Does swimming help induce labor?

Does swimming help induce labor?
September 26 08:42 2016 image:

Lots of women have questions concerning swimming and pregnancy and they have every right to be curious given the number of theories that constantly float across the internet. One of the most common theories out there is that swimming induces labor, the truth on that theory is very debatable but there are some solid facts on swimming and pregnancy that could be very useful to all the expecting mothers. So to all future mamas, it doesn’t matter the length of your pregnancy, this article could be very useful and interesting in as far as clearing up misconceptions is concerned.


About swimming and labor

Well, folks, swimming is one of the most recommended forms of physical exercise for pregnant women regardless of their term of pregnancy. Physiotherapists encourage women across all three trimesters to incorporate regular swimming exercises throughout their pregnancy. Swimming is completely safe for the unborn baby unless the mother has particular physiological properties, in which case your doctor will say well in advance if you should be engaging in such activities or not. Barring any contraindications from a physician, swimming will not result in induced labor or anything related to that.

In fact, physiotherapists say swimming helps a woman’s body stay fit and adapt to a growing pregnancy. When you are in the water, your body is practically weightless as the water with absorbs all of the weight leading to a state of zero gravity. This is why you will feel bubbly and relaxed whenever you swim during your pregnancy.

The contrast between swimming and other physical exercises such as walking is that swimming keeps the growing baby steady in the uterus while walking can accelerate the baby’s journey down towards the pelvis and ultimately inducing labor when it comes into contact with the cervix.

As you can see, the chances of this kind of activity happening while swimming are pretty much slim and therefore labor will not be induced. For folks who are already due to give birth but the little baby is taking time making the move, physiotherapists and physicians recommend other kinds of activities such as taking long walks.

In addition to the relaxing effect and helping the body accommodate a growing pregnancy, swimming can also be very instrumental in:

  • Reducing ankle swelling and its related pain
  • Improving blood circulation throughout the body
  • Improves muscle strength and prepares the body for childbirth
  • Manage pregnancy weight


So there you have it, according to physiotherapists swimming will not induce labor in pregnant women, it is totally safe. However, if you experience any symptoms during the swimming activity such as pain, shortness of breath, contractions or bleeding, the activity should be stopped immediately and schedule an emergency appointment with your treating doctor or midwife.


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