Sailing While Pregnant

Thread starter #1
I have been sailing a laser for almost a year now and love it. My husband and I are planning to have a child soon and I would like some advice on sailing while pregnant.

Has anyone done it? Has anyone been advised for or against it?

The rule of thumb appears to be that sports which have a great risk of a "hard fall" or "traumatic contact" should be avoided entirely. How does that fit in with laser sailing?

I hate to think that I wouldn't be able to sail for at least 9 months(let's not talk about how much it will decrease after the baby is born)!!!

Of course I will consult my Dr., but he is unfamiliar with sailing in small-boats and I'm afraid may err on the side of caution. I think I will bring in a video for him to be more informed. I realize if at 6 months my belly prevents me from tacking, then I will have to lay low, but do any women have any thoughts or advice on this? Maybe you've been through this and can tell me from experience?

I'd like to know now what to prepare myself for in the future. Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.
I suppose it depends on how hard you sail your laser. Racing with a 20+ knots wind would be differerent than a "Cottage" ride with a 10Knots...

That being said, I sailed a Code 40 and a 420 easily until I reached 16 weeks of pregnancy. I was maybe a little more prudent and pushed the envellope a little less power wise. I dressed pretty much the same with obivous adaptation. Now I have a Laser and I would probably proceed the same. Then again, at 16 weeks I was barely showing my belly.

After 16 weeks, I would be very prudent but it depends on your level of confort your overall fitness and the type of activity you do with your sailboat. After birth, I was pretty much out of commission for about two months... I had sharp pains in my abs and other more private areas when hicking...

Hope this help.
Thread starter #3
Thanks for your reply, Annie. It really helps to know someone else has been there.

Anyone else had experiences with this, or have your wives?
The last sailing camp I went on a former club member came down with her Laser. She was about 7.5-8 months pregnant. Mostly other people used her boat but in the afternoon when there wasn't much wind she went for a sail and she was perfectly fine.

I guess it's just personal choice. :)


Just sailing
I'd say you would face the same limits as any other physical activity. Definitely wouldn't want to go out on a really breezy day. Besides, I think it would be hard to find hiking pants that fit.
Thread starter #6
Well, so far it sounds pretty positive as long as I stay out of real heavy conditions and quit before my belly doesn't allow me to move across the boat!

I haven't heard any negatives or warnings against it. If you negative ones are out there, please don't be afraid to respond.

I'll find out what my Dr. thinks soon, but so far it's looking pretty good for smooth sailing(pun intended).


New Member
I'm still here, even though my mom sailed her laser while I was yet to be born! It was most likely not extremely windy, but when she capsised (not a dry capsize) she righted the boat but then had issues getting her belly back over the gunwale to get back onto the boat!


LisaWilson25 said:
, but do any women have any thoughts or advice on this? Maybe you've been through this and can tell me from experience?

I'd like to know now what to prepare myself for in the future. Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.
OK, guys, ick alert. Don't read if you don't want to know what happens to a woman's body in pregnancy. Merrily

Hi Lisa,

I did not start sailing until last year, so can't advise you directly on that, but when I was pregnant, over 24 years ago now, I remember being a passenger on a Thistle. The seats were hard and it felt weird to sit. It felt like my pelvic bones were spreading on the hard surface, and I guess they were. That was just a few weeks into my second pregnancy as my body was prepping itself for the birth.

Everything gets stretchy, temporarily. I'm sure at first you can continue to sail in lighter winds, say up to 8 to 10 mph. Your body will tell you quickly whether it can tolerate hiking. It will depend some on your initial fitness, but the ab muscles over the expanding belly actually seperate a bit down the center with a consequent loss of strength.

Don't worry, it all comes back together after the baby!

I wouldn't race at all during the pregnancy. You never know when someone's going to smack into you or vice versa and you do want to avoid getting knocked around.

Besides actually sailing the boat, will you have someone to help you raise the mast and get the boat into the water? I would think these things could be bigger issues than sailing in lighter winds. It's not just getting jarred around. I remember being weaker, clumsier, and as I said, stretchier, 5 months into the pregnancy.

Your belly won't really be much bigger until 4 to 5 months into the pregnancy, so maybe you can time the pregnancy to get a lot of sailing in in the summer season.

Emotionally, I also felt very vulnerable and unadventurous. I guess that was nature's way of keeping my feet on the ground. So you may not feel like sailing that much anyway as you get further along in the pregnancy. Things that are important now take on a different light when a baby comes along. It's hard to imagine or describe. And don't worry about taking time off. It will only make the time on the boat that much sweeter now and later.


P.S. It was a boy and he makes his mom proud.