Although I’m not usually a fan, (I like the dry!) I’ve found that swimming is a relaxing, invigorating exercise when pregnant. It’s low-impact, and keeps pregnant women healthy without putting strain on the joints or legs.
One thing I have had to get over is how I look in a swim suit. All my old bikini’s look ridiculous with a bump and my tankini doesn’t quite cover it so I’ve had to find a good-fitting, comfortable swimsuit to wear that doesn’t offend anyone!
One tankini I have fallen in love with is from the Anita Maternity Swimwear range.
The pretty maternity two-piece has adjustable straps, a supportive and padded bust area and ruching around the tummy. It comes in lots of colours too.
Now, not being quite confident with my expanding chest, I did however find that the design was pretty low cut, but thats fine because I wore a supportive halter neck sports bra underneath. There’s nothing worse than keep having to re-cover and re-adjust yourself mid-stroke. This just gave me that extra security and once in the water no-one would know any different.
So what do I do in the pool – except from swimming? Well after speaking to a coach at my pool, I’ve been doing pool running and breast stroke but stopped doing the front crawl.
Unlike the crawl, breaststroke doesn’t require the torso to twist, which can be both uncomfortable and harmful to the back. Also, as pregnancy often drives the shoulders and spine to round, and pushes the pelvis out of position, breaststroke can help counteract this, as it gently encourages the body to remain properly aligned.
As for backstroke – my favourite – the jury is still out.
As we know, after the first trimester, women are advised not to lie on their backs for fear that the pressure of gravity will compress a major vein in the chest and impede blood flow. Some experts advise pregnant women against doing the backstroke for this reason. However, the water can minimises the effect of gravity on your stomach, so you should safely be able to carry on doing backstroke while pregnant. All I suggest is that you keep an eye on this as your bump grows and stop at the first sign of discomfort or dizziness.
Enjoy the water ladies – I know your bump will. It feels so good for it to be supported – and hidden under the water, well away from those impending eyes as you lift weights in the gym. This is time for just you, your bump and the water.