Blog guest: Svetlana Blazevic
She continued swimming almost to the end of her pregnancy. After she gave birth to a child, she went back to swimming only a month later, and continued with her top results a year later. What would be your advice for the future mums, who are not professional athletes: Should they swim? Svetlana Blazevic, a multiple Balkan and national champion in the Olympic triathlon, and a mother of a little Nikola, shares her experience as the Swimming Dad #Blog guest. She was also a Serbian national senior champion in 50m and 100m dolphin style races. In her career she managed to complete nine full and eight half Ironman races.
How often did you swim/train when you became pregnant and until when? How did swimming help you stay in shape?
Since I became pregnant after my first completed Ironman race, when I was in the full shape, I continued swimming every day until the very end of my pregnancy, on average 3km a day. In the first two semesters I swam in the
swimming pool while the last one I spent swimming in the sea. Apart from that, I ran until my fifth and rode the indoor bike until the seventh month of pregnancy. After that I only continued swimming. Swimming helped me maintain my optimal weight, made me feel relaxed, and helped me keep my muscles active and flexible.
Would you recommend swimming during pregnancy?
I would recommend swimming during pregnancy to all women who: 1. Have a natural and normal state of pregnancy with a minimal risk; 2. Had swum even before they got pregnant and who are reliable and experienced swimmers;
3. For those who are less experienced, I would recommend aqua walk or aqua yoga, because of the positive impact of the hydrostatic pressure in the water,
which we cannot experience during any other activity outside the pool. For all those who decide to swim during their pregnancy, I would advise that they talk to their gynaecologist first. If you plan to go to a swimming pool, the best time to do that is in the morning, when the water is relatively cleanest after the overnight filtration, and of course, be always under the supervision of a lifeguard. I wouldn’t recommend the sea as it is less safe, however it’s much cleaner.
How much time did it take to go back to your professional trainings after you gave birth to Nikola?
After my C-section delivery, it took me 14 days to do my first bike training, while I returned to swimming after 30 days. Only when Nikola was nine months old, I started with the structural trainings. Fourteen months after the childbirth I managed to win PB at the Ironman competition in Austria, and at the same time, achieve the national record in the long triathlon.
What would be your advice to all those future mums who are not professional athletes but wish to stay in shape during and after their pregnancy?
My advice would be to listen to their body and choose the physical activity that they enjoy the most, however, they should find a professional trainer who specialised in parental care. To focus and prepare for the breastfeeding which is, in my opinion, the key factor in returning to the initial shape. Your body gets ready for the breastfeeding during the pregnancy in the way it stores certain amount of fat that would be used as the source for milk. Whether we talk about women who want to compete again after the childbirth or just get back in shape, I would suggest that they all relax and enjoy every single magic moment they have with their child as those moments go by very fast.