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My (Pregnant) Love Affair With Swimming

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This weekend I finally got back in the pool. As I listened to the sound of my own breathing, and looked down at the sloping pool floor below me, I was transported back to when I was pregnant.

For both my pregnancies,  I would trudge down to the basement of my local gym a few times a week, pull on a stretched-out pink bathing suit and swim for about twenty minutes. Though it was always hard to get started, I craved my time in the pool.

The feeling of all that weight being lifted was such a relief. I felt like a rhino soaking in the lagoon after a flood. Afterwards I’d be very hungry and later, very tired.  I’d sleep like a brick. I was also happier.

Depression in pregnancy is more common than most of the “complications” doctors screen for, and yet we’re mostly on our own in this department.

I cringe over the pressure to create “optimal” conditions for growing a baby and have a “perfect” pregnancy. But for me, swimming never felt like something I had to do. I remember telling my friends that I had “splurged” on a membership to a gym with a state-of-the-art, well-venitlated indoor pool. For me this really was a form of pampering. (I’ve heard people talk about pre-natal yoga in these terms.) I’d even dangle my feet in the hot-tub afterwards.

Inspired by a really good sleep last night, I thought I’d share my story here.

Here’s an official list of the benefits of swimming in pregnancy:

– it’s a low injury, low impact sport

– the weightlessness offers relief from pain and pressure

– it works large muscle groups

– it’s a cardiovascular sport which is good for your heart, your circulation as well as your mood and ability to focus

– swimming makes you sleep better

– it burns calories

photo: cispeace/flickr

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