One thing I have noticed since becoming pregnant particularly in the last two months is how much I love being in the water. Whether it is in a hot shower, bath or swimming at the pool – I can’t get enough of it.
Usually I am not a bath person – I find them boring and instead of relaxing I sit there and stew over the things I should be doing instead of being submerged under mountains of bubbles. But lately having a bath is something I look forward to. It soothes my muscles particularly my dodgy hip which has been aching quite a lot and I don’t feel as heavy.
When I go into labour I plan on using the bath at the hospital for pain relief. I had originally wanted a water birth however the hospital won’t allow it. After seeing the size of the bath I can understand why – all I can say is thank God I’m petite.
I also plan on using the shower for pain relief. At this late stage in my pregnancy and with the weather cooling down I find I am in the shower for a considerably longer time than usual. It is so calming and like the bath soothes tired and aching muscles.
I have managed to stay active throughout my pregnancy and have continued to exercise at least three times per week. In the last month I’ve slowed down slightly and have said goodbye to my Step-aerobic sessions – jumping around with what feels like a watermelon bouncing around on your bladder/pelvis is not very pleasant – and have taken up swimming. I also go walking and hit the gym for a bit of strength training.
At first I thought – swimming oh how boring – but I have found I really enjoy it. My youngest sister and I try to go twice a week to one of the local pools. Depending on what pool we go to we either walk laps or swim laps with a kickboard for an hour. I’m sure it is a hilarious sight but I love it and could not recommend it enough to other pregnant women.
For a start you feel weightless so if you are far into your pregnancy like me there is none of that strain on your pelvis or pressure on your bladder. It’s relaxing, keeps your body temperature down and is not jarring on your joints. Not to mention it gets your heart rate up – but not too high – and works almost every muscle in your body. Even if you’re a crap swimmer like I am it can be very beneficial. There is also no reason why it can’t be done throughout your pregnancy.
According to my chiropractor swimming is one of the best physical activities for pregnant women. The Babycenter also agrees:
“Healthcare providers and fitness experts hail swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is ideal because it exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides good cardiovascular benefits, and allows pregnant women to feel weightless despite the extra weight of pregnancy”.
The irony of me enjoying the pool at the moment is I have always disliked swimming. As a toddler I was forced into swimming lessons and I clearly remember vomiting at the pool because I was so scared and I hated it so much. I even remember the swimming instructor’s name – Ginger – and in my memory as a four-year-old she was not a very nice lady.
After the spewing incident mum stopped taking me to swimming lessons however they became compulsory when I started primary school. I can still recall the horror of being made to float on my back or jump into the deep end. There were many tears and tantrums. I hope Predator is a lot braver than me when it comes to all things aquatic.
In other news baby Predator is officially in position to enter the world. Hopefully he/she holds out for at least another week or so – I’m not sure I’m quite ready yet. At the same time I hope it’s sooner than the three and a half weeks I have to go – that seems like an entire lifetime away.
Maternally yours, Sink-or-swim