Prenatal Swimming Pros & Cons

October 1, 2011 Leave your thoughts


I went to masters swim practice last week, squeezed into my now-tight one-piece swimsuit, and me, my new butt, and belly sauntered onto the deck. I saw Tim talking to a fellow triathlete and heard the following comment, “Looks like you slipped one past the goalie, eh mate?”


It’s no secret that I’m pregnant these days. Especially in a swimsuit. My sweet little emerging bump recently transformed into an oddly shaped lump hanging off my front section. I don’t know what happened. One day it was flowing happily along with the natural curves of my body, and the next day it was a ball sitting on a ledge. This transformation literally occurred in a 12 hour window. One night it was cute. The next morning it was not.


It now cuts in under my belly button as if I am wearing my jeans too tight (but I’m never wearing jeans, so I don’t have that excuse!). It’s also looking more vascular, as if the blood vessels are coming up to the surface. And it’s certainly harder. Not like a rock, but it’s not squishy. Somewhere in between.


So me and my evolving belly have been navigating the world of prenatal fitness. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m still running/jogging and hiking a few days a week. What you don’t know is that I’m a huge advocate of variety as the key to having a healthy, happy 40 weeks (actually, the key to a healthy, happy life!), so running is not my only prenatal activity.


Of course I have no idea what I’m talking about since I’ve never done this before! I’m just going with my gut (note: I just ate my 2nd lunch, so the gut is being properly fueled!). So, in addition to running, I’m also swimming, cycling and strength training. Today I’ll focus on my prenatal swimming experience.


Pros of swimming while pregnant:

  • Helps flush out tired, bloated legs
  • Don’t have to worry about overheating (unless the pool temp is off the richter)
  • Opportunity to meet new people as you migrate down the pool into “less competitive” lanes
  • Weightlessness feels REALLY GOOD!


Cons of swimming while pregnant:

  • Can’t go very fast since heavy breathing acts as a deterrent
  • Belly scrapes bottom if push-offs are too deep
  • Getting in and out of swimsuits is not particularly pleasant
  • Leaves and pool scum collect under growing belly ledge and are difficult to see in shower!


Seriously, swimming is absolutely incredible. I currently swim a few times a week, sometimes for a mere 10 minutes, just to flush out the legs. I love the feeling of simply floating and letting my body and belly stretch out slowly and naturally. I think the biggest challenge for me at first was letting go of my ego. I am an expert swimmer. I have never swum in any lane except the fast lane. I’m usually among the fastest women (and men!) at practice on any given day. Now I’m swimming for a different, greater purpose and as soon as my body told me to SLOW THE HECK DOWN, I listened and embraced it.


It’s funny, in a sense it’s like dropping a pool into a pool right now! Since we all spent our first 9 months in a liquid environment, I like to think our baby is enjoying the process. On that note, I was talking to a trainer at one of our local clubs and she said, “We’ve been discussing Baby DeBoom and we’re working on our recruiting strategy for swim team in a few years.”


That’s a topic for another day!



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