Exercise & Fitness, Health and precaution, Pregnancy

Swimming: A gentle sport during pregnancy

Swimming: A gentle sport during pregnancy

Swimming is gentle, can relieve back pain and keeps you fit. And it is absolutely harmless. Why you pregnant women really don’t have to worry about infections and swimming during pregnancy is the ideal sport.

As pregnancy progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a sport that can still be performed without any problems. The more the baby bump grows, the less mobility there usually is. This is compounded by pregnancy-related complaints such as back pain or shortness of breath. Often you feel tired and unmotivated after just a few minutes of exercise.

However, exercise during pregnancy is important to stay fit and prepare for the birth. The pregnancy guide from the obstetrics department of the University Hospital Zurich recommends that pregnant women exercise for 30 minutes on at least five days a week. For example, running, hiking, cycling, tennis or swimming. “Exercise is only discouraged for pregnant women who are in a high-risk situation or who have been advised against exercise by their doctor.”

Exercise not only prepares the body for the exertions of childbirth, but can also help relieve back pain, prevent stretch marks and to keep physically fit during pregnancy.


Swimming is considered the sport of pregnancy par excellence

The extra weight disappears in the water, the joints are relieved and even a heavily pregnant woman can feel light as a feather again. Floating in the water can also have a very relaxing effect and increase the well-being of the pregnant woman.

Another advantage is that the risk of injury, for example from falls or collisions while swimming, is extremely low. Swimming also stimulates the circulation and improves your condition. All muscles are gently used and trained when swimming, thus ensuring a greater sense of well-being after sport. That is why swimming is one of the most recommended sports during pregnancy. 

Can you get an infection while swimming?

Many pregnant women fear a vaginal thrush as it can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth. And indeed, the risk of a fungal infection is greater during pregnancy, but that has nothing to do with going to a swimming pool. According to BABYMED  , a fungal infection usually occurs when the “immune system is weakened or if you have a previous illness or certain circumstances that favor an infection.” Favorable factors are the intake of antibiotics, cortisone or chemotherapeutic agents, stress in general, diseases such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, excessive personal hygiene, hormone imbalances and pregnancy.

The risk of becoming infected with a vaginal thrush in a swimming pool, on the other hand, is negligible. You can already tell that by the fact that you can’t find any scientific sources or evidence on the internet. At best, there is lively exchange on this topic in forums and parenting magazines. Unfortunately, there is a lot of incorrect information circulating. The gynecologist Dr. Vincenzo formulates the unnecessary fear vividly: it is more likely that pregnant women will catch athlete’s foot on the swimming pad. However, pregnant women should actually avoid private whirlpools in particular.

It is also often said that swimming during pregnancy causes a premature birth. Here, too, no scientific connection has ever been established between physical activity in the water and a premature birth.

Pregnant women do not have to worry about swimming, but rather enjoy the sport. As long as you don’t overdo it with swimming – and with sports in general – and listen to your body, swimming during pregnancy is completely harmless for you and your child. 

Water aerobics as an alternative to swimming

If you want to combine relaxing swimming with effective pregnancy gymnastics and don’t feel like lengthy swimming, you can alternatively try water aerobics, aqua fitness or water yoga courses. There are often courses specifically designed for pregnant women. Inquire at your swimming pool.


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