I am always looking for things that will make my clients lives a little easier and help them to really focus on self-care during and after pregnancy. Last week I met Ray Thoma, the owner of The Float Spot in Frisco, Texas. I told him I wanted to learn more about floating and to try it myself before I recommended it to clients. I did a one-hour float and now I'm sold! For that hour, I had none of my usual back pain, I got to truly clock out and rest and I didn't have to care about a thing.
You're floating in a float tank- it looks like a pod, that is filled with just 12" of water and saturated with 1100 pounds of medical grade epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), not sodium. You don't have to worry about chlorine or pool chemicals. It's the temperature of your body, so it isn't going to be too hot or too cold. When you get into the room, you'll take off your clothing and any jewelry. There is a shower stall right there in your private room and towels, so you can rinse off before floating and shower after. When you're ready to get in, you'll pull the top closed on the tank, lay down and instantly float to the top of the water. It is the density of the Dead Sea and it's effortless to just float. There is a button inside to push to call the desk and let them know to start your time and another button to turn the light off. It's completely dark and silent, except for the calming music that plays for part of the float time. This is the perfect way to truly disconnect from work, social media and the outside world.
Ray filled me in on some of the benefits of floating during pregnancy and they make perfect sense. You can float from the second trimester all the way through to delivery. The physical benefits alone can make a world of difference in relieving back pain in pregnancy, round ligament pain and symphysis pubis dysfunction. Your body is weightless, so all of the pressure and weight are taken off of your joints and you can finally get comfortable in pregnancy. If you had a night of tossing and turning, being kicked in the ribs and getting up to use the bathroom 10 times, a 60 minute float is equivalent to 4 hours of REM sleep. The benefits don't stop at pain relief and comfort though- floating can help with mind clarity (fighting that pregnancy brain), stress, anxiety and fatigue. It's also an easy way to tune out everything else and connect with your baby for a little while. Some women can even hear their baby's heartbeat under water from 8-8.5 months on.
After the baby is born, there can be a whole new world of changes, sleep deprivation and physical fatigue. Self-care is so important if you're struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety. A float or an aqua massage can give you a much-needed break from caring for the baby, the house and everyone else. It gives you at least an hour that is just for you, to regroup, enjoy silence and get some relief from bouncing the baby and carrying the car seat and diaper bag. Our postpartum doulas will even take care of the baby while you enjoy your appointment, because we are here to support whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.
The way Ray puts it is perfect, "Floating is that chance to take a mental vacation so you can think more clearly and calmly. Calming your mind has an amazing trickle-down effect on your body." If you're in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and you've cleared floating with your doctor or midwife, give him a call at 469-200-4105 to schedule your first appointment. You're so worth it!
Did you try a floating while pregnant? Tell us how it helped you in the comments.