We recommend prenatal aqua therapy for all the mommies-to-be out there!!!
Not only are we firm believers in the benefits of aqua therapy during pregnancy, but it is also agreed amongst doctors, mid wives and birthing centers that prenatal aqua therapy has many great and soothing benefits. What’s more, it is one of the safest, most efficient forms of exercise out there and something you can do through all stages of your pregnancy. We understand that every woman has a different experience during pregnancy. General pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and body aches can be treated with aqua therapy. While ladies suffering from more severe symptoms, such as pain that is caused by pelvic muscles shifting, can also find relief immersed in warm water.
Many studies have shown that pregnant women who participate in aqua therapy or aqua aerobics experience various physical benefits. In addition, studies have also shown that they are less prone to suffer from postpartum depression. Pregnant women who choose to find relief in the water note that in addition to the physical relief, they value this as an important way to focus on themselves before the arrival of the baby.
With that said, let’s have a look at all the physical benefits when participating in prenatal aqua therapy classes.
Floating creates the feeling of weightlessness
An almost weightless exercise environment is created when you immerse yourself in water. In fact, once you are immersed up to your neck in water your weight is reduced by approximately 90%. Most, if not all, pregnant ladies appreciated this feeling of buoyancy the water creates. Not only does this characteristic of water create weightlessness, but it also helps to reduce compression on your spine and joints and helps strengthen muscles without the normal pain we associate with land-based exercises.
Prenatal aqua therapy simultaneously treats other conditions
Unfortunately, many pregnant women suffer from various other conditions or illnesses which could lead to additional pain, discomfort and tiredness during their pregnancy. Many studies have shown that aqua therapy is great in assisting with pain relief for a wide range of conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis. Thus, women participating in aqua therapy during their pregnancy will at the very least be relieved of the feeling of carrying extra weight, and in addition to that, might experience pain relief should they have a pain condition. Furthermore, aqua therapy is also ideal should a person have suffered an injury or undergone surgery. This is because the body doesn’t carry weight in the same way as it would on land. Allowing the patient to start therapy much earlier than they could with a land-based routine.
Being immersed in warm water
Now we know that you are wondering about how being in warm water might affect your little one, as you have been told not to increase your body temperature, especially during the first trimester. Not to worry at all! The pool temperature is kept at approximately 33 degrees and sessions to 30 minutes for exactly this reason. Thus, your body temperature might rise ever so slightly but within a range that is completely safe for you and your baby.
This slight increase in body temperature will dilate your blood vessels, which results in an increase in your circulation which has various effects at different times:
5 minutes immersed in warm water – slight reduction in your heart rate and blood pressure.
8 minutes immersed in warm water – improved circulation in both your hands and feet.
12 minutes immersed in warm water – your muscles start to relax at this stage, which means your body feels more receptive to passive exercise. Your body also responds better to stretching, which in turns helps to release toxins and lactic acid.
15 minutes immersed in warm water – minor pains (and for some people more severe pain) starts to dissipate.
No such things as “No Pain No Gain” when it comes to aqua therapy
Many people believe that when it comes to exercising, you should go through pain to gain benefits. We do not believe in this concept, which is a non-starter in aqua therapy.
The beauty of exercising in water is that there is resistance provided from all directions. This resistance can be increased or decreased by merely changing the speed of your movement or adding certain equipment. It provides resistance training and cardiovascular training at the same time. Which means you are burning off the calories and toning your body, and you don’t even feel like you are working that hard.
We’ve had many women come to us who were gaining too much weight during their pregnancy. Often they have been asked by their gynaecologists to try and manage their weight gain better. Each and every one of these women managed to do exactly that. They stopped gaining more weight than what was healthy for their pregnancy. And were all at a healthy weight at the end of their pregnancy.
The wonders of hydrostatic pressure
You might have heard the term ‘hydrostatic pressure’ before and wondered what exactly it means. Hydrostatic pressure can be explained as the pressure the water exerts on your body. This happens due to the higher density water has in comparison to air. When standing in chest-depth water, there will be more pressure around your ankles than your knees, and more pressure around your knees than around your hips for example.
The benefits of hydrostatic pressure include reduced swelling, pain relief and improved circulation. And this can all be achieved without even moving in the water, as it is the water doing the work for you.
It has that feel-good factor
Your body undergoes various changes and adaptations while being pregnant. This can often take its toll on areas such as your back, knees and ankles. Discomfort often leads to women being unable to continue with their normal land-based exercise routines. Which, in turn, leads to frustration and often a feeling of unhappiness. And this is where aqua therapy comes in. Because of the feeling of weightlessness, the reduced pressure on your back and joints, the reduction in pain, it is a great medium to turn to when you no longer feel comfortable doing land-based exercises. And as added benefit, it offers a safe environment to exercise with like-minded people. Not only are you getting healthy exercise, but plenty of other positive effects are taking place at the same time. Resulting in an overall feel-good factor.
It is therefore clear to see why we recommend aqua therapy for all the mommies-to-be.
Join Fish and Field Biokineticits for prenatal aqua therapy classes at our Off Nicol branch!
References and Further Reding:
Author: Jenna-Lee Field