“Can you hoop while you’re pregnant?” is a question I’ve seen asked more this year than ever before. It may seem like a specialized question, given that the pelvic region is pretty involved in our choice of dance, exercise, and play. The quick answer is yes, of course! You can hoop while you’re pregnant. You can run a 10K, too, if you feel up to it. And of course you should “consult your physician”. But “What’s the deali-o with big-belly hooping for those that have been there?” is the real question first-time pregger hoopers really want to know. And there’s no go-to answer to that one. Because every pregnancy, and every woman, is different, so are our pregnant-hooping stories.
Luckily, we all have one thing in common. During pregnancy, our bodies are not shy about telling us exactly what they like, want, and need. Even if your body spoke to you in subtle whispers before pregnancy, it’s the boss of you now. You’re conked out on the couch or eating a plate full of something you don’t even like before you know what’s happening. I’ve found it’s best to just settle in and do as your told.
So if hooping feels good, then by all means, hoop it up! But keep in mind that may change for you every single day. For a healthy pregnancy, there’s no reason to think you can’t hoop. And you won’t have to look hard for proof AND inspiration. I’ve never seen so many pregnant hooping videos online as there are today. And they are beautiful! Just stunning and magical. I watch with wonder. But there’s also no reason to feel like you have to hoop during pregnancy either.
It’s averaged 108 degrees here in Texas for the past month and a half. So, when I’m brave enough to leave my house with my enormous gestating belly, folks seemed to be impressed that I’m managing to walk, ahem … waddle, really. My hands and feet are now ghost-white with swelling. A trip to the mail box can result in a two-hour nap. At seven months pregnant, am I still squeezing into my hoop on a regular basis? Nah, not so much.
My relationship to hooping during this pregnancy has gone about like it did with the first one. I did okay up until about 3 or 4 months. After that, the gyrating motion of my already-taxed pelvis just feels … well, weird and intensely uncomfortable. I don’t like it, so I don’t do it. No worries, that’s when I turn to off-body practice. But around six months, the only time I hoop is in my vivid pregnant dreamworld. My babies-to-be ride so incredibly low, it feels like I’m trying to hoop with a watermelon strapped between my legs. That’s enough to zap the fun out of hooping for anyone.
But I’m not too hard on myself about it. I miss hooping. I’ve already taped my post-natal, bad-ass, get-my-abs-back hoop. It lays against the wall like a big, looming oracle of promise for the hooping days that will return soon enough. And if things go like they did with my first baby, I’ll hoop one more time before this one arrives. One night five years ago, 40 weeks pregnant with Navi, I had the rare, undeniable compulsion to hoop myself into a frenzy. A couple hours later, labor had begun. My body may not hoop much while pregnant, but hooping is definitely the way it welcomes its new creations into the world!
Bottom line: No matter what your sport, remember that your balance is not what it used to be, you need more water, and more rest. Whether or not you’ll hoop during pregnancy is a decision you can make each day, according to how you feel. But if you do hoop pregnant, keep making those videos. This hooper needs something to watch while my bottom is planted to the couch, feet propped up, ice cream in hand!
Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. Beyond commenting here, you can also discuss this and other topics related to the Hooposophy for living in Hooping.org’s Hooposophy Group and Forum. Lara is also the planting and gardening force behind discovering our hooping community roots at The Hooping Family Tree Project.