Learn best practices for starting and running a float center:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Something in the world of floating have you stumped?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Show Highlights

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.

Show Resources

FTS Blog – Floating While Pregnant

Kirsten Gerrish & Lena Kilic – Float Conference 2016

Float Alaska Website

Floating While Pregnant – A Haiku

Silent Serenity

The life inside me at peace

a womb in a womb

Listen to Just the Audio

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-

Graham: Then

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.

Ashkahn: Nowhere.

Graham: Nope. There was one. Incorrect. All right. Anyway, let’s get on.

Ashkahn: Okay.

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.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

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.

Recent Podcast Episodes

Adding Float Tanks to an Existing Business – OSP 10

Adding Float Tanks to an Existing Business – OSP 10

Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.

The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).

Tank Topics – Business Partners

Tank Topics – Business Partners

Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.

It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!

Tank Topics – All About Research

Tank Topics – All About Research

The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!

Tank Topics – Handling Difficult Customers

Tank Topics – Handling Difficult Customers

In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client. 

The 2019 Float Conference Recap – OSP 09

The 2019 Float Conference Recap – OSP 09

You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about. 

Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year. 

Latest Blog Posts

Checklist for Temporarily Closing Your Float Center

Checklist for Temporarily Closing Your Float Center

These are challenging times for all of us, and many float centers (ourselves included) have decided to temporarily shut down to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Our team got together yesterday to figure out what we need to do to put our shop into hibernation mode,...

Can Epsom Salt Kill Coronavirus?

Can Epsom Salt Kill Coronavirus?

Obviously, there’s a lot of concern around the Coronavirus outbreak right now. There are also a lot of float centers who are worrying about how this will affect their floaters. Here’s the critical information and tips for float centers to keep in mind during the...

Float Tank Conference