Swimming While Pregnant: the Ultimate Guide for Soon-to-be Mums


Posted on 12 Feb 2020

Ah, the pitter-patter of tiny feet!

If you’re a soon-to-be mum, you’ve heard all stories: no eating raw meat, no shellfish, no glasses of wine in the evening (shock, horror!)

You may be wondering: what are the things I still can do? And that’s a fair question. The question we often get is: Can I swim when I’m pregnant.

First, congratulations. Second, yes, absolutely.

Swimming is a great way to stay in shape as your body changes and promote good health for your developing baby.

Here’s a walk-through of everything you need to know about swimming while pregnant.

Starting with Swimming

The advice we always give is to check in with your doctor before starting up a new exercise program, and this applies double when you’re pregnant. You want to rely on the expert’s advice for personal guidance on your pregnancy journey.

That said, if you’re a regular swimmer, you should (in most cases) be fine to continue with swimming.

If you’re not a regular, we recommend starting slow. Make sure you’re stretching before getting into the pool and knock out a few warm up laps before doing anything more strenuous.

And remember: the goal of exercise during pregnancy is not to lose weight, but rather, making yourself as healthy as you can to best help your body.

Why Should I Swim?

Your body is changing. Your stomach is growing while your energy levels are dropping. Swimming during pregnancy helps manage these changes; it keeps your body active and pumps blood and oxygen through. It also prepares your body for the energy needed during labour and recovery (and for the rest of motherhood!)

Swimming is great because it’s low-impact exercise. This means that, unlike jogging or lifting dumbbells, the water supports your weight and reduces the impact on your body. This gives you some consistency to your exercise as your body adapts to pregnancy.

It’s also great for the brain. Exercise stimulates the growth of new cell connections in the brain – which help you make decisions (a must for new mums!). It also gives you a chance to unwind, relax, and enjoy some ‘you’ time.

We recommend swimming up to three times a week. Any stroke is fine, so pick your favourite and go for it.

How Do I (And My Baby) Stay Safe while Swimming?

Baby weight can be a pain – literally. Holding all that weight can strain your back, and that’s why exercise is so important. When it comes to swimming, breaststroke is perfect: it strengthens your back, chest, and shoulders, and improves posture in your body.

When starting swimming, go slow. Slide yourself into the water from the edge, rather than diving in, to protect the baby and adjust to the water. Water aerobics can be a nice alternative to swimming laps and gets you out and about with a group of people.

The water (and all chemicals found in there to keep it clean) are scientifically-proven safe for pregnant women and their babies – so enjoy! However, do avoid the spa, sauna and steam room: the heat can cause problems for your baby. And, don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

What Should I Wear?

Short answer: whatever you feel happy, safe, and comfortable in. Don’t let your baby dictate what you’re going to wear (they’ll have plenty of time to lay down the law in the terrible-twos).

Bikinis are totally in vogue for pregnant women, as seen on celebs from Chloe Sevigny to Hilary Duff to Chanel Iman.

If you prefer to keep your baby bump covered, a one-piece swimsuit is ideal. Just make sure you give yourself enough room for your belly to grow.

Another great option for more coverage is the tankini, which adds a little flair to your outfit and gives your breast support.

All are great: so you do you.

What’s Next

Swimming is perfect to stay healthy while pregnant. Once you’ve got the all clear from your doctor, join us for some exercise in the pool. Or simply relax by the edge of the water – you deserve it. Give us a visit today – we're open almost every day of the year.