Floating for Expecting Mothers
Disclaimer: it is not recommended that women float during their first trimester of pregnancy. Once you’re into your second and third trimesters, please consult with your physician before floating.
“That pool of salt water was the best mattress ever. I could lay there and feel the baby. Just me and my baby, in our own quiet, peaceful, happy place.”
-Leah Pellegrini, mother and avid floater
Let’s get something straight: I am not super qualified to write this blog post. I’m not a mother. I’ve never been pregnant. I hope I never am (I have had the occasional food baby, but I doubt many of you will count that…).
I’m going to give this a shot anyway. And all you expecting mothers will just have to come try it out for yourselves, and tell me whether or not I got it right.
Floating for Expecting Mothers
Word on the street is that growing a baby is hard. A woman’s body changes dramatically in order to accommodate new life. Dr. Batya Grundland, physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, jokingly tells her patients that being pregnant is like “a glimpse into your life with osteoarthritis twenty years down the road.” In other words, everything hurts. Some joints swell and stiffen, while others lose stability and put more stress on surrounding areas. As you put on the weight necessary to support your child, it adds pressure to the back and hips. The abdominal expansion also presses on the chest, causing potential discomfort and shortness of breath. Not fun.
Getting comfortable while you’re pregnant can be a challenge. You can’t lay on your stomach for obvious reasons, and laying on your back can be dangerous because it restricts blood flow to the placenta. It’s understandable why many pregnant women suffer from inadequate sleep the further they get into their pregnancy.
(I feel like you should all take a moment to appreciate your mothers right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait…)
As you can imagine (or maybe you know!), pregnancy, while worth it, can be stressful. Fortunately, mothers don’t have to just grin and bear it. Floating while pregnant can offer a lot in the way of relief.
Float therapy offers respite from many of the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy. Being perfectly buoyant in saltwater, soon-to-be mothers can relax on their bellies, allowing the water to gently support them. They can also lie on their backs; the water puts no pressure on the body, and therefore removes any risks. Magnesium absorbs through the skin and relieves all the tightness and imbalances in the muscles and joints. The nervous system relaxes and brings on a peaceful contentment.
Many mothers also express that floating while pregnant can be a deeply bonding experience. Just as floating makes you very aware of your own body, doing so while pregnant allows you to experience a profound awareness of, and a deeper connection with, your child. Some are even able to hear both heartbeats, the mother’s and child’s, simultaneously.
Maybe I’ll consider getting pregnant after all… It certainly sounds like an amazing experience.
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