Can I Swim in Chlorinated Water During Pregnancy

swimming-pregnantSwimming in any kind of water can be dangerous for your unborn child, if you are pregnant. This is what the most recent studies have suggested.

Water that that is found in the swimming pools contains chemicals that are very dangerous for pregnant women and can lead to a number of birth defects and deaths of the developing babies. Chlorine and other chemicals are added to the pool water to keep it clean but these chemicals can also produce very harmful results for both, the baby and the mother. These chemicals get absorbed in the skin when you enter the water plus they can also enter your body when you breathe as the water evaporates and the chemicals become a part of the air you breathe.

Swimming on the other hand is also very beneficial for the body as it helps strengthen and tone the muscles without putting any strain on the back. This is why some people think swimming in pregnancy is a healthy activity where as many researchers think that the chemicals present in the pool water are harmful to the developing baby. Plus if you are going to a crowded dirty pool then you area at a higher risk of being exposed to these harmful chemicals.

Another thing that you should know is when you enter the pool with any kind of body or skin care product on your body, the chemicals in it gets mixed with the chlorine present in the pool water. The chemical reaction between these substances results into the creation of chloroform. Chloroform can also be created when chemicals in the pool water react with your skin cells. It is a major cancer causing chemical and belongs to a group of compounds called trihalomethanes.

Researchers at imperial college of London tested waters from eight different pools in the city, the results showed that the amount of chloroform found was twenty times more than that found in the tap water. Plus you are at a greater risk of absorbing chloroform if you are breathing fast or swallow water accidently.

Some studies also show that intake of these chemicals especially chloroform can result into still birth, low birth weight, malformations and spontaneous abortions. However some other studies fail to find any link between the chemicals and these results.

You can say that over all the benefits of swimming during pregnancy, outweigh the risks but the swimming pool owners should be more careful about what harms the chemicals in water can cause to the people, and they should also try to keep the levels of trihalomethanes low. This can be done if people are encouraged to shower before entering the swimming pool so all the skin care  products on the skin and the dead cells on the surface of the skin get washed off and making wearing of caps obligatory to avoid the reaction that takes place between your chlorine present in the water and shampoo.

Image at Flickr     

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