here are a few tips below that pregnant mothers should heed before they plunge right in:
- Swimming laps: One way to help keep those loose ligaments (during pregnancy due to the release of hormones, ligaments are much looser) from stiffening after a long day of work or tending to siblings is to stretch them during a leisurely swim. Avoid doing strokes that put a strain on your lower back like breast or back stroke. Keeping your workout to the simple front crawl will help stretch out your body and relieve some of the pressure from sitting or being on your feet all day. Remember to never push your limits, keep your breathing steady and never gasping for breath.
- Water Aerobics: Again, being in a large pool of water helps with the pregnant woman’s overall buoyancy, reducing the stresses of pressure that a growing belly impacts upon their joints and bones. But there may be additional benefits. The NY Times  reported that women who participated in some type of water aerobics class were less likely to ask for pain medication during childbirth. The reasons ‘why’ exactly are still debatable but it may be that those women in better physical shape may have their bodies better prepared for the rigors of childbirth as opposed to their non-exercising peers
- Overall Better Health: By swimming (or other types of low-impact exercise) the activity helps increase the levels of maternal aerobic capacity, which not only benefits the mother but also that developing fetus as oxygen levels are increased and transported more efficiently to muscles and organs.
Keep in mind that you should never jump or dive in a pool. Ease in slowly and allow your body to adjust to the gentle weightlessness that only swimming can bring. Never use a hot tub or steam room as elevated temperatures are extremely dangerous to the unborn baby. And wear comfortable sandals that have firm support on the souls to avoid slipping around the perimeter of the pool. Use good judgment about the pools/bodies of water you choose to swim in. Sometimes large public pools have greater chances of contracting a parasitic case of cryptosporidium when small children are swimming. And just because there is a strong smell of chlorine doesn’t necessarily mean that it has any less a chance of being contaminated as well. Obviously try to avoid swallowing water and try to enjoy these few months of peace and solitude.
For chances are after that little one is born, you’ll be hard-pressed to find it so readily available again.
This article is written by Kristen Hurst, a stay at home mother of three who also enjoys blogging. She received her bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing, and writes often about maternity swimwear. When she’s not trying to juggle the lives of Casey, Austin and Ben, she enjoys painting and catching up with a great Jane Austen novel.