Are you pregnant? Do you want to go surfing? Here's some advice for women who want to surf through pregnancy.
Some women can't resist the temptation to merge two special moments - their pregnancy, and their intimate moment with the ocean.
In other words - only a surfer knows the feeling. So, if you're a self-confessed wave riding addict, can you stay out of the surf for nine months?
Surfing when pregnant is not forbidden. However, it is not the same thing as staying out of the water. We must admit it - there are risks associated with it.
But the most common question remains entirely unanswered - is it safe to surf while pregnant?
Each surfer has its own experience. Some women will stop surfing when their belly gets big; others, like Bethany Hamilton and her mother, decide to surf all through their pregnancies.
From a medical point-of-view, the majority of doctors will say that pregnant women should exercise, but surfing is never the number one suggestion.
Instead, health professionals will add that there are specific workout programs for pregnants that include water - for instance, swimming and water aerobics.
The most conservative doctors and nurses note that surfing is a sport which involves a high risk of abdominal trauma and that excessive exercise can lead to bleeding, problems with the cervix and placenta, ruptured membranes, and premature labor.
That is why pregnant surfers should feel entirely comfortable and confident when making the decision to ride a few waves. Unlike with bodyboarding, surfers need to paddle for a wave and then pop-up using arm power.
So, should a pregnant woman go surfing? The wise answer would be, "No." Holding the breath, losing the balance, popping up, may have an adverse impact on your belly, and on your baby.
But if you're willing to take the risk and catch a few waves, pay attention to the following advice and keep your bump safe:
1. Go if you know: if you're not an experienced surfer, don't paddle out. You need to make sure you control the ocean variables; 2. Pick and ride a foam surfboard: you'll get more balance and a cushioned surface for your belly; 3. Practice breathing: keep the oxygen flowing for you and your baby, and avoid too many breath-holds; 4. Be selective and surf small summer waves: visualize what lies ahead, and paddle for waves without consequences; 5. Paddle out in uncrowded beach breaks: don't go surfing in rocky environments or breaks full of beginners, and wave hogs; 6. Get someone to watch over you: make sure you have a friend or relative nearby in case you need him/her; 7. Avoid closeout waves, and spectacular kick-outs: play it smoothly and reduce all unwanted body impacts; 8. Enjoy short surf sessions: don't put too much pressure on your body; 9. Paddle on your knees: avoid lying on your stomach - do like longboarders do; 10. Avoid late take-offs: take it easy and let the challenging waves pass by;
Women should be especially careful in the first months of pregnancy, and then again when they're almost giving birth.
All pregnancies are different, and what is valid and correct for a woman, can be an unpleasant experience for another. Listen to your body, talk to your doctor, and, when in doubt, adopt a conservative posture.