Can You Kayak While Pregnant?

Can You Kayak While Pregnant?

Looking to head out for a fun day on the water? Before you go, you may be wondering: can you kayak while pregnant?
There are a few activities that you have to put on the back burner when you’re pregnant.

Think soaking in a hot tub, eating your favorite sashimi dish, and changing the cat’s litter box. (See, it’s not all bad news.)

But what about your favorite aqua adventures?

Can you kayak while pregnant? Or is this best left to enjoy once your baby’s born?

Let’s dive into the detail.

In this article: 📝

  • Kayaking while pregnant — the lowdown
  • Can you go kayaking while pregnant?
  • Can you kayak while 8 months pregnant?
  • Can a bumpy boat ride affect pregnancy?
  • Is it safe for a pregnant woman to swim in a lake?
  • Kayaking while pregnant — the final word

Kayaking while pregnant — the lowdown

If you’re new to it, kayaking is a fun outdoor activity that involves paddling in a small boat.

The word kayak comes from the Inuit word qayaq and refers to a “small boat of skins”.

You use a double-bladed paddle that you pull through the water on alternating sides to move yourself forward.

In the traditional kayak, you sit in a covered seat, either on your own in the boat or with a fellow kayaker who’s your mate for the journey.

The main difference between a kayak and a canoe is that you’re seated while kayaking and kneeling in a canoe (and a canoe uses a single blade).

So is kayaking safe during pregnancy?

While there’s promise if you want to get that paddle out, there’s no single easy answer here that will apply to everyone.

Can you go kayaking while pregnant?

In most cases, kayaking while pregnant is safe.

Provided your doctor is not monitoring you for any serious health complications, the activity itself doesn’t pose a serious risk.

In fact, it might be a great idea.

Moderate exercise when pregnant can have all sorts of benefits.

It can ease constipation, reduce back pain and help stave off health conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and perinatal depression.

Exercising outdoors may hold even greater benefits when it comes to stress reduction, fighting fatigue, and improving your mood.

Put that all together, and kayaking seems a great option for a pregnancy adventure.

But before you rush out to grab your paddle, there are some important points to be aware of.

Kayaking is, of course, a water sport. And these are inherently risky.

It’s possible to fall out, and you could then risk drowning or hypothermia.

If you haven’t kayaked before, you might want to consider waiting until after your baby is born to get started, just to be extra safe.

And no matter how experienced you are, all pregnancies are different.

If you have any concerns at all, it’s always best to check in with your doctor before you book an excursion.

And what about later in your pregnancy? Is kayaking safe, then?

Can you kayak while 8 months pregnant?

Provided you don’t overexert yourself, it should be okay to kayak at 8 months, later in your pregnancy.

But again, it’s not a bad idea to ask your doctor first to rule out any specific concerns.

Here are some ways to keep extra safe:

  • Listen to your body. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop. If you’re an experienced kayaker, you may find that you need to do quite a bit less right now. That’s okay. Be gentle with yourself. Also, your center of gravity has shifted somewhat, so if you’re feeling a bit off balance, know that that’s totally normal.
  • Ask for help. Okay, this one can be tough sometimes, but it’s really important right now. If you need help getting in or out of your kayak, or carrying it to or from the water, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Stay hydrated. Keeping your fluids up during pregnancy is particularly important. You know that quote Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink? That could definitely be the case here.
  • Keep nourished. Make sure that you eat regular, healthy meals to keep your strength up.
  • Watch out for the sun. A long day on the water can cause sunburn and heat stroke — not fun at any time, and particularly not when you’re pregnant. You may find that the pregnancy hormones running through you are making your skin more sensitive than usual, and you may burn more easily than you’re used to. Head here for our advice on tanning during pregnancy.

Can a bumpy boat ride affect pregnancy?

While you can enjoy the water, very bumpy journeys are not a good idea right now.

Too much turbulence can put you and your baby at risk.

In fact, recent research has shown that when you’re in your third trimester, even hitting a speed bump on the road too fast can be dangerous for you and your baby.

All in all, best keep things smooth sailing for now.

Also, according to the American Pregnancy Association, it’s best to avoid water-skiing and scuba diving for the time being.

Skiing poses serious risks of injury, and the decompression scuba divers must do when they return to the surface may come with risks for your baby.

When you finally get to explore the wonders of the underwater world with your little one, it will have been well worth the wait.

Is it safe for a pregnant woman to swim in a lake?

And what about going for a dip?

Swimming is a great way to keep fit during your pregnancy — but there are some risks to be aware of.

One risk is hypothermia. Even on very hot days, very cold water can cause hypothermia.

If you’re swimming, and you suddenly start to feel numbness or are shivering uncontrollably. It’s important to get out and get help.

The CDC also warns of recreational water illnesses from swimming in water that may be contaminated with germs.

Because lakes are not treated like swimming pools are, you may be at increased risk of picking something up.

Water-borne illnesses can cause diarrhea, skin rashes, and congestion — all of which can add to your current pregnant symptoms.

If you’re dying to make a splash, one way to help keep yourself safe is by trying not to swallow any water.

Kayaking while pregnant — the final word

Particularly if you are a seasoned kayaker, this fun outdoor activity shouldn’t pose any specific risks to you while pregnant.

If you’re new to kayaking, or you’re being monitored for specific health conditions, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor beforehand.

However experienced you are, though, it’s important to go gently, listen to your body, and keep well-fed and water.

Other than that, enjoy! Soon you will have a little passenger to help you paddle.

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