Is it Really Safe to Go Kayaking While Pregnant?

For pregnant women, kayaking is often appealing because of the perfect vantage point it offers for beautiful surroundings like the sea, rivers, lakes, and woodlands. It can be a truly peaceful and relaxing experience.

But when it comes to heading out on the water for kayaking, you may have several concerns. For example, “Is it still safe to go kayaking while pregnant?” and “Which kayak is ideal for a pregnant woman?” 

Also, “How will I know if my body is up to the demands of kayaking?” or “How can I know if I still have the energy to keep up with the rigors of kayaking?”

These are some of the worries that may come to mind when you think about kayaking during your pregnancy. But you’ll be happy to know that it is entirely safe to kayak while pregnant, as long as you take some precautions!

Rethinking Kayaking When It Comes to Pregnancy – How Can I Kayak?

Although it’s understandable why you may be hesitant to go kayaking while pregnant, you shouldn’t let uncertainty keep you from enjoying a relaxing paddling experience. Often, a pregnant woman can continue kayaking and stay active throughout the majority of her pregnancy.

It won’t be simple, and you will probably need to make some modifications to your regular kayaking routine. But staying physically active while enjoying the fresh air and beauty that surrounds you can be incredibly beneficial to both your physical and mental health while pregnant. 

Kayaking while pregnant is not only possible, but the non-weight bearing sport can be a great stress reliever and help you stay active while acknowledging your body’s limitations.

Physical activity and moderate exercise is needed during pregnancy. Add to that the relaxing experience of kayaking on the calm waters, and you’ve got yourself a great activity to enjoy during your whole pregnancy. 

Kayaking Can Be a Good Exercise and a Healthy Adventure While Pregnant

Some doctors recommend exercising right up until you’re nine months along. Others suggest that you keep your kayak on dry land until your baby is born. 

The question is, should you continue your adventures or hang up the paddle?

First of all, nothing beats a doctor’s advice. Your doctor knows both you and your baby’s health, and is in the best position to advise you on whether or not it is safe for you to kayak while pregnant.

While many pregnant women enjoy kayaking, any strenuous physical activity can be dangerous for those with pregnancy complications. All women, but especially those whose pregnancy is considered high risk, should consult their doctor before getting out on the water.

What if your doctor gives you the green light to pick up your paddle? Kayaking may quickly become your favorite exercise while you’re pregnant!

Kayaking is a great physical activity and can reduce discomfort, backaches, and the risk of gestational diabetes. This low risk, non-weight-bearing activity will help you stay active while not exacerbating swollen feet. 

With your body in such turmoil during pregnancy, getting out and about is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Pregnant women who engage in outdoor activities, like kayaking, have lower stress levels and improved mental health. 

Paddling Tips to Stay Safe While Pregnant – How to Prepare for Your Safe Kayaking Trip?

Since pregnancy is a special and exciting time, there are some extra precautions you must take when doing certain activities. After hitting the third trimester, many women realize that their body won’t bend and balance the way it did before they were pregnant.

At first, the idea of kayaking while pregnant may seem scary, but if you listen to your doctor, take things slow, and stay on calm water, you can still enjoy this healthy sport and the nature around you.

A Kayaker Mother-To-Be Caring for Your Body

Kayaking is definitely an exciting hobby! Kayak fishing while exploring a gorgeous lake or even paddling down a slow-moving river can make every other sport seem to pale in comparison. 

You can enjoy kayaking with different friends, take different routes, and never feel like you’re doing the same thing twice. But along with all the excitement and fun, you need to take good care of yourself. 

Incorporate these measures while planning your kayaking trip to stay safe and have fun!

  • Personal Flotation Device

Safety is of the utmost importance when kayaking. And a pregnant woman should be more careful than anyone else while out on the water. 

Getting in a kayak during fall or winter means exposing yourself to the possibility of frostbite and hypothermia. Some women, especially those with a high-risk pregnancy, may want to avoid kayaking during colder months.

But if you’re an avid kayaker who’s determined to get out on the water, having the right life jacket can save your life by helping you get out of the cold water quickly should you unexpectedly find yourself swimming. Make sure that your life jacket is properly fitted to be snug and secure, but not too tight. 

Since all women gain weight during pregnancy, this can cause your center of balance to shift. The added baby weight will likely make it a bit more difficult to keep your kayak stable.

This possibility of extra instability is just another reason why a well-fitted personal flotation device is vital for safety while kayaking. 

A couple more important safety tips are to choose the right kayak and body of water for your adventure. Whitewater kayaking is never recommended for a pregnant woman, simply because the risk of going overboard is high and the white water is often full of jolts and bumps. 

  • Sun Protection

Let’s say that you want to take it easy. You just want to float out into the bay, soak in the warmth of the sun, and take in all the natural beauty surrounding you.

While doing so can be extremely beneficial and relaxing, you need to take precautions to make sure you don’t get a sunburn while you’re on the water. Apply a high spectrum SPF and think about wearing a shirt or rashguard instead of a swimsuit to protect your belly from the sun and feel comfortable all day. 

Also, remember to pack plenty of snacks and extra water! It’s vital to stay hydrated at all times during your pregnancy. 

Getting enough nourishment and water is a key part of maintaining your health no matter how many months pregnant you are. 

Body’s Limit

Pregnancy comes with many discomforts, and it’s common knowledge that being uncomfortable can cause anxiety. Physical activity can exacerbate these discomforts and the anxiety that may accompany them. 

So the less you expect from yourself, the more you can relax and enjoy your adventure. 

When enjoying your paddle, try not to overwork yourself. Pushing your body to the point of exhaustion can lead to anxiety, complications, and, in extreme situations, possibly even premature birth. 

Stay in tune with your body, and listen to it when it tells you it’s done. Take time to rest when you are tired — or better yet, before you get tired — and continue paddling only when you feel ready.

Water Bodies – Paddle on a Lake or a River With a Smooth Current

Make safety a priority, and consider the water conditions before you jump into your kayak. You can enjoy a great day on the water without exposing yourself or your baby to unnecessary risks. 

One of those risks is falling into the water when whitewater kayaking. Falling into turbulent water can give you an adrenaline rush as you try to stay above the water, and this can be harmful to your baby. 

To avoid this risk, avoid whitewater kayaking and stick to paddling on calm, shallow waters. 

What Sort of Kayak to Look for While Pregnant?

Consider the following questions when trying to choose a kayak that will work well when you’re pregnant:

  • Which one would afford your growing belly the most freedom of movement?
  • Which one would allow you to adjust your seat height or foot braces more easily?
  • Would you feel more comfortable in an open or closed cockpit?
  • Do you want to own a sit-inside kayak if you plan to go kayaking while pregnant?

In the world of kayaking, there are many different styles, shapes, and sizes of kayaks. The sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks are two of the most common types available. 

Many pregnant women prefer the sit-on-top variety. This type of kayak allows you to sit, adjust in your seat, and stand up without needing assistance from someone else. 

Women tend to avoid sit-in-kayaks during pregnancy, as they can be less stable and more challenging to get in and out of.

It’s also important to consider your weight when choosing a kayak. If you already have a kayak, or even a canoe, make sure that your added weight during this time doesn’t outweigh the boat’s limit.

Taking Kayaking to the Next Level – Paddle With a Partner

Having a kayaking partner can be a lifesaver. Kayaking takes a lot of strength and energy on your part. 

Imagine carrying a 10-pound object for several hours while doing all the paddling — it’s going to become quite difficult! If you’re using a tandem kayak while pregnant, your partner can take over paddling duties and give you time to rest. 

Your partner can also handle the lifting and loading of the kayak. They’ll also be able to carry it to the water for you, helping you to avoid any unnecessary strain. 

In addition, enjoying a paddle together can be the perfect pastime to enjoy with your partner before your life is changed by your new baby. Going kayaking with your partner may be one of the best pregnancy memories you make!

In a Nutshell

In conclusion, kayaking while pregnant is fun and can be great exercise.

Keep in mind that kayaking is very much an “individual sport.” Each person has different preferences regarding kayaking in general. 

Some pregnant women like to go kayaking, and others don’t. Some expectant mothers never paddle again after their pregnancy, and others go out on the water shortly after giving birth.

The good news is that kayaking while pregnant may be one of the healthiest forms of exercise you can have. So, it’s worth asking your doctor if they would feel comfortable with you getting out on the water. 

If your doctor isn’t familiar with the intricacies of kayaking, consider getting a second opinion from a doctor that can offer sound advice and tips on how to keep your baby safe. 

Balance is needed when deciding whether or not to kayak while pregnant. Take into consideration the advice of your doctor, your energy levels, the extra weight you’re carrying, and then make the best decision you can with the knowledge you have. 

Follow the tips shared previously in this article to stay safe while you kayak and have a relaxing adventure! Here are our final thoughts: Paddling while pregnant isn’t easy, so if you have the strength and energy to make it work, you are already a supermom!