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Is it ok to swim in the ocean while pregnant?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was browsing through Fit Pregnancy for dummies at the bookstore last night and it said that pregnant women were not supposed to swim in the ocean, lakes, or ponds. The reason given was the risk of getting an infection from the water. Now, I have never seen this anywhere else and it seem as though, if this were truly a signifigant risk I would see this mentioned in other places, but I figured that I would check in here to see in anyone else had come across this idea.
I have never heard of someone getting an infection from the ocean, pregnant or otherwise. It almost seems like swimming in chlorinated water would be riskier as it would dramatically change the ph balence of the vagina. And I've never even heard of someone geting an infection from swimming in a pool. I didn't see the ocean mentioned here on the things to avoid thread. Am I out of the infection loop or is this just some personal nonsense of the authors?
post #2 of 19
I think this one falls under complete nonsense!

Just as there are some stupid doctors who tell women they can't labor in water after their membranes rupture (for fear of infection) it looks like one "expert" took the "advice" a bit too far!

Think about this...when a menstruating woman goes swimming, does her tampon end up soaked with ocean, bath, lake water, etc.?

Enjoy the ocean!
post #3 of 19
I was swimming in the ocean two days ago and I'm perfectly fine. So is my friend that went with me who is also PG. Stupid article
post #4 of 19
I went swimming in the ocean all the time with both my pregnancys. No problems. That's a bunch of bull. I will say as you get bigger though, you have to be more carefull if there's big waves since your balance can be alittle off. I also went swimming in the natural springs around here.
post #5 of 19
I went swimming in the ocean every day last week. Personally, I think it's safer than the local pool that's filled with icky chemicals and who knows what else because kids don't bother to get out when the have to go...now that's gross!!

I would of course avoid high pollution areas, anything close to a sewage treatment plant or any beach closed because of high bacteria counts.

Have fun swimming!!
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilary122
I went swimming in the ocean every day last week. Personally, I think it's safer than the local pool that's filled with icky chemicals and who knows what else because kids don't bother to get out when the have to go...now that's gross!!

I would of course avoid high pollution areas, anything close to a sewage treatment plant or any beach closed because of high bacteria counts.

Have fun swimming!!
Where do you think ships dump their trash and sewage?
post #7 of 19
I swim in our pond every two or three days. Nothing's happened yet. Just for curiosity's sake, I will ask my midwives next Friday.

If I still lived in Florida, you'd be damned sure I'd be in the ocean every single day of my pregnancy/life...until winter came, anyway.
post #8 of 19
Recently visited India, swam in the ocean every day for a week - was wonderful. Dreaming about it now in this humid East Coast weather!!
post #9 of 19
Okay, I know I replied to this thread earlier, but I'm going to

Everything I've read about excercise during pregnancy says that swimming is one of the best activities. So while I'm supposed to avoid inhaling smells from cleaning supplies and exposure to chemicals I should go and jump into a big pool full of chlorine. I don't know about you, but every public pool I've ever gone swimming in is overflowing with chemicals to counteract the pee and stuff like that. There are two people on my street who have pools and when the pool man come out once a week I can smell the chlorine a block away. Swimming in a pool is swimming in a puddle of chemicals. Nothing an ocean or lake has can even compare to the toxicity of a pool (okay, granted there are some very polluted bodies of water, but not around me). So when we are supposed to be protecting this most fragile being in our body we should just go and expose ourselves to an extremely dangerous chemical.

Okay?
post #10 of 19
Shyly,

I'm totally with you. We have two ponds....one, I wouldn't want to stick any orifice in....it's grossly stagnant, slimy, smelly and gross. (Oh, and it's full of snapping turtles)

The other one is beautifully clean, just tiny bits of algae here and there. Healthy happy fishies, a great blue heron, lots of turtles of all sorts, frogs, you name it.

Of course, the scummy pond has that stuff too, but you can tell the difference. (The critters love it. Yech)

Anyway, point is, unless it's got toxic farm run-off or a bacteria bloom or something, you can tell when the water's clean. Just use your best judgement and stay out of the over-chemicalized pools.
post #11 of 19
What a load of hooey!

Kinda like not taking baths.
post #12 of 19
On my first visit to the OB, the nurse was going over all the "first appointment" stuff, and she made a point to tell me and DH that it was perfectly fine to go swimming in a lake or other body of water. She said some people will tell you not to, but there is absolutely no reason to avoid it (pregnant vs not pregnant, anyway--pollution aside). I didn't ask, she volunteered the info.
post #13 of 19
Actually, not every pool is loaded with chemicals like that.
The one we swim at (the local YMCA) is treated by a salination process. So not only does it feel great for a preggo body, it's like a day at the spa for my dreads.

~Daednu
post #14 of 19
I swim in the ocean quite a bit, and lakes too. I went in last sunday and got knock over by a wave , gotta watch what I'm doing! I check a local website for bacteria levels every week just to be safe for me and DD. Most of the time its fine. You should be able to find a website in your area, check "where you live" ocean bacteria counts or something similar....

Here's mine - it may link you to more

http://www.surfridersantacruz.org/test.htm

Have a great time in the water!
post #15 of 19
To me, it's just like warning mamas to not go outside.....b/c when you think about it, our air quality isn't anything to write home about either! Life is full of risks---it seems that anything to do with birth and pregnancy is all about the dreaded dangers and how awful and negative things *can* be. I'd take the article, and all advice, with a grain of salt. If something *feels* unsafe to you, trust your instincts! Otherwise, have a great swim
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mady5
...Am I out of the infection loop or is this just some personal nonsense of the authors?
This was 12 years ago, but when I was pregnant with my son, I was on bed rest with pre-eclampsia and my doctor prescribed swimming for 20 minutes a day in the pool or ocean. He said the limited exercise and being in the water were helpful in controlling blood pressure.

I had one of those pregnancies where it seemed like everything that could wrong, did go wrong. But I never got an infection from swimming in the pool or the ocean. Swimming around with my baby swimming in me is one of my most treasured memories of being pregnant. I hope other women aren't denied that experience based on bad advice.
post #17 of 19
I agree that the risk is not high enough that it should stop you from getting refreshing exercise, UNLESS there are pollution or infection warnings about that particular body of water or you notice evidence of a problem--like oily gunk floating on the water, lots of dead fish, or a sewage stench!

Quote:
I've never even heard of someone geting an infection from swimming in a pool.
I guess you missed the discussion of E.coli infections (from inadequate swim diapers in undertreated pools) that was going on in Parenting Issues a few weeks ago? It does happen. However, out of all the times that another pool user is lacking in hygiene, only a few will be carrying really dangerous bacteria....

Quote:
Think about this...when a menstruating woman goes swimming, does her tampon end up soaked with ocean, bath, lake water, etc.?
Yes, it does. Have you never gone swimming wearing a tampon? or were you asking this rhetorically to try to make the point that it's not dangerous to have that happen? It might be, if the wrong stuff is in the water. Another good reason to use a reusable cup!
post #18 of 19
Don't know about swimming in lakes, ponds, or oceans but my general advice is to not read Fit Pregnancy. :LOL I just can't read any of the mainstream stuff at all anymore. I wish Mothering had a special "pregnancy" magazine. Heck, I wish Mothering ruled the world!
post #19 of 19
I think that the risk of infection isn't necessarily to the vaginal area. I would swim in the ocean without any worries at all, but people do sometimes get infections from strange parasites in lakes, ponds, and rivers. Most of those are things that enter through the nose. Personally, I would still feel fine about swimming in those bodies of water, as long as I knew that the body of water was relatively safe and people weren't dropping like flies from swimming in it. I probably wouldn't just go jump in a lake while on vacation away from home unless I gathered some information about it.
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