De-stressing and bonding with your baby are wonderful and important reasons to float, but there’s one practical reason that outstrips the rest: getting some relief from gravity. As the weeks go by and your belly gets bigger, your center of gravity shifts, your back and your feet ache, and your organs get smushed (that is the clinical term, yes). Floating can give you 90 minutes of weightless bliss!
To get the most out of your float experience, it’s important to find a comfortable position, and in that spirit we’ve collected some options you can try. In fact, you don’t have to be pregnant to try these out. We provide a pool noodle and a Halo headrest in each room, and if you’d like extra floats to experiment with, just ask our staff.
Before we get into it, standard disclaimers apply: please remember that we aren’t medical professionals. All of the tips we share come from the personal experiences of previous pregnant floaters. The conditions of every pregnancy can be different, and all expecting mothers should seek the approval of their doctor or care provider before floating. Your care provider’s advice supercedes ours.
Getting Into A Comfortable Position
Safety note! Please use caution when getting in and out of the tank, as the surfaces are slippery and your sense of balance might be off. Look for the grab bars in the showers and on the tanks, and get a good handhold when stepping in and out.
Are you comfortable and happy floating on your back? Great news: you can keep doing that as far into your pregnancy as you like. The common advice to stay off your back is meant to avoid compression of major veins by the increasing weight of the uterus. In the weightless environment of the float tank, this generally isn’t an issue. Of course, please exercise common sense, and change positions if you feel light-headed.
Pro tip: if your lower back is uncomfortable, put the pool noodle under your knees.
Floating Belly Down can be a real release of pressure during pregnancy: the weight of the growing uterus pushes against your organs, and letting the salt water support this weight for 90 minutes can be blissful.
Use a pool noodle: you can try laying on your belly while you float, with your arms across the noodle, and the noodle under your chin to keep your face out of the water. Even if you fall asleep, your head will remain supported by the noodle.
Use your elbows: put your elbows on the floor of the tank and chin in your hands. The depth of water is approximately the length of your forearms, so your face will remain dry. Some women find this satisfying as the position provides a great stretch to the spine.
Cross your arms: you might also be comfortable crossing your arms under your chin and floating belly down in the water, resting your head on your forearms. This is very similar to floating with a pool noodle, and for some, might be preferable.
Sidelying: we don’t have a sketch to illustrate this option, but try lying on your side! You can rest one elbow on the bottom of the tank, and support your face with either your hand or a pool noodle. You might be comfortable placing a pool noodle under your top knee, as well.
You might not want to stick with one position for your entire float, and that’s okay. Move around and try different arrangements. Let the dense float solution support you as you give your joints some range of motion and stretch your spine. It’s your time, and whatever you choose will be the right way to float.
Pregnancy and Floating from oGoFloat out of Penticton, BC Canada, featuring personal experience from the blogger’s sister, Karla
Illustrations courtesy of Float Tank Solutions