The double heartbeat: Floating your way to motherhood
Updated: Sep 17, 2022
Float therapy offers tremendously positive effects to expecting mothers, or those wishing to become mothers. If you’ve met me, you know that I believe floating could save the world, and encourage all my friends and loved ones to incorporate it into their lives. Since hammering this on my close friends a shocking number of them have found themselves with child. This could be complete coincidence [likely is], but some of them had been trying to get pregnant for some time and it wasn’t until they incorporated floating that they conceived. The reduction of stress, balancing of hormones and visualization the tank provides has had a massively positive effect on their ability to conceive. This is not just my conclusion; many people have reported an increase in fertility from floating. When all other medical issues have been ruled out, stress is the most likely culprit for infertility. When you are in a state of stress your body prevents conception because it’s much harder for your body to bring a baby to term in a stressful environment. So, if you are trying to have a baby but haven’t reached fertilization yet, floating might be just what you’re missing!
This entry is pregnancy focused, but there are a few other things you should know about floating while female that we haven't touched on here. Check out the entry called Float Like A Girl; The intimate of floating and feminine health for more information.
There is a rumor going around that women shouldn’t float in their first trimester. I’ve read this on the websites but the reasoning is never sourced. I have sought research (as have many in the float community) but can’t find where this rumor started and have found zero research to support it. I believe businesses say this so that they cannot be responsible in the event something ever did happen; a cover your ass measure. Fair enough, but based on the evidence before me I think it’s total hooey! (note: I am not an expert of anything). Every single human is unique, every pregnancy is unique, and you should follow your own practical wisdom and seek expert opinion when applicable.
Here at oGo Float we have some first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to float during your pregnancy compliments of our lovely sister, and float ambassador, Karla.
Karla became pregnant in the summer of 2016 and is due February 27th. This blog details her float journey to date. I am pleased to introduce you to my sister Karla!
Belly painting courtesy of Esthetics by Nicole
Q. Have you floated all throughout your pregnancy?
Karla: yes, from beginning to end.
Q. Were there any times/periods during your pregnancy that you found it more challenging to float?
Karla: The hardest part for me is getting through the exhaustion. I was working in excess of full time hours into my 37th week and some days when I came home from work trying to talk myself into having two showers and float seemed like a lot to do. It’s ironic that I would avoid a tool to help me with my exhaustion, because I was too exhausted! When I had to talk myself into a float I was always glad I did because it gave me a boost of energy for the next week.
Floating during the first trimester was a little chaotic because my brain was rushing with so much new life changing information and my body was pulsing with new levels of various hormones. It was harder for me to subdue my running mind. I had moderately bad morning sickness in my first trimester and I found that floating really helped with that. Bladder sensitivity was also a recurring issue, but I found into my 2nd and 3rd trimesters I could stay in longer.
Q. What have been the greatest benefits you received from floating while pregnant?
Karla: Hearing the baby’s heart beat was a big one. Long before I heard it in the doctor’s office I could hear it in the tank; and much earlier than I expected. This has allowed me to bond with my unborn in ways I never thought possible.
Floating has evened out my hormones which has been a great relief. Even though this is my first baby, and the circumstances leading up to this path were probably not what others would describe as ideal, I have been quite chill about it all. My friends, family and even my midwife has commented on how rational and calm I am about the pregnancy, which I guess some women aren’t?? The reduction of stress has been a life saver. It’s great that I don’t feel like I’m on a roller coaster, I’m pretty even keel.
My capacity for learning has increased with the use of the tank. I often read pregnancy books or watch informational You Tube clips before I go into the tank. Once in the tank I review what I learned and am able to better process and retain that knowledge. Being my first child, I feel I have a lot to learn. After learning about how my body is changing to accommodate for the life I am creating I can picture the changes in the tank, track the baby’s movements better and feel better connected with my womanhood.
Q. What have been the greatest benefits you think the baby has received?
Karla: This one is obviously hard to say, but while it’s still literally a part of me I feel like I can speak on it’s behalf. The baby seems to radiate a much calmer energy when I’m floating. When I’m in the tank and all the pressure is removed from my joints and muscles the baby is free to move better too. Within the womb the baby is already suspended in a floating cradle, when I float I often joke that the baby is double floating! Float².
I think the biggest benefit to the baby, is also the biggest benefit to me. The better care I’m taking of myself the better off the baby is. I feel the baby and I have connected on a far deeper level than we could have without the float tank.
(Authors note: it is said the float tank is the closest we will ever come to the feeling of being back in the womb. The water is warm, it’s dark, safe and comfortable. There is even a cheeky float centre named ‘The Womb Room’).
Q. How has your float practice changed since becoming pregnant?
Karla: During the first trimester, my floats were shorter in duration because my bladder was adjusting to make room for a human. I move around in the tank more; I can stretch in the tank in ways I can’t do without the support of the water. My physical body is lower in the tank because I’m heavier. There are no negative consequences of floating deeper, just an observation.
I experiment with different float positions but one of the things that I like the most is that my go-to float position hasn’t changed (pictured below). Being pregnant I’ve had to change the way I sleep, the way I tie my shoes, but this is one thing that hasn’t drastically changed and I love that!
Photo Courtesy of Float Tank Solutions
Q. What tools have you used to help you float?
Karla: I often play music in the tank and that hasn’t changed. It does prevent me from hearing the heart beat so I don’t use it every time. I have created playlists of a certain duration with the intention of encouraging myself to stay in the tank longer to achieve maximum benefits. As previously mentioned I will watch You Tube clips or read a book before a float to help me absorb information – especially with ‘baby brain’ it’s nice to have the tank to help me retain information better.
Photo Courtesy of Float Tank Solutions
Q. What feedback have you received from your doctor’s/midwife when you tell them about floating?
Karla: My midwife told me that she wished all expecting mothers would incorporate floating into their rituals so they could experience the same level of calm. I am still able to sleep on my back, which is fantastic for me, but most people no longer have that luxury at 8 months pregnant. My midwife thinks the reason I’m still comfortable on my back is because I dedicate time releasing the pressure from my spine in the gravity free environment of the float tank.
My midwife is hopeful that after the birth, the float tank will help heal my body and mind faster, and I look forward to that.
At 8 months’ pregnant I’m still working more than full time hours. I don’t know if that would be possible without floating.
Q. Would you recommend floating for other pregnant ladies?
Karla: Every day I tell people how important floating has been to my journey, and every time I come across a fellow pregger I am certain to recommend they get into the closest available float tank!