Ante Natal Hydrotherapy / Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is a type of hydrotherapy that takes place in a heated pool. It is a safe and effective form of exercise for pregnant women of all fitness levels to manage common pregnancy symptoms such as back pain, swelling and fatigue. It is especially beneficial for women who have pain or other conditions that make it difficult for them to exercise on land. At LHAP our pool is kept at 34 degrees, safely below the 37 degrees the British Pregnancy Advisory Service recommend pregnant women avoid such as the temperature of hot tubs and saunas.
The buoyancy of the water helps to support your body and reduce stress on weight-bearing joints which can reduce pain and inflammation, particularly beneficial for women experiencing back pain. The hydrostatic pressure of the water helps to improve blood circulation throughout the body, this can help to reduce swelling and decrease leg cramps. The warm water helps to relax muscles and improve flexibility. This can help to improve range of motion and make it easier to perform everyday tasks such as getting dressed, walking and stairs. Exercising in warm water can help to reduce stress and anxiety which in turn can improve mood, body image and quality of sleep.
Aquatic exercises can help to improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and breathing which can improve overall fitness and reduce the risk of other health problems such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension. The resistance of the water can help to strengthen muscles such as your legs, core and pelvic floor. This can help to improve your posture, reduce your risk of injuries and improve endurance, helping to prepare the body for labour and delivery. It is also felt that exercise can help improve postpartum recovery and the reduce the risk of complications.