Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Water Aerobics Reduces Pain in Childbirth

Pregnant Women Who Do Water Aerobics Are More Likely to Pass Up Pain Drugs During Delivery
By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 20, 2008 -- Moms-to-be: It may be time to go shopping for a maternity swimsuit.

A new study reports that women who do water aerobics during pregnancy may have less need of pain medications for their deliveries. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Campinas in Brazil and published in Reproductive Health, included 71 expectant mothers. Thirty-four of the women took water aerobics classes three times a week during pregnancy, while the control group of 37 women did not.

The water aerobics group was significantly less likely to ask for pain medication during delivery. Twenty-seven percent of the aerobics group asked for pain medication, compared to 65% of the control group.

There were no significant differences in length of labor or type of delivery between the two groups. Newborn results for average birth weight and age at delivery were similar, as were Apgar scores, which evaluate the physical condition of a newborn immediately after birth.

All participants received fitness tests at several intervals during pregnancy. Water aerobics did not have any negative impact on the cardiovascular health of the women who took the classes.

"We've shown that the regular practice of moderate water aerobics during pregnancy is not detrimental to the health of the mother or the child," says co-author Rosa Pereira in a news release. "In fact, the reduction in analgesia requests suggests that it can get women into better psycho-physical condition."

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy