I'm not a native english speaker so I might not find the correct word for a medical condition.

I have cerebral palsy, I swim, but mostly with my hands. My stomach is sensitive, I have high acidity levels, I have Peptic ulcer, when I eat something that can't be digested easily or sometimes when driving for long distances, my stomach turns, I can control it but I still feel it.

I feel the same when swimming due to inhaling and exhaling repeatedly , put the head up the water and in, it shakes my stomach, plus when you don't have oxygen it's worse, and you have less than a second to inhale so it's a fast motion, it's even worse when swimming because you can't stop, take a break until the feeling goes away.

I don't eat anything before swimming and I take Nexium, which is perhaps the defacto medication. I only take it when I want to swim, but it's not helping.

My swimming technique is also immature, I use so much force to go up and breath, I think this is a contributing factor.

Is there some things one can do to make sure that his stomach won't bother him when swimming?

  • See Pete's answer. I missed this reading it the first time, but if you are "putting the head up the water and in", it suggests you are lifting your head up and down to breath. It is a simple rotation to the side to breathe, not a bobbing motion. Lessons I think would help immensely.
    – JohnP
    Sep 19, 2018 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Is there some things one can do to make sure that his stomach won't bother him when swimming?

I don't think that is something this forum can answer. We're not doctors and this question goes far beyond swimming and physical fitness.

The best information I can give you here is that there are dozens of different kinds of equipment that could help you stay at the surface more easily, so that you aren't bobbing up and down or working your respiratory system so hard.

But given how little we know about your overall condition, I don't recommend using any of them before consulting your doctor or a physical therapist. And of course please try to swim at locations where there's a lifeguard present when you're trying out new equipment.


While a doctor's advice could help as the selected answer says, there are a few things to consider more directly from your description.

"you have less than a second to inhale so it's a fast motion"

You should have far more time to exhale. All of the time your head is underwater you can be slowly exhaling. When your head is above water, you'll only need to inhale. This should make swimming much less of a struggle.

"bobbing up and down"

You should work with a swim instructor to try to bob less. I've worked with swimmers with mild and moderate issues like CP and it is hard to give specific advice without having worked with you, but consider your balance first. The harder you lean into the water, the better it will hold your body horizontally and this makes everything smoother. Each stroke should return to what is almost a resting position that you could hold indefinitely. In freestyle if you are rotating properly, the head should turn gently to the side a couple inches, and in breaststroke the head stays almost neutral to your body while the upper body tilts up and down. If you have less head motion, I suspect you will have less sickness.

Assuming this could be motion sickness, you should also ask your doctor about using Bonine, which reduces motion sickness specifically.

  • 1
    Couldn’t agree more with this answer - especially about the exhaling of air. In fact, controlling my breathing was a big step in regaining balance in the water!
    – Frank
    Sep 20, 2018 at 11:25

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