matica logo

Swimming and excercising during pregnancy.

Should pregnant women go swimming? There are pros and cons, depending on your point of view.

Should pregnant women swim? Definitely not I say! I swim 3 times a week, I do at least 100 lengths without stopping and consider myself to be quite fit for my age. What is very annoying is when an obviously pregnant woman is in your swimming lane and glides effortlessly right past you. If it were a super fit twenty something then it would be easier to take. My ego helps me out though, I remember hearing that the Russians used to get their gymnasts pregnant before the Olympic games because pregnancy gives the body a natural performance boost without needing banned substances. I tell myself that is why on more than one occasion I've been overtaken by a pregnant swimmer.

Clare usually swims with me, I'm unable to achieve the simple tasks of counting my own lengths so I'm glad to have her there with me. There is ritual we go through at home while we put our swimming costumes on under our clothes before we set off. Clare always stands in front of the mirror saying she can't go because she looks too fat. I always tell her how great she looks, and she really does look good. When I've convinced her she asks, do I look pregnant or will people think I'm just fat? I used to tell her that she looked neither but now she is obviously pregnant to I tell her she has a neat little bump.

At the swimming pool Clare is always talking to someone or another, no one ever speaks to me. I try to count my lengths but have to ask for a check now and again when my mind inevitably wanders. This sometimes happens when I see Clare and the 'Bump' under the water and get all dreamy eyed. I do little tricks to help me count, certain numbers mean certain things to me which helps me remember, for example 17 you can drive, 25 is a quarter of the way through and Clare's birthday, 33 is my age etc. Whenever I get to the age in weeks I slow down and Clare and I nod and smile as we pass each other. Today was 39 weeks, I've been doing this 3 times a week since week 8, I don't know what I'll do once the baby is born.

I'd say swimming has been good for Clare, it seems to pick her mood up and she complains less about her rib and back pain. She gets to chat with so many people, and she looks fine in her costume. In fact all the pregnant women I've seen at the pool look okay in their costumes. Although after what the Midwife told us at the Hospital today about waters breaking I'll be trying even harder to keep ahead of any pregnant women in my lane!