There are some special pool safety tips you need to follow when you’re swimming for two.
Water safety will become a major part of your life once your little one arrives, but there are some things you need to start doing this summer that will help keep both you and your baby safe around the pool. The good news is, there are more do’s than don’ts when it comes to pregnancy and swimming.
Swimming is good for you
You’ve probably already been told about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine during pregnancy a few times, but did you know that swimming is a great way to stay fit when you’re expecting? It’s a low impact way to get your heart pumping (and stay cool) during the summer months. It’s also a really good way to relieve some pregnancy pressures, as floating in the pool can make you feel a little lighter on your feet – something we can all appreciate, especially as that third trimester approaches!
Chlorine and other pool chemicals are (mostly) safe
If you’re hoping to go for a dip in the pool but worried about what you may be swimming around in, experts say you shouldn’t fret too much. The level of chlorine in an appropriately maintained swimming pool doesn’t appear to have any impact on a developing fetus, according to a 2010 study.
That being said, we would offer a word of caution when it comes to swimming in indoor pools. Sometimes chlorine fumes can become potent in enclosed spaces, causing watery or burning eyes, headaches, and trouble breathing.
It can be hard to get out of the water
Remember how we said being in the pool can make you feel lighter? Well, the bad news is that when it’s time to get out of the pool all of that weight quickly returns. It’s important to make sure you’re exiting the pool in an area with a handrail or other supports to make it safer (and okay, easier) to hoist yourself out at the end of your swim session.
You may tire easily
It doesn’t matter if you were an avid swimmer before getting pregnant or someone who was more into floating around for fun, you may find that you have way less energy now. That’s not so dangerous if you’re hanging around in a floatie, but if you’re planning on doing a few laps you’ll want to make sure you’re not alone or too far from the shallow end. This may mean only swimming in public pools if there is a lifeguard on duty or relying on the buddy system while practicing your back stroke.
You’re more susceptible to the sun’s UV rays
It’s very important for all expectant moms to take extra precautions when it comes to protecting their skin. Not only can sunburn during pregnancy raise some additional concerns – swelling, dehydration, and infection among them – but you’re at a higher risk of Chloasma (also known as melasma or “mask of pregnancy”) which can present as dark splotches on your skin and face.
These spots can linger for some until after the baby is born, so it’s especially important to make sure you’re covering up as much as possible when spending any amount of time in the sun.
There will likely be a trip to the store in your future
Depending on just how pregnant you are this summer, you’ll likely need to splurge on a maternity swimsuit. These suits are specially designed to support your growing baby while you’re splish-splashing around. While it may seem like a frivolous splurge, opting for a maternity suit can not only make you more comfortable, but it can make both you and your growing bump safer while you swim (tight and restrictive clothing is a no-no, both for pregnancy and for pool safety).
You may need to drink more
It may seem counterintuitive that you could dehydrate while surrounded by water, but anytime you’re out in the heat, the sun, or exerting yourself you need to increase your water consumption… yes, even while swimming. Make sure your day of fun in the sun includes plenty of fluids, rest, and shade! Trust us, both you and your bump will have a much better time if you follow these pool safety guidelines.