Kayaking While Pregnant: Tips and Alternatives
For avid paddlers, being pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean giving up kayaking. If you’re expecting, you may still enjoy kayaking with caution and taking some safety precautions. Paddling is an incredible exercise that can be an enjoyable way to spend your time amidst nature’s beauty. However, a pregnant woman requires to exert great care and caution when kayaking. In this post, we will provide some essential safety measures, suggestions, and alternatives to make kayaking safe for expectant mothers. Being adequately informed about kayaking while pregnant can significantly reduce any risks and concerns you may be experiencing.
Kayaking during pregnancy needs extra care because you have to bear in mind that you’re carrying a growing fetus. Here are some precautions that can help make kayaking safe while pregnant:
- Get Medical Approval: Before kayaking while pregnant, ensure you obtain approval from your doctor. They will advise you on whether paddling is safe for you, give guidelines, or even recommend alternatives.
- Avoid Strong Currents: Pregnant women should avoid kayaking in waterways with strong currents or rapids. It is best to stick with calm waters to avoid tipping over or, worse still, a preterm contractions.
- Wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD): A life jacket is essential for kayaking, and so is the case for pregnant women to remain safe in case of any mishaps in the water.
- Avoid Overexertion: Don’t push yourself too hard while kayaking. It’s essential to stay well within your physical limits, as over-exertion can lead to falls, fatigue, and dehydration.
- Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated while kayaking is vital, more so while pregnant. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and during kayaking.
- Paddle at a Comfortable Pace: Kayak at a steady and comfortable pace, while still allowing you to enjoy the journey without unnecessary stress.
Tips for Kayaking While Pregnant
Here are some essential tips to make kayaking while pregnant more comfortable and enjoyable:
- Stick to Calm Waters: It’s best if you kayak in calmer waters like flat lakes, slow-moving rivers or streams rather than fast-moving waters.
- Choose the Right Kayak: Select a kayak that assures your safety and comfort. A wider, stable kayak is better than a narrow, less stable one when kayaking while pregnant.
- Adjust Your Seat and Foot Braces: Proper seating is essential when paddling. Make sure you adjust your seat, backrests, and foot braces to suit your size and provide adequate support.
- Take Breaks: Paddling while pregnant requires more effort and can tire you quickly. As such, it is advisable to take frequent breaks to catch your breath, hydrate, and rest.
- Stay Within Recommended Limits: Kayaking while pregnant should be taken moderately. Be mindful of the duration you paddle, and don’t go overboard with the activity.
- Wear Sun Protection: When kayaking on a sunny day, make sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to safeguard yourself against the damaging sun rays.
- Paddle with a Partner: It is safer to paddle accompanied than alone. You can also enlist your partner’s help when you need to get out of the kayak or get assistance in case of cramping.
When to Stop Kayaking
While kayaking is a great way to stay active during pregnancy, there comes a time when it’s best to stop. Here are some situations where you should discontinue kayaking while pregnant:
- Pain or Discomfort: If you experience any pain or discomfort, it’s time to stop. You may experience abdominal cramps, pelvic pressure or back pain, indicating it’s time to rest.
- Approaching Final Weeks of Pregnancy: Approaching your due date, avoiding kayaking is best advised. You would want to take it easy and be prepared for labor.
- Feeling Fatigued or Exhausted: Kayaking while pregnant can be tiring, and as such, take frequent rests. If you feel fatigued or exhausted, it’s time to stop paddling and relax your muscles.
- Working Against Recommendation: If your doctor advised against kayaking during pregnancy or specified a duration limit, please adhere to the recommendations.
If kayaking is too much of a risk during pregnancy or too uncomfortable, there are some recommended alternatives that you can consider:
- Paddleboating or Rowing in Calm Waters: Paddleboating and rowing are excellent and safer alternatives to kayaking. They offer the same fun and adventure, but with less risk of tipping over or being stranded in fast-moving water.
- Canoeing with a Partner: Canoeing is another great way to explore the beauty of calmer waters while pregnant. Canoeing with a partner can make paddling more manageable and safer.
- Walking Along Friendly Shore Paths: Take a refreshing walk along friendly shore paths, watch the kayakers go by, and enjoy the scenery while closely hugging the shoreline.
Remember to consult your medical provider with any physical activity to verify that it’s safe for you and any ongoing pregnancy.
Is it safe to kayak while pregnant?
Kayaking while pregnant can be safe as long as certain safety precautions are followed. Seek the advice of a medical expert before starting.
Can I wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while pregnant?
Yes. Always wear a properly fitted PFD when kayaking, and ensure that it is adjusted well as per the instructions.
What are the dangers of kayaking while pregnant?
Kayaking while pregnant can be safe; however, there are some risk factors, such as loss of body balance control, the mother becoming overheated, and avoiding white-water and strong currents.
Is kayaking good exercise for pregnant women?
Yes, kayaking can provide excellent low-impact exercise for pregnant women, but this must be approached with utmost caution and under expert advice.
Is kayaking while pregnant at a higher risk compared to other water sports?
Kayaking can be more challenging than other water sports because the risks of capsizing are higher but when properly handled, kayaking can be a safe water sport for pregnant women.
What should I wear while kayaking when pregnant?
Comfortable, breathable, and stretchy clothes and a swimsuit with a thermal rash guard are ideal.
Should I bring food or drinks while kayaking?
Yes, carrying non-perishable snacks and fluids is recommended during kayak trips, especially for pregnant women.
How long can I kayak while pregnant?
Pregnant women should not kayak for extended periods. The recommended duration is less than 90 minutes, depending on how a woman feels.
What prenatal precautions do I need when kayaking?
Paddling at a relaxed pace, using a comfortable kayak, avoiding strong currents, staying hydrated, and taking necessary breaks are some precautions one must take when kayaking while pregnant.
What are some alternatives to kayaking that can still provide a water experience for pregnant women?
Paddleboating, rowing on calm waters, and walking along friendly shore paths are alternatives to kayaking.
Maggie was excited to try her hand at kayaking in her third trimester of pregnancy. She had always loved the water, and kayaking was something she had yearned to do for a very long time. Kayaking was risky, but she’d sought expert medical advice as suggested and was given the green light. Now she was at the lake, outfitted in a lifejacket and beach dress, ready to embark on her adventure.
As she paddled, the water covered the river rocks, creating a spray behind her. The water was cool and refreshing against her skin, and the rhythm of the experience was soothing. She felt weightless and free, as though nothing could bring her down.
As she paddled further down the river, the light breeze grew chillier. Her arms started to ache a little, and her pace slowed. She rested her paddle on her lap for a few minutes, bent over with her hands clasped firmly around her stomach.
Suddenly, Maggie felt her waters break. Uncertainty and fear gripped her as she silently pondered what to do next. She knew she had to get back to shore, but how? She gathered her strength and pushed through the pain, paddling for her life while trying to maintain her focus on getting to the shore.
She reached the shore, exhausted but overjoyed that she had made it to land. A kind stranger saw her predicament and called for help. Within minutes, a paramedic team arrived to help deliver the baby. They congratulated Maggie, who had given birth to a healthy baby boy.
In that moment, Maggie realized how important caution and preparedness are when it came to trying something new, especially during pregnancy. She was grateful that she had taken the plunge and done something adventurous but was relieved that her risk-taking hadn’t ended in tragedy. Looking down at her son while wrapped up in a blanket, Maggie knew she’d always cherish this kayaking memory for years to come.
Kayaking can be a fun and safe activity during pregnancy if done cautiously, following the recommended precautions and guidelines. As a pregnant kayaker, your top priority should be your health and that of your unborn baby. Follow your doctor’s advice, use adequate safety gear, and stick to calmer waters. Remember to take frequent breaks and avoid over-exerting yourself.
However, if kayaking isn’t possible or comfortable during pregnancy, consider alternatives like paddleboating, canoeing, or walking along friendly paths. These activities are equally refreshing and offer a way to keep spry during pregnancy without risking any harm to you or your baby.
With these tips and alternatives, you can still enjoy the outdoors and stay active while pregnant while keeping you and your baby safe.