Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
There are tons of anecdotal stories about pregnant people having great experiences with floating, but what are some of the things you should consider if you’re going to encourage floating while pregnant.
Graham and Ashkahn share what they’ve heard about it and how to frame the conversation with an expecting parent while still covering your bases from a liability standpoint.
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Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: All right. Welcome, everybody.
Ashkahn: Welcome. Hey there. If this is your first time joining us-
Ashkahn: I guess, I mean, welcome to you, too. This is really no different.
Graham: Yeah. Oh, hi. No. I wasn’t going to exclude them or anything if that’s the direction you were going.
Ashkahn: No. I’m happy you’re here. Yeah. But don’t do it again.
Graham: I’m Graham.
Ashkahn: I’m Ashkahn.
Graham: Today’s question is “reasons for or against pregnant women floating throughout pregnancy? Things to be aware of at different points during the pregnancy, etc.” See if you can guess where the question mark was.
Graham: Nope. There was one. Incorrect. All right. Anyway, let’s get on.
Graham: So is that the-
Ashkahn: I’ll figure it out.
Graham: I was going to say it’s after the word “pregnancy,” but it’s in there like five times.
Ashkahn: Pregnant floats.
Graham: I recommend them.
Graham: Yeah. I’ve never been pregnant, but they sound, from people who have, they’re really good. I mean, you’re fundamentally carrying around a huge amount of weight in your belly, so going into a situation that’s weightless-
Ashkahn: It’s like you have a tiny float tank on your stomach. So that’s it. It’s all good. No, okay. Here’s the deal. People who float while pregnant tend to have pretty incredible experiences. It’s some of the most magical stories we hear, are people coming in at various stages of pregnancy, from early to late will have these anywhere from amazing stories with regard to the physical sensation and getting the weight off of their body and all that stuff off to really emotional stories about feeling a connection with this tiny person inside of them and stuff like that is really heartwarming to hear.
So it’s super, super great. They are some of our most satisfied customers. They’re some of the people that have the most incredible float experiences.
Graham: It kind of makes sense, too, when you think about it. You have a lot going on in your body when you’re pregnant. It’s going through this weird change that it only does at very specific times in your life. And it’s really cool. I think being alone with yourself and being more conscious of all of those changes and of this entity that you’re making inside of yourself just. Yeah, kind of like you said, it ends up being really magical.
We’ve had a lot of customers who are pregnant and come through. We’ve had one of our staff members who floated with us while she was working with us while she was pregnant and floated the entire time. She actually wrote a great blog on that, too, like her own experiences during her pregnancy, which we’ll throw into the show notes so you can check it out if you want to.
But I guess the question is also around it’s not uncommon for float centers to have waivers that they include pregnancy on. Like it’ll be no floating during your first or third trimester is something that I’ve seen on waivers a lot. I guess just in general, too, pregnancy is this delicate kind of situation that you have going on, so there’s natural fear, maybe, in exposing pregnant ladies to something that will somehow harm them or harm the baby.
Ashkahn: Yeah, and that’s going to be like, you’re going to get a lot of questions. Lots of women who come in who are pregnant will start asking things that are kind of complicated or very specific. And in general, like pretty much all other medical questions, our default answer is to be like, “Listen. We’re just running this float tank center. This is not a maternity ward. You should go ask your doctor. If you feel uncomfortable about anything, if you have any questions, if you’re concerned that floating may do something that will result in harming your pregnancy in any way, we’re not going to be the ones to tell you answers to that. Check in with your physician and have them let you know if they think it’s okay for you to float or not.”
Graham: Yeah. Super good default answer for any of this and also for-
Ashkahn: Any general. Yeah.
Graham: … general medical conditions at all. Yeah. Whenever someone asks you something about what’s going on with them personally, especially if it’s related to, yeah, pregnancy-
Ashkahn: That’s how I answer if people ask where the bathroom is. I’m like, “Listen-“
Graham: “Go talk to your doctor about the bathroom, okay? I’m just some dude who works here.” Yeah. With that said, I don’t personally know of anything, like any study that’s been done, on floating being harmful in the first or third trimester. The best that we can put together is that it’s just when miscarriages are the most likely to happen. They often happen in the first or third trimester, either when things are just getting started or when they’re kind of coming to term.
So it’s not uncommon in a lot of different businesses, especially riskier ones, to put that exact clause in their waivers as well, exclude women in the first or third trimester, often not related to the activity but just the fact that because that’s when miscarriages were to happen, or when they do happen, if it happens right around this activity that they’re doing that’s very novel and strange, something like hopping in a float tank, then it’s not a far stretch for someone to assume that maybe the float tank contributed to the miscarriage. And that’s asking for problems. Again, at least that’s the logic, I think, going into that line that people put in their waivers.
Ashkahn: And there’s something you hear about, while you’re pregnant, not sleeping on your back because of the pressure that it’s adding. I feel like I’ve had people talk to their doctors about that and just the kind of pressure that’s not there in the float tank because you’re not on a hard surface, necessarily, has been enough to not have physicians seem to think that would be a concern in a float tank, from what I’ve heard.
Graham: Yeah. And there’s also ways to float on your stomach during pregnancy. There’s all different positions that you can do based on what’s comfortable. So even if that’s a concern of a particular doctor, you don’t actually have to float on your back. And you don’t need to snorkel, either. You can float face or belly down, arms crossed almost in front of you with your head resting on them and a neck pillow or something. So, yeah, you don’t need to go full snorkel to engage in that.
Ashkahn: Yeah. You can go part snork and it’ll be fine. So, yeah, I mean, obviously you’re going to want to make sure the rest of your normal safety stuff is good, too. Like slip resistance is especially a bigger concern if someone is pregnant and things like that. But that’s good practice regardless of if people are pregnant or not that you’re going to want to have in your float center. So the point that you’re set up to run a decently safe business to begin with, it’s not like a thing out there where it’s like we know that floating causes this in pregnant women, and therefore it’s like a health concern, so far. I mean, again, this-
Graham: We do know that a lot of pregnant women have floated throughout their entire pregnancy and have had amazing experiences.
Ashkahn: Yeah. Definitely.
Graham: But again, the key thing here is just get doctor’s approval. The thing you’d be worried about as a float center is the liability that comes with recommending someone float when something bad could happen. So put that liability on the doctor. That’s what they’re there for.
Ashkahn: And the health. I mean, it’s not all about liability.
Graham: Well, yeah. I mean, everyone’s condition is totally separate, right? Yeah. I’ll just agree for you. “Yes, everyone’s condition is totally separate, Graham.” Thanks. So with a doctor’s approval, you’re not just clearing liability, but it does clear liability. That’s my point. If the doctor feels comfortable, you should.
Ashkahn: Yeah. And then there’s nothing out there in terms of the world of float knowledge that means you know something that maybe that doctor doesn’t. There’s not some-
Graham: Yeah, you’re totally clueless. You’re a babe lost in the woods on this one.
Ashkahn: There’s also a really good talk from the float conference a couple years ago from Kirsten and from Float Alaska came and gave a presentation. They run a birthing center/float center, so they have a ton of experience with people who are pregnant floating who-
Graham: Way more experience than we have.
Ashkahn: Yeah, with just seeing people come to our place and be like, “Cool. You’re still going good, huh?”
Graham: There’s a creature in there?
Ashkahn: They have people floating all throughout their pregnancy and afterwards and did a great presentation about their experience running a business like that. So definitely worthwhile watching. We’ll put that in the show notes.
Graham: Also in the show notes, too, we have a big blog post that we did a little while earlier on, on floating while pregnant. It has great illustrations, too, for the actual positions that pregnant ladies find comfortable in the float tank, which are a little different than what you might recommend for your regular floaters. So, yeah, definitely go over and check those out.
Ashkahn: Also in the show notes is going to be a haiku about floating while pregnant, I think because our show notes person thinks I’m not giving enough little show notes challenges for her. So there you go. Look forward to that.
Graham: Yeah. If you have haikus of your own that you want to share, go to floattanksolutions.com/podcast, and type them in there along with your float questions.
Ashkahn: Yeah. Agreed.
Graham: Thanks. I felt like Yeah. I felt like that was good.
Ashkahn: Yeah. You did a great job.
Graham: Oh. Good. All right, well, we’ll see everyone tomorrow.
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