Floating during pregnancy: here’s everything you need to know...

However far along you are in your pregnancy, floating can help with a myriad of ailments. If you’re expecting a little one soon, here are a few ways floating can make your life better over those nine exciting months…

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Pregnancy is one of life’s most beautiful miracles, but it doesn’t come without its difficulties. From muscle pain, to bloating, to the occasional emotional rollercoaster, it can be a struggle for any mother-to-be.

Because of this, though, there are few demographics that see the immediate rewards of floating quite like expectant mothers. And while it’s always recommended to consult your doctor first, to make sure floating when pregnant is suitable for you, it can offer a wealth of pain-relieving and relaxation benefits, especially in the late second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

So if you’re considering floating as part of your prenatal plan, or a friend as recommended it, allow us to walk you through the benefits – and alleviate some of potential concerns, too!

Here are just a few of the ways floating can have a wonderful effect on mothers-to-be…

Muscle pain

One of the biggest challenges when expecting is the extra strain and unaccustomed weight bearing on your bones and muscles. Pregnancy especially takes a toll on the back and torso, not to mention when you do get to lie down and relax, it’s often when the baby perks up and becomes most active. Here at Floatworks, though, all our float tanks are packed with 1,200 pounds of Epsom Salts, which alleviates all that extra strain on your muscles. It is the closest you can get to complete zero gravity (without a trip into space!), as the buoyancy of the water dissipates all that extra weight, relieving your muscles in a way you can’t experience through other means.

Emotional stability

As pregnancy progresses, the cocktail of hormones flowing through your bloodstream can have a profound effect on your moods… and not always for the better! Floating is an effective way of ‘resetting’ your body’s hormonal balance, through regulating the amygdala’s production of cortisol (the stress hormone); helping alleviate lactic acid in the muscles, so when you emerge, you feel refreshed, stable and revitalised.

Better sleep

As any mother or mother-to-be will tell you, getting a good night’s sleep during pregnancy can be one of the biggest challenges, and a lack of sleep can snowball into other issues – stress, muscle tension, mood swings, bad dietary habits to name a few. With the relaxing effect floating has on the mind and body, though, drifting off into a deep sleep will be easier and more effortless than ever before. Don’t believe us? Just ask Jane…

The mirror effect

We often hear how hopping into an i-sopod for an hour is “like being back in the womb”. It’s easy to understand why – when the lights flick off and you lie back in the water, you’re left with little stimulation more than your own heartbeat. Now consider a womb inside a womb – when an expectant mother floats, she is mirroring the effects of what her baby is experiencing inside her own womb. While there isn’t much scientific evidence to back this one up yet, many expectant mothers report what’s been dubbed the ‘mirror effect’, whereby floating allows a deeper bond to grow between mother and baby, allowing one to hear the baby’s heartbeat alongside her own, and visualising the experience of the growing miracle inside.

…and that’s not all!

Research has shown that the benefits of floating (for anyone!) includes but are not limited to: reducing blood pressure, improving oxygen consumption, boosting your immune system, and can even help overcome anxieties, fears, phobias and bad habits. Not a bad shopping list if you’re expecting, we’d say!

Are there any other considerations I should be aware of?

As mentioned earlier, any medical questions or specific medical conditions should be discussed with your doctor before floating while pregnant, but if you go ahead, especially in the third trimester, you may find that the ‘usual’ way of floating isn’t the most comfortable for you. Pregnancy in the late stage is especially overbearing on the back muscles, and can restrict the blood flow to the placenta, so lying on your back with that little miracle inside of you may not be the best way to float for you. Instead, try floating on your front (we can offer pillows or noodles to support your head above the water) and experiment with different positions for your arms.

As with anything while expecting, floating should be approached with optimistic caution. But should you go ahead and hop into the tank with your child-to-be inside of you, you might just find it offers you relaxation, pain relief and comfort you’d be hard-pushed to find elsewhere.

If you’re expecting but still want to be able to float, we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have and put those worries to rest. Get in touch on Instagram or send us an email.

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