Health professionals now know from extensive research that exercising during pregnancy has a host of benefits for both mother and baby, and should be part of every pregnant woman’s pregnancy management plan. One type of exercise recommended during pregnancy is hydrotherapy (exercising in water).
There are many benefits specific to pregnancy to be gained from exercising in water, in addition to general health benefits from completing hydrotherapy. To find out more about the general benefits, see our post on the Benefits of Aqua Hydrotherapy: https://www.hoyshealth.com.au/news/benefits-of-aqua-hydrotherapy/.
For pregnant women, being in the water for exercise sessions can provide a host of benefits, including:
- Maintenance of an active lifestyle during pregnancy which has been shown to reduce risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia
- Symptom management for various aches and pains that can occur during pregnancy including lower back, hips and pelvic girdle issues
- Prevention of fluid retention and swelling
- Reduced pressure through the joints and on the pelvic floor – the feeling of being lighter enables a greater range of exercises to be completed
- Decreased frequency of muscle cramps
- Core and pelvic floor muscle recruitment to reduce pelvic floor dysfunction
- Maintenance of a healthy body weight through pregnancy
- Improved mood and mental wellbeing
- A quicker postnatal recovery
Important things to know:
- Ensure you have no complications or precautions that would make completing exercise during your pregnancy risky. Speak to your midwife or doctor if you are unsure before you begin. Such conditions to get further clarification about include pre-eclampsia, restrictive lung disease or incompetent cervix.
- Don’t complete exercises in a pool that is too hot. Hydrotherapy pools are generally 27-32°C in temperature, which is safe for exercise during pregnancy. Hot pools become unsafe if they effect your core body temperature, which can happen with pools or spas that are heated to around 37° or above. The best method of monitoring if you are unsure is to stop or leave the pool if you begin to feel hot. Spending time hot tubs and saunas is also not advised.
- Stay hydrated – keep a water bottle handy even when working out in the water.
- Ensure you complete an adequate warm-up and cool-down. This is particularly important for pregnant women and is always included in our antenatal hydrotherapy classes.
Examples of exercises in the class:
- Core activation exercises with kickboards
- Deep water cycling with floatation devices for support
- Back strengthening with water dumbbells and body weight
- Pelvic floor recruitment exercises and balance training
Hoys Allied Health + Wellness facilitates a weekly antenatal (pregnancy) hydrotherapy class for our pregnant clients under the direction of Heidi, our physiotherapist with a special interest in women’s health.
To join the class or to obtain further information, please contact us on 02 6652 7355.
To read more about exercising during pregnancy, see our “How To Guide” for exercise during pregnancy: https://www.hoyshealth.com.au/news/pregnancy-exercise-how-to-guide/