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What Are the Pros and Cons of Doing Water Aerobics during Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Many studies tout the benefits of water aerobics during pregnancy because it can help ease low back pain, which is an extremely common problem among pregnant women. Doing aerobics in the water provides extra support for balance and mobility, and since pregnant women tend to struggle with the extra weight of pregnancy, the water support can be extremely beneficial over dry land exercises. One of the disadvantages of water aerobics during pregnancy is the elevated likelihood of dehydration; people who exercise in the water are less likely to drink fluids during exercise, potentially leading to problems for the mother and the baby.

One of the biggest advantages of water aerobics during pregnancy is a mother's ability to gain some relief from low back pain. The aerobics exercises can strengthen core muscles, but more importantly, buoyancy will allow some of the weight of the baby to be lifted from the spine, which bears this burden for nine months. A mother is more likely to reap the benefits of regular exercise if she is not consistently in pain, and she is more likely to continue exercising without pain than she is if she is suffering through a workout.

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Water aerobics during pregnancy can lead to some problems for expectant mothers. Dehydration is more likely to occur in people participating in water aerobics because the mother may be farther away from drinking water sources, or she may not be thinking of drinking because of the presence of water. Dehydration can lead to health problems for the mother, such as muscle cramping, headaches, and other discomfort. Dehydration will also affect the baby, though dehydration is unlikely to be life-threatening to the child unless the mother's dehydration is very severe or prolonged.

Water aerobics during pregnancy are far safer than land exercises because they tend to be far lower impact on the body. Lower impact exercises reduce the risk of falls or other incidental impacts that can be harmful to both the mother and the child, so water aerobics exercises are usually highly recommended for pregnant women.

Infections are possible, depending on the overall cleanliness of the body of water in which the water aerobics during pregnancy are done. Public pools can be breeding grounds for germs if not treated properly, and lakes and ponds are just as likely to have harmful bacteria in them. While a common cold or bug is not too harmful in most cases, a mother who gets sick during pregnancy can put the child at risk.

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