Free Swimming for Pregnant Women

ENJOY FREE SWIMMING DURING YOUR PREGNANCY

From the 1st February, pregnant women living in South Gloucestershire will be able access free swimming as part of a year‐long pilot scheme.  This scheme is being run as a joint partnership between Circadian Trust, (who operates Active Lifestyle Centres) and South Gloucestershire Council.

Why Swim?

Swimming is a particularly good way to stay active during pregnancy and can be performed safely in all three trimesters.  The water not only keeps expectant mothers cool, but also supports up to 90% body weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active during pregnancy has many health benefits including, improved health related quality of life, and a reduction in health related complications for mother and baby.

How can I access the scheme? – Do I need a special pass?

To be eligible for the scheme, you just need to visit your local Active Lifestyle Centre and present your Maternity Exemption Certificate, (supplied by your doctor or midwife), and proof of your address.

The end date for being eligible for free swimming is 3 weeks after your due date.

Residents who are registered with a South Gloucestershire GP surgery, but live just outside the county, will also be considered as eligible. In these cases, proof of registration with the GP surgery will also need to be shown to be signed up.

When can I Swim?

You can come in for a swim during any of our public sessions.  Our Pool Timetables can be found by clicking here.

WHY HAS THE SCHEME BEEN SET UP?
This is a one year pilot scheme offering free swimming to pregnant women who live in South Gloucestershire. It is linked to our strategy where efforts are focused on establishing interventions that enable people to make healthy choices that contribute to achieving a healthier population. This scheme has been put in place to help tackle the effects of maternal obesity where it is recognised that obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse health outcomes to both mother and child. What’s more, obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of life-long health problems in children, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

WHERE CAN I SWIM?
At anyone of our 5 Active Lifestyle Centres. These are located in Bradley Stoke, Kingswood, Longwell Green, Thornbury and Yate. Eligible customers will be able to access the public swim sessions at any of these Centres.

IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO SWIM DURING MY PREGNANCY?
Yes. Swimming is a highly beneficial way to stay active during pregnancy and can be performed safely in all three trimesters. Widely recognised as a low‐impact method of aerobic exercise, swimming provides a more comfortable environment for expectant mothers to maintain their physical health – as the water both keeps them cool and supports the additional weight. In addition, researchers are now discovering that regular aerobic exercise during pregnancy has the potential to improve the mental and physical health of children well into adulthood.

MY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE LASTS FOR A YEAR AFTER THE BIRTH OF MY CHILD, CAN I SWIM FOR FREE UNTIL THIS DATE?
No. The pilot scheme has been set up to help women be more active during their pregnancy and benefit from a more active lifestyle for themselves and their baby. The end date for being eligible for free swimming will be set at 3 weeks after the applicants due date, and not the full time period on the maternity exemption certificate.

DO I NEED TO SHOW MY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE EACH TIME I ATTEND?
No. Once you have shown proof of eligibility on your first visit, and have registered at one of our Active Lifestyle Centres, you will be given a Free Active Card which you will need to gain access on each visit. Access to free swimming sessions is only through presentation of a valid Active Card at the Customer Service Desk.

CAN I TAKE PART IN AQUA, OR OTHER CLASSES, WITH MY PREGNANT WOMEN FREE SWIM MEMBERSHIP?
No. The free swimming in pregnancy refers to public swimming sessions only and does not extend to aqua fitness classes or swimming lessons.

CAN I ACCESS THE SMALL POOL WITH MY TODDLER USING MY PREGNANT WOMEN FREE SWIM MEMBERSHIP?
Yes. You will be able to swim for free by using your free swimming in pregnancy membership. Toddlers and babies aged under 3 years can also use the pools for free (they will need to wear a swim nappy. These are available to purchase from reception). If your child is aged 3 years+ and is a pre-paid member with our Swim School, that child will also get in for free. Please ask at the Customer Service desk for availability during the public swimming session.