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Can You Kayak While Pregnant? [Updated 2023]

How to Surf While Pregnant

How to Surf While Pregnant

Abigail Scott

Abigail Scott
Mother, Professional Kayaker, and Software Engineer

Updated on 1/28/2023

“Is kayaking safe during pregnancy?”

The pregnancy experience encourages a woman to examine and evaluate every facet of her life. You may feel that giving up your love of the great outdoors for a spell to focus on preparing your home for the arrival of your new little bundle of joy is an unavoidable aspect of the process.

But are having a baby and participating in water sports two things that can never go together? Can you kayak while pregnant? Or is this something that is "prohibited" for the time being?

I'm trying to figure out if it's okay to go kayaking while I'm pregnant.

Many expectant mothers who are physically active are willing to put their passion for paddling on wait to ensure the safety of their unborn child. However, as you will see in this advice on how to go kayaking while pregnant, this might not be necessary.

A Question For Your Doctor: Is It Safe To Kayak While Pregnant?

Kayaking While Pregnant – Advice On Paddling With A Baby Bump

Kayaking While Pregnant – Advice On Paddling With A Baby Bump

Can I kayak while pregnant? Sure, it's an easy question. Despite this, the response is everything but straightforward, extending beyond a simple "Yes" or "No."
We are participating in on-the-water sports such as kayaking or canoeing while pregnant does not provide any inherent risks due to the nature of the activity. The general opinion is that pregnant kayaking is safe for most women, so long as we limit our discussion to pregnancies with a low risk of complications.
The following guidelines should be followed when participating in any physical activity during pregnancy:
If you were active before becoming pregnant, it is likely to be safe to continue being active while you are carrying a child.
When my wife was pregnant with our kid, I never once doubted her ability to make decisions, and I have no intention of beginning to do so now. But it would be dishonest to claim that I didn't have my fair share of anxieties given my status as an avid kayaker, a husband, and an expectant father.
But if there's one thing I've picked up from this experience, it's this:

pregnant woman KAYAKING

pregnant woman KAYAKING

Since each pregnancy and each pregnant woman is unique, the question of whether or not you should take a vacation from kayaking now that you are expecting will depend on several factors. Ultimately, the only individuals with a say in the matter are you and the professional medical caring for you.
There is a reasonable probability that your physician will permit you to paddle anytime you choose, and when he does, you'll be allowed to do so whenever you feel like it.
However, not every pregnancy goes off without a hitch.
Suppose you are carrying a high-risk pregnancy with everyday issues. In that case, exercise may be inappropriate for you, especially kayaking while pregnant, and could cause more harm than good — both to you and your baby.
Until the birth of your child, you may be obliged to "slow down" in the following situations:

  • A history of a pre-existing medical condition
  • Multiples pregnancy
  • A previous history of pregnancy loss or premature birth 
  • Poor cervix health.

No matter the circumstances, it is in your best interest to consult with your primary care physician and, if necessary, look for a second opinion. Please pay attention to what they have to say, do what they suggest, and above all else, be mindful of the constraints imposed by your own body.

The only competent persons to answer this question and give you any guidance you might require are your physician or another supplier of medical services.

Kayaking While Pregnant Has Its Advantages: Why Kayaking While Pregnant Could Be A Good Idea?

How Kayaking Can Help Boost Your Fitness

How Kayaking Can Help Boost Your Fitness

Your pregnant hormones are holding you hostage; you feel tired, exhausted, and "not quite yourself" - with a dash of swollen feet and the occasional backache added into the mix. This is all because you are now carrying a child.
It is easy to understand why the idea of putting a halt to all forms of physical activity for the next nine months could appeal to you.
Creating a brand new individual requires a lot of effort.
But if you're not at risk for difficulties during your pregnancy, doing nothing but waiting around for the baby to arrive isn't going to do you any good at all. Keeping up with your regular exercise routine while pregnant is not only completely safe but also highly advised and extremely advantageous for you and the baby. It can help with things like these:

  • Reduce the pain in your back, swelling, and general discomfort.
  • Avoid putting on extra pounds at any cost.
  • Increase the tone, endurance, and strength of your muscles.
  • Increase your level of energy, and your mood will follow.
  • Reduce the likelihood that you will develop gestational diabetes.
  • Build up your strength in preparation for labor and delivery.



It is one of my favorite things about kayaking. You can make it as calm and peaceful or as exciting and challenging as It is one of my favorite things about kayaking because you can make it as quiet and relaxed or as exciting and challenging as you want it to be. How you go about solving the problem is essential.

That is, in my opinion, one of the most significant advantages of kayaking while pregnant:

You can determine the optimal pace for you in terms of safety and comfort.

Kayaking is one of the few low-impact, non-weight-bearing outdoor activities that pregnant women can participate in, making it an even more appealing option. It is possible to exercise your upper body muscles without requiring your legs to support any weight, reducing the likelihood of experiencing edema and knee pain.

And let's not forget about the positive effects that kayaking has on mental health during pregnancy:

Getting some fresh air, appreciating nature, engaging in activities that bring you joy, and being in the zone all contribute to reduced stress levels, more significant mental health, mindfulness, and an overall healthier pregnancy.

Jogging was the first thing I had to go for my wife since her knees couldn't handle the hammering anymore. Then, as her belly expanded, she gradually stopped going on bike rides and practicing yoga because she felt she couldn't maintain her balance.

She found that kayaking was the only pre-pregnancy physical activity and exercise that made her feel like herself, or at least as much as possible, given the changes in her body.

When You're Pregnant And Paddling, Here Are Some Tips To Keep You As Safe As Possible

kayaking pregenant

kayaking pregenant

If you are pregnant and want to go kayaking, ensuring your safety should be your number one concern.
No, let's not go there.
Safety is of the utmost importance for a kayaker soon to become a mother.

When You're Out On The Water, It's Important To Remember To Take Care Of Yourself For Your Safety And Comfort

kayaking safety

kayaking safety

Being pregnant adds to the difficulties of kayaking, which is already an exhausting and fascinating activity in its own right. You can't afford to wing it right now; you need to meticulously organize each kayaking excursion down to the minutest of details, even if doing so makes the experience less adventurous.
Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the health and safety of your child.
While out on the water, you should keep the following in mind for your safety and comfort:

  • Eat a well-rounded lunch before you go out paddling, and bring some snacks with you to maintain your energy level.
  • Stay hydrated (even if it means taking more frequent bathroom breaks).
  • Find a personal flotation device (PFD) that can support your growing baby belly, and make sure to wear it at all times.
  • You should get used to the idea that you will have to urinate frequently and schedule your trips to the restroom in advance.
  • Pick launch sites that are convenient to access.
  • You should make any necessary adjustments to the configuration of your kayak, and you should consider upgrading to a seat that is well-cushioned, adjustable, and has a backrest.
  • When paddling during the warmer months, make sure to wear sunscreen and make use of the shade provided by your kayak.

The most important thing is paying attention to your body and respecting its boundaries. If something doesn't "quite feel right," cut the trip short, make a note of your symptoms, and, if necessary, consult a physician.

You have the rest of your life to challenge yourself, so you should be able to tell when it's time to take it easy.

Take A Break From Whitewater Kayaking And Paddle Some Calm Waters When You Want To Switch It Up!

Whitewater Kayaking

Whitewater Kayaking

Instead of battling class III rapids or paddling upstream against the tide, take a break from whitewater kayaking and stick to more minor stressful settings that involve calmer water, such as swimming in a lake or on a river that moves more slowly.

I won't waste any time trying to change your mind about how much you will miss the surge of adrenaline, the thrill, and the excitement that comes with navigating fast-moving or rough waters.

However, for the same reasons that you enjoy whitewater kayaking so much, pregnant women should not participate in the sport because of the inherent dangers:

It is taxing on the body and significantly raises the possibility that you will capsize, increasing the likelihood of sustaining an injury.

So, Can you paddle board while pregnant? Emily Jackson demonstrated this by competing in and winning the women's freestyle competition at the Payette River Games. At the same time, she was eight months pregnant, and it was possible to accomplish this feat.

pregnant women kayaking

Not only is it possible for pregnant women to kayak, but they can also be very good at it.

Do not let this stop you from going kayaking; if you are pregnant, you will likely have a much more pleasant experience if you kayak in still water, away from land, with the current, and at a leisurely pace.

Choices In Kayaks: Is There Such A Thing As A Kayak Suitable For Women Who Are Pregnant?

Choices in Kayaks

Choices in Kayaks

While it's not necessary for you to run out and buy a new kayak right now, you should probably give some thought to the kind of kayak you already have.
Which kayak will you think will be easier to handle and more comfortable to get in and out of when you have a baby bump? A sit-inside kayak or a sit-on-top kayak?
If you want to continue boating while pregnant, you will probably need to make some alterations. In all likelihood, your tried-and-true sit-inside kayak will continue to serve you well if you haven't progressed too far in your pregnancy. But if there were ever to be a suitable kayak for pregnant women, it would be a sit-on-top model with a wider beam and a larger weight capacity.
In addition to that, and I hope you won't hate me for stating this:
Remember to consider that you have gained weight and check to see if you are still within the maximum load capacity of the kayak.

Kayaking In A Tandem Kayak Is Better Than Kayaking Alone

Kayaking in a Tandem Kayak

Kayaking in a Tandem Kayak

Since you are expecting a child, you should probably rethink your plans to go kayaking by yourself now that you are carrying a child inside of you. Although paddling on your own has its perks, you should think twice about doing so while pregnant.
I'm not suggesting that you should have any self-doubts, but I think it's wise to collaborate with at least one other person whenever possible.
If there is a crisis, you will have somebody nearby who can assist you. Even with the utmost self-assurance paddlers, going on solo kayaking adventures can be a little nerve-wracking experience.
In addition, it is lovely to have someone who can take over the paddling chores if the level of physical exertion becomes a little too much or when all you want to do is relax and enjoy being out on the water.

Kayaking While Pregnant: Conclusions And Recommendations

 Kayaking When Pregnant?

Kayaking When Pregnant?

Alterations to one's lifestyle, some of them substantial, will be necessary throughout pregnancy. The good news is that kayaking may not have to count as one of them after all:

Can pregnant women kayak? Yes!

Can you kayak while pregnant? Depends!

Can you kayak while pregnant? Let's find out.

If kayaking was already a significant part of your life before you were pregnant – and your doctor says it's okay for you to do so – then nothing stops you from being on the water with your unborn child.

There is a possibility that the place, time, and manner in which you kayak could change. There is a possibility that you will one day reach a point where you no longer feel safe launching your kayak.

But for the time being, you are free to carry on as usual. Just remember to give your body the respect it deserves by paying close attention to what it is trying to tell you, making it easy, and putting safety first.

And I am confident that it won't be long until I see the entire family out on the water together, kayaking with the younger family members.

So, can you go kayaking while pregnant? I hope this article has solved your question.

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