Are Pools Safe During Pregnancy?
Are Pools Safe During Pregnancy?
When you are pregnant, chances are that you are looking at every single thing you used to do and wonder “Is this safe right now?” From your favorite foods to your favorite makeup to your favorite activities, you are looking at everything through a new lens to make sure it’s safe for baby. One such thing that you may be reevaluating is swimming in the pool. With the chemicals in pools, you may find yourself worrying if that will affect the health of your unborn child. Studies are conflicted here but, in this article, we will be breaking it down to the facts and trying to help ease your mind.
For the purposes of this article, we will be looking at opinions and research backed by OBGYNs. Just do keep in mind that each person should consult their individual doctor before taking part in any potentially risky actions while pregnant, especially if undergoing IVF. Your doctor will know your body best, in most cases, and each person’s body is different. So let’s answer the question, are pools safe during pregnancy?
So: Swimming While Pregnant. Is It Safe?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, yes! Swimming is actually one of the safest pregnancy activities for exercise. It allows you to retain movement and muscle usage while reducing the weight your body has to carry. Swimming while pregnant can help in so many ways:
- Ease aches and pains from the extra weight you are carrying
- Improve your circulation
- Build endurance (trust us, you’ll need that)
- Increase your heart and lung function
- Help you sleep better
- So much more!
Some people may be wondering if the chlorine used in most pools is safe to swim in while you are pregnant, and the answer so far is yes. Many pregnant women try to avoid every chemical because they are afraid of the potential harm they can cause, but in some cases those fears are unfounded. Are pools safe during pregnancy or am I putting my baby at risk?
In a recent publishing by the National Birth Defects Prevention Study in 2013, they took a group of pregnant women and performed a study to look at the relationship between swimming in a pool while pregnant and the risk of birth defects. The results of the study were that the was no significant association between the two, even allowing for variations in the subjects’ other behaviors. This was the official conclusion listed: “We observed little evidence suggesting teratogenic effects of swimming pool use. Because swimming is a common and suggested form of exercise during pregnancy, these results are reassuring.”
Are Pools Safe During Pregnancy? Here Are A Few Considerations:
- You should avoid swimming in hot water (no hot tubs, folks) or water that is too cold. Essentially, you just want to maintain a good body temperature
- You will want to make sure that the pool you will be swimming in is free of water-borne pathogens and bacteria. You can ask for reports on this before you choose a pool to swim in during your pregnancy.
- Avoid any strenuous water activity. Swimming laps or doing water aerobics are the recommended water activities to stick to.
- You should not do any swimming after your water has broken. That leaves you very vulnerable to infection.
Let’s get a quick recap: OBGYNs all over have given their blessing to swimming in pools while pregnant as a safe form of exercise. The National Birth Defects Prevention Study showed that there is little to no connection between swimming in a chlorinated pool and having birth defects. In fact, there are actually some indicators that it can be beneficial. However, more studies are being done all the time on this topic. Stay up to date with your doctor and remember that being pregnant does not need to feel like a prison sentence! Now you have some information to help you answer the question, are pools safe during pregnancy?