The very beginning

It was my sixth time floating in the beautiful quiet darkness here at Float in the Forest.

I ventured into my usual room Serenity eagerly, as I already knew what awaited me and I was very much looking forward to allowing all of my stresses, worries and tensions dissolve away into nothingness. Interestingly, during this particular float, I noticed my hands were drawn to resting on top of my womb, in a gentle yet guarded clasp. I remember acknowledging that this was very unusual, especially as my preferred posture for floating consisted of stretching out with my arms above my head, however, my hands had made their choice, and who was I to battle them in my super Zen state of relaxation?

Exactly one week later, I found out I was pregnant!

After floating intermittently myself for almost 5 years, I have come to learn that the pod will give you exactly the experience you need in each moment, no float is ever the same. Upon reflection, in this particular case, I like to think that the pod was intuitively communicating to me that I now had a tiny little being growing inside of me, whom I needed to protect and love fiercely. The discovery of motherhood was being imprinted onto me without me even realising I was with child. Quite remarkable.

I made the decision to float each week once I had entered the second trimester of my pregnancy (though there is no specific risk from floating during the first trimester, like many things it isn’t recommended). I arrived at this decision because I loved floating and the sanctuary the pod provided to me. In addition, I drew the conclusion that if floating was breathtakingly relaxing for me, then surely my baby would also reap the rewards and benefit from me feeling this relaxed as well?

In touch with my baby

During my time of floating whilst pregnant, I very often had the thought, I wonder if the sensation of the water holding and fully encompassing me, was similar to the feeling of what my baby was experiencing inside of the womb.  The beginning of existence, the beautiful delights of no distractions, stimulation or input, simply just being, growing and evolving, the way that life in its most purest vulnerable form, was intended.

One thing I noticed each week when I would float, is how active and interested my baby was in what was going on, especially at the beginning of each float, it was as though he had an awareness of the change of environment. I remember it being a positive way for us to connect with one another.  I am you, as you are me, then as my blood pressure decreased significantly, he would too go back to sleep and we would simultaneously relish the tranquillity the float provided.

Quiet contemplation

The float pod was a wonderful place to ponder on the terrifying, yet beautifully mysterious journey of what birth and parenthood might be like. Somewhere to quietly contemplate how much my life was about to change, the empowering experience my body was undertaking and would transition through in order to bring my baby safely into into the world.

Breathing and visualising

During my pregnancy I attended a hypnobirthing course. It was incredibly informative with regards to ways in which you can ground and centre yourself during the birthing process. There was a strong focus on how to be more in tune with your body and your contractions, so that you are able to maintain a level of agency during the various stages that labour presents, as opposed to just being a passer-by, where birth is happening to you, rather than from within you.

There were various breathing techniques that could be adopted and I found myself utilising my time in the float pod practising these in preparation. People use float pods for different reasons, for example, athletes may use float pods to recover from injuries, enhance a greater sense of body awareness and for visualisation purposes.

Visualisation can be incredibly powerful, especially whilst floating, and I found that by visualising my birthing experience and practising what I had learnt about breath-work in my hypnobirthing course, I was able to prepare for the unknown more than I anticipated.

Reduce stress

Fascinatingly, there is now scientific research which tells us that stresses or emotional turbulence experienced by a mother whilst she is pregnant, are certainly exchanged between her and her baby in utero. It has been suggested that traumatic events or hardships encountered by a pregnant mother, can in later years, affect the brain development of her offspring. In a pregnant woman’s case, her biology is constantly interacting with her baby’s biology until birth, it is only at this point, that they become separate entities of one another entirely.

With this in mind, wouldn’t it be wonderful to transport all expectant mothers into a float pod regularly throughout the second and third trimesters of gestation?

Ultimate comfort

It has been proven that floatation can reduce blood pressure, improve circulation, and there are current studies being conducted in relation to floatation boosting one’s immune system. From around five or six months into pregnancy, a woman will most certainly start to feel the effects of pregnancy taking a toll on her body. There will be a build up of tensions, pressures, strains, tightness and stretching that doesn’t seem entirely possible, yet the expansion is nowhere near finished. The float pod can offer a sensation of weightlessness, allowing every muscle in the body to completely relax free from the constraints of gravity. This in itself, whether you are pregnant or not, is the ultimate level of comfort and one could argue, the ultimate level of freedom, ungoverned by our usual environmental interactions.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to connect with stillness. If you are willing to listen, stillness speaks. I can highly recommend all pregnant women taking even just one hour of those quick yet long nine months out to float, and giving something special back to themselves and their babies. It is a choice that could potentially allow healing and a reset for the whole mind, body and soul.

by K

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