Paddling While Pregnant

by | Aug 10, 2016

Standup paddle boarding is a great fun activity for everyone, even if you are pregnant. Many women who enjoy paddling are worried that it may not be safe to continue their SUP activities if they are expecting a baby. In fact, one of the most frequently asked questions that moms-to-be ask is: “can I still paddle while I’m pregnant?” Various studies show that exercising during pregnancy can help pregnant women stay in shape and prepare well for the delivery. In fact, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that “physical activity in pregnancy has minimal risks and has shown to benefit most women.” They say that the benefits of keeping physically active and exercising outweigh any risk. Paddleboarding is a great way of keeping fit and active while pregnant and the beauty of paddling is that you can be as active as you want to be. In fact, pregnant women who paddleboard during pregnancy say that gliding along the water also helps them to feel calmer and more positive.

What to Consider Paddling When Pregnant

If you want to keep paddling when pregnant, what should you consider to keep you and your baby healthy and safe? Here are a few factors to keep in mind.

Your SUP Experience

Most doctors advise against starting new activities while pregnant. So, if you have never been on a SUP before, it is probably best to wait until you have your baby before taking up the sport. Without previous experience of paddleboarding, you are more likely to over-exert yourself or fall. If you paddle using a safe technique, the exercise from paddling can help you avoid many of the health problems associated with pregnancy, like:
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Back pain
  • Incontinence
You may find that you enjoy better sleep and are able to manage your weight better during pregnancy.


When paddling while pregnant it’s important not to overdo it. However, this is true with most exercising during pregnancy. So, as your pregnancy progresses you may have to slow down and take it easy on the SUP. A good rule of thumb that many pregnant women use to check they are not exerting themselves too much is this: during physical activity, you should be able to hold a conversation.

Safe Technique

You will probably have to change your technique when paddling during pregnancy and this involves the forward reach. Try to avoid bending forward too much and keep your body as straight as possible. By doing this you can avoid overusing your abdominal muscles which can cause extra pain and pregnancy complications. Even well into your third trimester, you can continue to paddle board. Usually, during this time it can be difficult for women to take part in physical activities. It can be difficult to walk, bend over, and keep up with daily activities. However, paddle boarding for many pregnant women is the only physical activity they can continue late on in their pregnancy. Of course, doctors advise that you should not push yourself too hard, but always listen to your body.