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Tips for Paddle Boarding During Pregnancy

sup paddle tips pregnantSeychelle and her bump. | Photo: Floridagirlphotos.com / @floridagirlleisa

Pregnancy is an incredible time in a woman's life and having a healthy mom AND baby are of the utmost importance. Finding ways to exercise while pregnant might also look a little different that your normal routine due to your changing body. Fortunately, standup paddle boarding is one form of exercise that can be a great outlet for expecting moms. Here, we caught up with World Champion Paddle Boarder Seychelle during her own journey to motherhood to share some tips for paddle boarding during pregnancy. Check out her tips below:

1. Listen to your body

Pregnancy provides us with an incredible time in our life to be savored for so many reasons. We are given a huge invitation to slow down the normal day to day pace and really tune in to our bodies and connect to our intuition in a deeper way than ever before. Instead of just "doing what you've always done," or trying to stick to your regular training regimes, practice consistently checking in with how your body feels and what it needs day to day and moment to moment.

There is a lot happening inside of you required to grow another human, not the least of which is a 50% increase in blood volume! By all means, if it feels good, go for a paddle or even a surf. Just remember to give yourself grace. Know, honor, and respect that you will be more tired than usual, and therefore performance will steadily decline throughout your pregnancy. Be mindful of how you feel. Slow down, take breaks, and complete rest days when needed.

sup paddle tips pregnant 2Photo: Floridagirlphotos.com / @floridagirlleisa

2. Stay in your comfort zone

Pregnancy is not the time to be testing your limits or trying to make gains in training distances or time. Always assess the conditions and make sure you feel comfortable heading out. Take a more stable board than usual or opt for days when the weather is more favorable for paddling. There are plenty of other ways to get fresh air and exercise. Walking, hiking, swimming, yoga, or doing some form of resistance (strength) training can all be beneficial during pregnancy. (Even cycling and running up to a certain point.) Stick to activities, paddle routes, surf breaks, and workouts that you are familiar with during your pregnancy. You want to enjoy the experience and feel safe at all times. If you don't feel safe, stop and head back to shore.

sup paddle tips pregnant 3Photo: Floridagirlphotos.com / @floridagirlleisa

3. Know how to fall

Know how to fall and how to get back on to your board safely with your bump. The biggest risk for paddling during pregnancy I'd say is the risk of falling on to your belly or getting hit by your board in the belly. Even just falling in an overstretched or over-twisted manner could cause harm to your body. This isn't to say that you can't fall in. It's a matter of how you fall. If you are going to fall, commit to falling in to the water and not on to your board. I prefer to hit the water feet first or to dive in hands first, (during surfing wipeouts) however I have taken a few belly and/or back flops and baby and I have been just fine. I follow tips 1 & 2 of listening to my body and not going out in conditions that I don't feel super comfortable falling in.

The second part to this is, depending on your body size and strength, as your belly grows it can become more and more difficult to pull yourself back on to your board without smushing your bump. Pay attention to how you are able to pull yourself on to your board, preferably on to your knees and not your belly, and stop paddling before this becomes too difficult.

sup paddle tips pregnant 1Photo: Floridagirlphotos.com / @floridagirlleisa

4. Practice proper paddling technique

Pregnancy can put a lot of extra strain on your back, hips, pelvis, and joints due to the growing size and weight of your belly as well as a hormone called relaxin being released. Take extra care to keep a stable core, neutral spine, and to use the power of your legs when you paddle. Keep your chest up, bend your knees, and use a hip hinging motion rather than bending over and loading into your back. If possible, it might even feel good to lengthen your paddle height by one inch to encourage staying more upright. If you experience pain while paddling, stop paddling and seek care from an appropriate therapy like chiropractic, massage, or other physical therapy before returning to your board.

For more tips on paddleboarding during pregnancy as well as proper paddling technique see these SIC Maui #talkstories videos above and follow me on social media @SeychelleSUP or at Seychellesup.com.

Last modified onTuesday, 22 February 2022 12:36
Seychelle Webster

KEY LARGO, Florida - Seychelle has been named “Fastest Paddler on Earth”, she's a SUP World Champion in racing and she also holds the Guinness Book World Record for longest paddle in 24 hours. Seychelle has a brilliant smile and a positive energy that follows her wherever she goes. When not traveling to compete in various stand up paddle events, Seychelle is a wellness instructor where she teaches SUP yoga and fitness classes and loves to share her passion of SUP with others.

Website: www.seychellesup.com/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.