There are many benefits of floating, but perhaps no group of individuals finds more immediate relief than pregnant women! With its sense of weightlessness and relief on achy joints and muscles, experiencing flotation therapy while pregnant can be a tremendous source of relief for expectant mothers.
While most doctors have no concern with pregnant women floating during the second and third trimester, as with most new activities, it’s recommended to check with your physician before your first float while pregnant. While little research has been conducted specifically on floating during pregnancy, there are still several known benefits of floating that seem to be amplified and can play an important part in a healthy pregnancy.
Stress Relief for Expectant Mothers
Stress relief from floating has been demonstrated in many scientific studies, and there’s no better time to invest in stress reduction than during a pregnancy. Research has shown that a mother’s stress levels during pregnancy can affect her baby’s development in infancy, and for years beyond(1). That means that if floating can reduce your stress, it could also help pave the way for healthy lifelong development for your baby.
Better Sleep During Pregnancy
Scientific research confirms what many women know to be true: disrupted sleep and insomnia are incredibly common during pregnancy(2). Floating has been shown to help individuals struggling with insomnia to get a better night’s sleep (3), and can be a wonderful natural alternative to sleep-inducing medications that many women prefer to avoid during pregnancy.
Magnesium Absorption for Prenatal Health
The mineral magnesium is crucial for a wide range of biological functions, and women are advised to increase their intake during pregnancy(4). Magnesium is also one of the two components of Epsom salt, used to create the buoyancy in a float tank (the other is sulfate). Since magnesium can be absorbed through the skin as well as through food or dietary supplements, floating is an excellent way to ensure pregnant women are meeting their recommended intake of the important mineral.
Physical Comfort During Pregnancy
Of course, the most obvious benefit of floating while pregnant is its inherent physical comfort. Almost all women experience aches and pains from carrying the excess weight of a baby, and the weightless sensation of a float tank provides immediate relief. Some sources recommend that women in their third trimester float in the “prone position”: lying facedown, with their elbows resting on the bottom of the tank and their chin in their hands.
The “Mirror Effect”
There’s no scientific research to back up this final benefit, but ample anecdotal reports. Many pregnant women find the experience of floating in a darkened tank, while their baby is floating in their own womb, to provide an incredible bonding experience. In the floating community, this is known as “the mirror effect”. Some women also report enhanced feelings of the baby’s movements during floating, further enhancing their emotional bond with their unborn baby.
There’s no better time to take the best possible care of your mind and body than during pregnancy! After all, you’re floating for two. Become a member to get the best pricing on frequent floats, or give the gift of relaxation by purchasing a float therapy gift certificate for your special someone(s) today.
- The Timing of Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Cortisol and Psychosocial Stress is Associated with Human Infant Cognitive Development, Child Development, January 2010.
- Sleep Disturbances During Pregnancy, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, November 2000.
- The Use of Flotation Rest in the Treatment of Persistent Psychophysiological Insomnia, UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project, 1989.
- Magnesium, University of Maryland Medical Center, June 2011.