I am still in Colorado right now & will be back to recap you on my baby shower tomorrow. Today’s post is from Kaitlin with some important information about swimming while pregnant.
Without getting into the exact physiological specs of why it is perfectly safe to swim during a normal pregnancy, the short answer is yes: The human body is designed to keep what’s on the inside safe and unexposed to what is on the outside. Of course, I learned this the hard way. I also learned that swimming (or just being in the water) is actually a very healthy thing to do when one is pregnant. Nonetheless, myths surrounding swimming and pregnancy still abound. Here are just a few that I’d like to dispel.
Here are some great resources that will help you sort out fact from fiction, as well as make the most of pool time while you are pregnant:
Myth #1: Water on the Outside Can Harm What’s on the Inside
When I was seven months pregnant with my first child, I mistakenly waded into the ocean on a “No Swimming” day, which occurred now and then when a nearby contaminated river backed up and flowed sewage into the ocean, a few miles from where I lived, and from the beach where I frequently swam. When I was in waist deep water, I turned and faced the beach, and noticed several people pointing at me. I was also completely alone in the water. That’s when I saw the back of the temporary “No Swimming” sign, something I had seen in the same location dozens of times, but somehow missed that day. I quickly exited the water, dried off, and went home and called my doctor. I was assured that unless I drank a few mouthfuls, both myself and my baby were perfectly fine.
The same holds true with lake, pool or river water: Unless you are drinking the water, and the chemicals and contaminants it may be housing, there is no danger to a developing baby or expectant mom.
Myth #2: Too Much Pressure
Another misconception is that being submerged in the water will somehow put too much pressure on the baby. While it is true that water places about 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi) on the surface of the skin when a person is in the water, that amount is not dangerous! In fact, the mild pressure associated with being submerged in the water can actually have a therapeutic effect on a person by helping to reduce inflammation.
Myth #3: Don’t Take Baths While Pregnant
This mistaken idea actually has a component of truth to it, in that it is not a good idea to be in hot water (less than 90 degrees is acceptable). The reason for this is that harm could possible happen to a developing baby if a woman’s core body temperature rises above 101 degrees, which means that hot tubs should probably be avoided, but baths don’t necessarily need to be. The “no bathing while pregnant” myth stems from a similar idea as the one that leads women to believe they shouldn’t go swimming: you can contract an infection from a bacteria or other contaminant in the water. This is simply not true. Just remember to maintain a reasonable body temperature if you do take a bath and keep the temperature of the water relatively mild/warm, and not hot.
Water, Water Everywhere, and not a Drop to Drink!
If you are pregnant during the summer months, don’t forget to stay hydrated, especially if you are swimming or just spending time in the water floating around. Many people feel refreshed and cool when they are in a pool and they don’t think about drinking water. If you are pregnant, water is especially important, and being in the sun, even when you are in the water, will cause you to sweat and lose fluids. Keep a container of water nearby and stay hydrated.
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside and discovering interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint with watercolors.