View Full Version : Swimming during pregnancy

April 3rd, 2003, 10:37 AM
Hello, I wanted to find out any recommended workout ideas for training while pregnant. How hard can you train?

I am 12 weeks, swimming twice per week, trying not to exceed a 150 pulse.


April 3rd, 2003, 11:16 AM
Hi Carmela,

First the disclaimer, talk to your Doctor/OBGYN to find out what they recommend as to strenuous to do since they (and you) are responsible for helping in making it a healthy pregnancy.
My thoughts are do whatever you can within safe guidelines (150 pulse is probably good, I don't know your age but seems pretty reasonable). I also don't know what your previous workout regime was. Swimming is for the most part very safe, there isn't the jarring like running or the fall injury factor of biking - and if you were into aerobic/fitness classes you can always turn to water exercises classes. I know of several swimmers who have swam late in there pregnancies, sometimes the workouts were reduced to kicking a few weeks prior to birth, one individual was still swimming butterfly (with good form I might add) a few days before a full term delivery. A lot is going to depend on your mental attitude, how the pregnancy progresses (do you end up on bed rest going into the last trimester) and what your doctor thinks. Good luck and happy swimming.


April 3rd, 2003, 12:07 PM
There's an article on Swimming and Pregnancy that you may want to read at http://www.usms.org/fitness/articleofthemonth.php?a=6.

Laura Groselle
April 3rd, 2003, 04:04 PM
I highly recommend that you read the "Exercise and Pregnancy" research articles by James Clapp. Dr. Clapp has done extensive research in this area and has published many papers on this subject.

I was in several of his studies while pregnant with my second child. I swam 4-5 days per week, lifted weights and used the Nordic Track in his study. I also participated in a pregnancy diet study which was quite interesting.

Contact me at swimlaura@ameritech.net if you have trouble finding the articles. I can make copies for you of what I have in my possesion.

My son was and is very healthy (he is seven now) and Dr. Clapp has done some longitudinal studies to look at the mothers and the children that were in the study during the pregnancy. I have not seen this data but I am sure it is published or will be published soon.

April 4th, 2003, 08:59 AM
I swam until the week before my son was born. The only reason I didn't swim that week was that it was Christmas break and the pool was closed. I competed up until I was about 6 months along. Granted, I was slow, but I did still dive in off the blocks (which probably wasn't a good idea, and I wouldn't do it again if I had the chance). My obstetrician told me not to let my heart rate get over 140 beats a minute, but once he left the room the nurse-practioner told me the OB didn't understand that I was accustomed to swimming hard, and I shouldn't worry about my heart rate, so much as just not work myself to exhaustion. I took her advice and quit taking my pulse, and just backed off when I felt I was doing too much. I also kept doing step aerobics the entire time, although I did gradually step down from two risers, to one riser, to no risers, to the floor. I kept doing situps too. It really all depends upon what you were used to doing beforehand, I think. Now is not the time to BEGIN an intense workout schedule, but you also don't have to go to the opposite extreme.