Surfing While Pregnant: Some Things You Should Know.
As soon as you announce you’re pregnant, you may find the opinions, insights, advice and judgement starts coming at you from all angles. Eve-rything from what you’re eating, to what you’re doing, to how you look, to what you plan on doing for the birth and beyond. As you’re already dealing with the biological, physiological, physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional sh*tstorm of pregnancy, these comments can rub up against extremely raw nerves. It’s normal to feel anxious, indignant, resentful or upset when people chime in on every. Fking. Thing.
This is especially true for women who surf, and want to continue to surf through their pregnancy; or at least explore how far they can go with it.
Sometimes it feels like surfing while pregnant is the last taboo.
But the truth is, catching a wave with your baby in your belly can be a really special experience, if you’re willing to take the risk.
“Surfing carries an inherent risk and you can’t take that away,” says midwife and placenta expert Diana Freiwald.
“And if you can own that, you can probably go into the water.”
She goes on to say these are the four top things to keep in mind if wanting to surf while pregnant:
- Bear in mind your balance will shift. Things happen to your body when you’re pregnant, your balance shifts, which makes you more likely to get injured.
- Keep the surf sessions short; if you really can’t stop yourself from going to the water, then go but don’t take too long. Make sure you keep breathing throughout the process, make sure you’re not holding your breath.
- Minimize the amount of time you spend underwater.
- Don’t surf in very risky areas with a lot of reef or rocks or danger zones
You can learn more about prenatal care from Diana here.
Myself, Caitlin, and my cofounder- Marie-Christine, decided to record a podcast on our own experiences of surfing while pregnant.
We consulted our own birth care providers, we tuned into our own bodies, we weighed up the risk for ourselves, and from there we decided what surfing would look like for us during pregnancy.
This is an invitation to do the same for yourself if you’re wondering if you can keep up your sport during pregnancy, feel into your body, talk to your birth care provider make the right decision for you because you are the only one who will have to be responsible for the decisions you make.
The purpose of this interview is more to just drop into some of the emotional and physical intricacies of surfing, or continuing your chosen sport, while pregnant. We see these pictures of women surfing with their big bellies and maybe idealise the same situation for ourselves, but the truth is it’s a lot more complicated than that.
You might think you want to surf until the end of your pregnancy but maybe your body is calling you to stop sooner, you might want to surf but the season is too gnarly for your comfort level. You might surprise yourself and surf might be a really positive and helpful thing for you. It’s about being open and curious and accepting for this stage of your life, surfing, or your chosen sport will be different. And that doesn’t mean its bad, it is an opportunity to experience your sport, yourself, this stage of your life in a completely different way.
Journal Entry from Caitlin, 20 weeks pregnant:
I have to be more careful surfing now, Obviously. And so, I hang back when there’s crowds. I don’t go for late take offs or closeouts. I hesitate more. A lot more. Sometimes I’ll get just one wave a session. But through this I’m learning how much I’ve been missing in surf. I’ve been so desperate in the past, so ego-driven, wanting to always eat up as many waves as possible, as quickly as possible. Getting frustrated when I don’t. Impatient when it’s crowded, stressed when I’m not surfing as well as I’d like.
I’ve realized through being forced to slow down that catching waves is only a percentage of surfing. There’s so much more around me as I sit out in the water each morning. Sounds, the smells, the feeling of rocking softly in the sea while my baby turns and rolls in my belly. Sometimes I paddle away from the waves and just float. Doing things on slow, I’m allowing myself to take in more. I’m falling in love with surfing and the ocean in a different way.
Listen to Salty Club cofounders Cait and MC talk more about their experiences while surfing >> here <<
The journey of motherhood will rock your world forever. And that is why it is so important to feel supported as you move through it.
We have made an offering for exactly this purpose. Welcome to Salty Mama, Journey to Motherhood.
Content, information and conversations we, the mamas in the Salty Club, couldn’t find ourselves, but desperately needed as we navigated the challenges and shifts of new motherhood.
Our intention with this program is to provide a 360 degree approach: to support your body, mind and soul throughout your whole pregnancy, and the several months following the birth of your baby.
It is our hope this package will help you refine your truth; as you nurture yourself, as you equip yourself with information, as you empower yourself through the stories of other mamas; How can you write your own rules about what it means to be a woman and mother?
This isn’t a rule book, it’s an invitation to do motherhood on your terms. And that includes surfing while pregnant, if you want to.