The idea of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) when pregnant can raise all kinds of questions. Am I still ok to paddle board if I’m pregnant? Can I try paddle boarding when I’m pregnant? Are there any additional safety elements I should be aware of around SUP’ing when pregnant? The answers will inevitably vary depending on the type of paddling, experience and skill level in question. There is no one size (or answer) fits all when your body is concerned. Listen to what your body is telling you and go from there.
When writing this, we heard from many different types of stand up paddle boarders in the Women’s Paddling Community. Some paddled on sheltered water, some white water, some even taught SUP yoga through their pregnancy! All had different tips and things to think about if you’re stand up paddle boarding when pregnant. Take a look, think about the type of paddling you’re going to be doing and go from there. If you’re confident to paddle on, go for it! If you’d rather switch to kayaking or sit it out all together, that’s fine too. Just go with the flow (pardon the pun!)
Things to know and consider if you’re stand up paddle boarding when pregnant
- If you don’t already paddle board, when you’re pregnant is probably not the time to start. However if you are already a competent paddler, there’s no evidence to suggest that you should stop your normal routine, you just might need to adapt.
- Exercising during pregnancy has been proven to not only help you stay in shape but also to help your body prepare for delivery. The great thing about paddle boarding is that you can be as active as you like, with a gentle paddling session more favourable for mother, baby and mindfulness! Exercise can also help improve sleep patterns.
- How far should I exert myself? A key one is don’t over do it! Pregnancy is not the time to be pushing yourself but that doesn’t mean you should do nothing either. Paddle at your own pace. We heard that a good general rule of thumb to know whether you’re pushing yourself too hard exercising when pregnant, is whether you can hold a conversation while you paddle. If you can’t, slow down!
- Similarly, safe technique can help you not to overdo it too! You might need to change your paddle technique, limiting your reaching forward because this can tear your abdominal muscles when pregnant which is not ideal. Instead opt for a technique where you don’t lean forward. You can find further information about safe stand up paddle boarding here.
- Am I safe to go alone? Paddle with a buddy! For obvious reasons, and not just while you’re pregnant, it’s always wise to have a friend to paddle with. Safety in numbers and it makes the paddle more enjoyable too.
- Stand up paddle boarding is great for core strength, balance and mobility in general, making it a superb way of exercising during your pregnancy. It’s worth remembering though that your balance and centre of balance specifically changes during pregnancy too. Be aware of this and continue as you feel comfortable.
- Enjoy it! It’s that simple. Have a great time, and don’t forget to tag us in your paddle trips @GoPaddling on Facebook and Instagram!