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Benefits of Water Exercise During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be difficult and uncomfortable in many ways. Exercise during pregnancy can help alleviate some of these discomforts and bring more energy, but the types of exercise can be limited. Engaging in water exercise can be an excellent, safe way to stay active during this special time. Water exercise during pregnancy offers a variety of benefits for expectant mothers that can provide great physical, emotional and mental comfort.

Benefits of Water Exercise

Reduces Stress

Swimming and other water exercise can be incredibly calming, especially during pregnancy. For many expectant mothers, swimming and other water exercises provide an escape away from the pressures of all other commitments, allowing time to focus on their bodies and their babies. Women who regularly exercised in water tended to be calmer, as the repeated pattern and rhythmic movements help reduce stress and increase restful sleep.

Increases Strength and Flexibility

As any expectant mother knows, their bodies are going through constant physical change, and the need for strength, flexibility and balance only increases. Warm water therapy has proven to be incredibly beneficial for muscle and joint problems, and many experts recommend water exercise for expectant mothers who experience back pain and pelvic discomfort. In addition to reducing pain, engaging in water exercise ensures that expectant mothers are staying physically active and gaining strength and increased physical flexibility.

Improves Cardiovascular endurance

Water exercise during pregnancy is an excellent way to improve the expectant mother’s cardiovascular endurance. The resistance of water makes it easier on the body, and movements can be customized according to the intensity desired. In the end, the expectant mother’s endurance will improve, while elevating heart rate in a very safe and beneficial manner.

Reduces Swelling

Though edema, also known as swelling in the hands, legs and feet, is often part of pregnancy, engaging in water exercise can help significantly reduce swelling. Swimming in particular increases circulation in the extremities, which can help decrease swelling and aches associated with pregnancy. Swimming can help take the pressure off of swollen ankles and relieve other discomforts associated with edema.

Increases Energy

The combination of improved sleep, decreased stress and increased physical strength is enough to give any expectant mother a much needed energy boost. Women who engage in water exercise during pregnancy noticed an improved mental state as well as increased energy to perform everyday activities.

Prepares for Delivery

Exercising in water during pregnancy is also a great way to prepare for delivery. The extra buoyancy that comes with the water supports the abdomen, creating an environment that helps pregnancy-related aches and pains while allowing the expectant mother to practice movements that can help with labor and delivery. The added resistance increases the benefits even more, increasing physical strength and preparing the expectant mother’s body for labor.

People Also Ask

What types of water exercises are safe during pregnancy?

Swimming, water aerobics, aquacise, water yoga, and water walking are all safe and beneficial water exercises to perform during pregnancy.

When should pregnant women start exercising in water?

It is important to first consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy. However, for those in their second trimester, a moderate exercise routine can be beneficial and can be continued safely throughout the pregnancy.

Are there any risks to water exercise during pregnancy?

There is generally very low risk in engaging in water exercises during pregnancy. However, if hydrotherapy or deep water exercises is performed without proper supervision, it can put the mother and baby at risk.

Who should not do water exercise during pregnancy?

Women with certain complications in their pregnancy should consult with a doctor before engaging in any exercise, including water exercises.

Does water exercise actually improve labor outcomes?

Though research is still ongoing, many studies have shown that women who exercise during pregnancy have shorter labor times and experience less pain.

Final Words

Exercising in water during pregnancy is an excellent way to stay active, healthy and comfortable. Engaging in water exercise can provide great physical and emotional benefits for expectant mothers and can even help with labor and delivery. As always, it is important to consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy. With the proper guidance and the knowledge of the wonderful benefits of water exercise, expectant mothers can safely enjoy this special time and reap the rewards that water exercise can bring.