Monday, 23 May 2016

Swimming during pregnancy

It's a lifesaver. Even if you hate exercise, go laze in the pool and kick your legs around. The water will support your bump and your back will thank you for it.

I'm a runner by default (clue's in the title of my blog) but have relied more on swimming during pregnancy to keep fit because it's a little easier on my joints, and gives such relief to your tummy and back,

Swimming is ok as an exercise to start even if you haven't done any swimming before being pregnant (unlike more high impact sports). And it's safe to carry on right until birth. In fact, many swear by swimming as the reason they had a straightforward birth.

If your baby is back to back, some laps of breaststroke is a great way to encourage baby to turn back around as your hips and pelvis are more open and you are facing forwards and down. However, if you suffer from pelvic pain, it's probably best to avoid long periods of breaststroke.

When I started swimming (at around 5 months) I could only manage about 20 minutes and felt really puffed out at the end of one lap of breaststroke. At 9 months, and having gone swimming twice a week for 4 months I could happily manage 45 minutes of breaststroke with some front crawl laps when I was feeling particularly energetic. That said, I ambled along at 0.1 miles an hour, and was overtaken by OAPs but that was fine by me.

I also really enjoyed going as it was "my time". I'm lucky enough to be able to keep my toddler in childcare three days a week so I would drop him off and go swimming before starting work, and then when I was on maternity leave pre baby.

All the regular swimmers got to know me which was welcoming as I always had a friendly chat or two with different people from all walks of life. It made me feel like part of a club in a way. I would marvel at some of them - must have been at least 50 years old but bodies of steel and super cheerful at 7am. If that's what swimming does I need to carry on after baby comes along.

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