A common concern we hear is about whether or not it is safe to stand up paddleboard while pregnant. I will begin by stating that the person most qualified to address this concern is the pregnant woman interested in SUP, with guidance from her doctor or prenatal caregiver.
As a certified pre/postnatal fitness professional, a certified personal trainer, a certified advanced flat water stand-up paddleboard instructor, and also a mom of two, I’m prepared to help you answer this concern and offer a few helpful tips.
Tips from a technical SUP mom’s point of view
Many people ask this question since low-impact SUP on the water is such a fun, relaxing, exhilarating method to remain active and no one wishes to lose out, even when paddling for two! The answer is yes, you should give the sport a try! Many pregnant women get out and stay active as part of their lifestyle, including yoga and stand-up paddleboarding.
Reinforcing the muscles associated with balance and paddleboard paddling (deep core, hip flexors, glutei medications, back, legs) is crucial in avoiding the curved back (lordosis) and waddle characteristics of pregnancy, and it reduces the pains of pregnancy! Stay active while pregnant is a huge part of a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and recovery, and stand-up paddleboarding fills that need!
Deciding if stand-up paddleboarding is for you
There are several things to consider that will help you decide, however, the main points are that there are methods to mitigate threats, customize your activity, and keep yourself and your child safe, so you find stand-up paddleboarding enjoyable for a long time while pregnant.
Exertive paddleboard exercise while pregnant
Based on your present level of physical fitness, you can know if SUP is a suitable activity for you, versus other activities like yoga for percent women. The very first trimester for pregnant women is a time when they may feel fatigued and a time to increase or decrease activity. The second trimester is when it is usually safe to make small to moderate gains in your fitness. The third trimester you are pregnant is when you might feel pain, and raised levels of progesterone will increase your felt exertion, naturally reducing activity, how much you’re able to do, and making you slower.
Can you maintain your usual level of exertion?
If you plan to use your SUP like you usually do when you aren’t pregnant, it may be safe to do so as long as you alleviate your threats. There are a couple of ways that extreme exercise while pregnant, even if it isn’t stand-up paddleboarding, can be dangerous to you as a pregnant woman.
How much of a threat is paddleboarding while pregnant?
Suppose you are new to stand-up paddleboarding. In that case, you can evaluate if you are comfortable taking on this new activity based on your balance, coordination, and history of success when taking part in brand-new activities before you try it while pregnant. You know your own limits, and you know best what you’re comfortable with.
Yes, you may fall off of your paddleboard into the water. You may even fall onto your paddleboard. I have seen plenty of falls, usually flopping over into the water, or onto the hands and knees onto the board. Still, it is not impossible to fall at an unusual angle or some way onto your pregnant belly – similar to tripping on stairs or over a curb.
Varying your position and falling risk
The threat of falling is always greater for everyone when standing, less when on your knees, and even less when on your bottom. I have seen pregnant people fall several times when just trying to get onto their hands and knees – if this sounds like you, pregnancy may not be the best time to take up SUP paddleboarding for the first time. There will be other days to try it out! If you are active, kneeling might be a safe position for you to paddleboard. If you are experienced and have excellent balance and confidence while pregnant, you will probably be the best at standing up and paddling in flat water.
Having a stable board
One method to reduce the danger of falls while pregnant is to make sure you are on a steady SUP board, like the 34″ broad InfiniteMantra Yoga board by SeaGods, and remain comfortable level, bottom, knees, or feet. An inflatable paddleboard is more stable and flexible if you fall than a hard paddleboard.
Heat and hydration
These are things to consider on all days, but specifically during pregnancy. If you are hot and thirsty when pregnant, you should know that your infant will be too. If you choose to stand-up paddleboarding on a hot day, please prepare so you have adequate water and are not getting overheated. Try your best to keep yourself hydrated and go at a time when conditions are bearable, remembering that you need to consume water for two and the amount you need will be different than everyone else who is not pregnant.
Getting onto your board
Please understand that pulling yourself back onto your board from the water if you do fall could be a bit different with a large, obstructive stomach! Be sure to consider this a possible threat to you as a pregnant woman. You should have some strategy in place to know how best to get your body back on, whether it is the strength to get on sideways, swim to a shallow area, or have aid from a good friend or partner. There are tips for doing this correctly to help everyone stay safe.
Typical Myths and Misconceptions about exercising when pregnant
Misconception: Pregnant females are vulnerable and need not to exert themselves because it will promote early labor
Truth: Pregnancy is a unique state of health, not a disease! Research study has demonstrated that pregnant females must not be discouraged in any way from routine activity, active living, and structured exercise. The dangers from stress, anxiety, and diabetes ought to be heavily weighed versus any viewed risks from activity during the pregnancy
Misconception: Abdominal exercise is to be prohibited as it might hurt the infant
Truth: Abdominal exercise in pregnancy is great, as deep core exercises will assist ease low back pain and simplify delivery and recovery. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends stomach exercise while pregnant be carried out standing, sitting, or in various positions after the 4th month (avoid laying on your back).
Paddling your SUP pregnant, even if you go slow, is an excellent option for activities you need that are great for your health and for your baby. Plus they are one of the best experiences you’ll find!
The benefits of a workout during pregnancy are numerous
Balancing and paddling on your SUP paddleboard while pregnant will first engage your core muscles, lowering the frequency of one of the most typical grievances in pregnancy – backaches!
Stabilizing on your SUP while pregnant will engage and strengthen the muscles in your legs for long periods, assisting in pushing the blood back up to the heart and decreasing discomfort from varicose veins that pregnant women often suffer from.
Finding your sanctuary out on the water will have fantastic psychological benefits to assist and deal with tension while pregnant. Physical activity might help pregnant women deal with the anatomical and physiological changes and discomforts of pregnancy.
What about the child?
Fetal heart rate has been shown to increase throughout and instantly after pregnancy. Maternal exercise, like yoga, helps the fetus deal efficiently with periodic reductions in uterine blood circulation and oxygen shipment. Generally, your child is getting a workout too!
Labor will be safer
Stay active with things like yoga or water sports. You can see that it helps to decrease fetal stress throughout labor – studies show that infants of exercising mothers tolerate contractions (far better than babies of inactive moms), are tension-free, and have plenty of oxygen and low acid accumulation in the blood.
A personal testimony
“What I like about being pregnant and paddleboarding is that you can enjoy your time on the water while being pregnant. It is an amazing feeling to share it with a little infant inside, although he or she can’t see yet, and you have the feeling somehow that they can experience it currently. Being on the water is my favorite, and of course, one day I hope my kids will delight in it and feel the same when they mature, learning to discover and respect nature.” – Eva Oude Ophuis, a paddleboarding mom. Sharing the bliss of paddleboarding pregnant with your yet-to-be-born kid is a lovely idea!
The threats of exercise during pregnancy
Maternal severe Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Chronic Fatigue, and Musculoskeletal injury are a few of the most dangerous threats to the pregnant mom of extreme exertion or accidents while exercising during pregnancy or while pregnant. Fetal hyperthermia during a prolonged workout, decreased carb availability, and minimized oxygen accessibility are a few of the biggest dangers to the baby.
How to and how not to exert yourself
If you are starving, tired, and out of breath while pregnant, you’re developing infant is too! If you are working out or doing yoga at a level that minimizes your tension, makes you stronger, handles your weight appropriately, or reinforces your heart and lungs, it benefits you and your child! Don’t take my word for it, but consider it with advice from your doctor, or prenatal caretaker, and hints from your own body and child while you are pregnant. Enjoy your prenatal journey!
Relative statistical dangers to putting it in perspective
When computing dangers, traveling in your car and truck is probably the most significant danger you take. If you use sound judgment and reduce the threats in your activities, Stand Up Paddleboarding can be a safe and fun venture to take pleasure in while pregnant! Know your pregnant limitations and remain within them, and it never hurts to bring along a partner to do the heavy lifting and help you if you require it.
I would recommend SUP during pregnancy
If you have been debating stand-up paddleboard exercise while pregnant so far, I want to encourage you to go ahead and do it. If you are reasonably comfortable with the sport and have good judgment with your physical abilities as a pregnant woman, your risk of hurting yourself or your child is low. The benefits are also numerous, as your health and your baby’s health will be significantly improved by physical activity.
An alternative form of exercise
If you are still not familiar with paddling a SUP and don’t feel secure learning it while parenting, but you want to experience the benefits of staying active during pregnancy, we encourage you to find another activity you know you could do. Yoga is a great option that lets you get many of the same benefits as paddleboarding, and you can do it while pregnant. First, find a yoga instructor that has experience working with pregnant ladies!
Finding a board for you
Suppose you are confident and ready to paddle as a pregnant woman after seeing these tips. In that case, there are great resources on how to get the right size of paddleboard you need, finding ideal boards for ladies who are pregnant, and the types of boards that will be best for the kind of paddling you want to do. We have tips on getting started with your SUP and the types of activities you can participate in, as well as the best ways to keep your pregnant body engaged during your SUP journey.
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