Pregnancy transforms a woman’s body allowing it to adapt to a lot of physical changes and stress. It affects us physically, mentally, and psychologically especially how we perceive ourselves now and our impending motherhood. It may or may not be difficult for some notably during the third trimester. Our mobility, appearance, and emotional capacity are constantly changing; hormones play a big part overall.
Long before our marriage, during our dating years, and now on my pregnancy, my husband and I included going to swimming halls as our quality time together. We considered swimming as our past time activity and exercise. He is the one who influenced me to love swimming and even taught me how to swim properly. We got to know each other’s personality a lot better during our swimming sessions.
When I became pregnant, my doctor (my husband included) always reminded me to be active all throughout my pregnancy period. My doctor recommended swimming as one of the best exercises during pregnancy because it is safe. I tried to be as active as I can be. I did badminton and some pretty taxing workout (calisthenics at most) at home during my second trimester. It felt taxing for me because of my growing belly. Absolutely ask your doctor what is best for your condition, since not all pregnancies are the same!
During my third trimester, I lighten my exercises to walking, a few reps of squats, and swimming. Walking is great and definitely the easiest. However, during my 8th month period, it was a bit discomforting. Given my big bump of joy and the extra weight shaped my pelvis and lower back. I experienced intermittent and sometimes constant discomfort in my normal daily activities. It felt as though some parts were loose and tight at the same time.
Wanna read my first-trimester story and how I overcome morning sickness. Click here.
I was hearing a lot of great comments in the internet on how amazing it feels to swim. I became very eager to try it for the first time, dip my big belly into the water, and let my body succumb to the joy swimming gives.
After experiencing it for myself, here are my top reasons why you should be swimming while you’re on your third trimester.
1. A Fun Alternative to Being Active
In general, exercise during normal pregnancy is necessary and good for you and your baby. Not only does it strengthen our muscles it also strengthens our bone and improves blood circulation. Depending on how active we can be during pregnancy, it may as well improve our endurance; which every mother needs during the entirety of giving birth.
It is inevitable, our belly will grow to a point that some of our usual exercises such as walking and squatting become challenging. At some point, some of our favorite exercises may harm us physically and our precious baby. Swimming, on the other hand, has been proven to be one of the best and a fun alternative to staying active during pregnancy. There are a lot of different exercises for us preggies, but having to experience swimming with a bulging belly is a whole different sensation.
Let me tell you, swimming is a form of exercise that engages almost all muscle groups in the body. You have to move your arms and legs and greatly involves your core muscles. And, one of the most important muscle that needs significant attention is the heart. A well tuned, well prepared heart will easily endure the burden of child birth.
2. It Gives Relief
I gained almost 10 kilos on my third trimester. I was heavy and slow. Even short distance walking was backbreaking. It felt as though the ground was trying to pull me down. Lying on the side helped a bit, but it did not get rid of the weight that I was constantly feeling.
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Our body goes through a slow and progressive transformation during pregnancy other than a growing belly and expanding pelvis. As our baby grows, the added weight shifts our normal center of gravity forward and causes lordosis (forward curvature of the spine). In order for our body to maintain a good posture, it copes by tensing up the back muscles and thus, back pain. It becomes harder and more prominent during weight bearing positions such as standing and sitting, and movements such as walking. In prolonged circumstances, joints in our legs become a victim of pain. While our doctor may prescribe pain meds, swimming on the other hand, will give quick relief from the added weight.
Once you’re in the water, you feel as though you are weightless. Your joints are able to recuperate and your muscles loosen up. It is momentary relief, even so, better than no relief at all.
3. It’s relaxing
Spas are a woman’s best friend although they may not be budget friendly. Swimming, however, gives you a spa-like experience that is both cheap and affordable. I would recommend going to temperature regulated pools that are warm and comfortable. However, going to a public beach for a swim is also nice and wouldn’t cost you anything.
Tip: Your husband should accompany you. The experience is heightened when your significant other is around. Ask for a back massage or ask him to cradle you while floating on your back in the water. The feeling is tremendously relaxing!
4. It Brings Joy
Aside from the physical benefit, relief, and relaxation swimming can contribute. It most importantly brings joy. It is an emotion that blooms inside me while having fun swimming. I am providing by building a strong connection with my child through my own experiences; discovering the world literally while still inside me. I realized that this is one of the many particular moments of a mothers’ life irrefutably precious and beautiful, only a woman can experience and impart.
So never miss a chance swimming on your third trimester because it’s uhm-mazing!!