Swimming in Salt Water (Ocean or Sea) During Pregnancy
As we are getting closer to summer vocations, it is just the time to plan for a long-awaited rest somewhere on the seashore.
Swimming is known for its overall health-improving effect. It strengthens immunity towards infections and makes your body fit without a risk of damaging the joints with excessive load.
And it is just a great way to feel fine. Pregnant ladies are not an exception from this general rule – they also wish to cool themselves in salty water after a couple of hours on a beach. But is it safe for pregnant ladies to swim in the sea?
Salt water and pregnancy: pros and cons
Sea water is known for its beneficial properties:
- Swimming in salt-water improves flexibility and tonus of blood vessels, solving the problem of swelling in pregnant ladies;
- It is good for people with skin problems as surface damage cures faster in salt water;
- Mineral salts normalize metabolic processes;
- Sea water is a source of essential microelements, which are consumed by our body while swimming.
To be more specific, sea water is rich in iodine (critical for mental development of a fetus), calcium (good for bones), selenium (facilitates normal development of pregnancy), etc.
Warning: swimming in salt water while pregnant is strictly forbidden, if:
- you are on the first trimester (less than 14 weeks);
- you have placental presentation or other suchlike issues;
- you are susceptible to miscarriage;
- you suffer from gestosis (toxicosis of pregnancy);
- you have allergy or worsening of any chronic;
- there are any specific contraindications.
Regardless of the health-improving effects of salt water, the experts say it may be dangerous if the concentration of salts is very high.
Unlike seas, salt-water lake resorts are often used for medical, not recreational purposes, so it is better to avoid them during pregnancy.
This being said, let’s find out how to do it properly.
While tour operators offer almost borderless travelling possibilities, pregnant ladies should somehow limit their choices.
First of all, consider the climate: if pregnancy goes by its normal course, you can theoretically go to any climatic zone you like, although practice shows that sudden change of climatic conditions is rather undesirable.
Secondly, take temperature into account. In such countries, as Mexico, Cuba, Egypt, Tunis, India or Arab Emirates temperature may rise up to 30°C by May. Countries with a milder climate will be a better option: Baltic states, Croatia, Turkey, France, Spain or Switzerland.
Still, if you decide to go there, be sure to take all the necessary vaccines (especially against malaria and yellow fever) and consult with your doctor.
And a couple of words about the Dead Sea. This unique reservoir with extremely salty water is true a gift of nature.
It is a well-known fact that its waters possess curative properties – similar to usual sea water, but more intense – which are extremely beneficial for pregnant women.
But remember to be careful: wetting your skin with water or just washing your feet in it would be enough for the curative effects to kick in.
Moreover, due to high concentration on minerals it is better to consult a doctor prior to bathing in the Dead Sea – pregnancy is an individual thing after all.
“Can I swim in the ocean while pregnant?”, “Is it safe to swim in the sea when pregnant?” – Perhaps, this are the most exciting questions for mothers-to-be, who are really worry about their babies. Certainly you can swim in the ocean or in the sea if you feel good enough.
Is it safe to swim in the ocean or in the sea while pregnant?
Swimming in the ocean while pregnant is not forbidden, if mother-to-be follows the recommendations below.
It would be better to choose a place, which is not too crowded: the more people, the more litter and infections. Make sure that the water is clean and warm (20-22°C).
The weather should be calm with no high waves on the sea or ocean: even if you are a good swimmer, it will cause undesirable strain and a there will be a chance to swallow some water, which may be unsafe.
Go swimming in the morning or in the evening, when the temperature is not scorching hot and the sunlight is not excessively intense.
All right, at last you made it to the shore. The ocean washes over your feet and you are ready to plunge into its depths.
Take a moment to consider basic safety recommendations:
- If you feel chills as you enter the water, don’t compel yourself – your body is saying that the water is too cold and you’d better go to the pool as they are generally much warmer. It is also a good idea to do some exercises before swimming to warm up your muscles.
- Enter the water slowly: the change of temperature should be gradual. Don’t go too deep: pregnant women often experience muscle seizures, so be on a safe side.
- Don’t strain your body too much – start from ten minutes in the water and gradually prolong this time to thirty minutes. Bathing in the sea should be a pleasure, not a marathon, so immediately go to the shore if you feel tired – we don’t want our heart to strain, do we?
Swim in a slow or medium tempo and watch your breath – it should be deep and rhythmical.
And do not even think about entering the sea if you feel unwell.
When you get ashore
Once on the ground, wrap yourself in a large towel and rub yourself to get warm and dry.
It will prevent any possible cold exposure effects and at the same time will protect you from ultraviolet radiation: wet skin is extremely vulnerable to it.
This being accomplished, don’t rush to your hotel at once, give your body a thirty minutes’ rest in a shade to catch up breath and adapt to new surroundings.
It is recommended to take a shower with soap immediately after swimming – your body needs a couple of hours to absorb all those health-improving salt-water minerals, which have clung to your skin.
One bathing for one visit to the beach is enough – pregnant ladies must not strain their bodies and spend much time in the sun, a practice of multiple swimming sessions with lying on the sand in between is inadmissible in this case.
During pregnancy everything should be done with care and moderation, bathing is not an exception. Adhere to the aforementioned rules, take care of your body and listen to your feelings – that’s the trick of feeling fine.
Thus, salt-water procedures will do you only good.
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