Pregnant Hooping or Hooping for Two

Pregnant Hoopingby Lara Eastburn

“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!

——————————————

Lara Eastburn 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.

8 thoughts on “Pregnant Hooping or Hooping for Two

  1. I have enjoyed hooping during my pregnancy, but my hoop absolutely refuses to stay on my “waist”, which doesn’t really exist any more. For on the body hooping I turn to my chest and shoulders and love to rock my off the body skills. Here in Florida it’s too too hot to hoop outside, so I’m stuck trying to carve out a space in my teeny apartment, and I’m really looking forward to a hoop friendly event that’s happening inside this weekend…I’ll try to catch some video for you! I love this article, my friend!

  2. Lovely article, Laura, and congrats!

    When mommies-to-be ask to join my hooping classes — usually at less than 3 months gestation — I always direct them to their physician, midwife or health practitioners. What I’ve heard when potential students report back is that they are being asked to hold off on hooping until they have the baby — unless they hooped prior to getting pregnant. This advice was not limited to hooping. Healthcare providers are asking them not to start any new sports — or body stressors — while pregnant.

    To me, it is a tricky spot for a hoop instructor. When someone asks to hoop at my event or class, and then tells me they are pregnant, there is a potential that I am on an additional responsibility to that mom and baby.

    My rule of thumb is to always redirect them to their healthcare provider before they hoop in my class. If they get the OK, then please hoop after a waiver is signed. If not, I ask them to come back after their give birth.

    We never know what someone else’s body limits are and I would hate to hear that someone questioned my hoop class after finding out about a (potential or very real) birth issue.

    I also had a unique situation where an OBGYN was part of a hooping party, during which I was teaching hooping. She asked if she could join in and told me she was newly pregnant. I gave her the answer above, and she told me that she was, in fact, a MD and that I was giving good advice, esp with the potential legal ramifications. The OBGYN decided not to hoop, but purchased a hoop to use after she gave birth. (She strongly believes that it is the perfect after-baby workout!)

    From a mom point of view, I have two children and remember how I wanted to do all I could to ensure the safety of my babies. Placing the decision making-responsibility on the medical professional and the mom to be — together — always made me feel better about offering as much information to the momma-to-be as possible prior to trying hooping.

  3. I hooped all the way through my pregnancy with no issues. I actually made a larger, lighter hoop but ended up not using it because the weight was a gradual thing so I was able to adjust as I went with my regular hoop. I ended up using the big light hoop with my baby in his front sling when he was big enough and he loved it!

  4. Congratulations Lara!! Awesome article. Such great advice – pregnancy is such a unique opportunity to really listen to your body and honor yourself like never before. Beautiful encouragement. I loved hooping while pregnant but had to make lots of alterations, and of course got to a point where I just didn’t want to anymore, and that was perfect. Thank you for sharing your experience and encouraging more freedom to “be okay with what is” for mommy hoopers! Blessings to you and your family during your journey and birth 🙂

  5. I loved this article and it is full of such great advice. Listen to your body! My body also said “Hoop!” and I did until the end of 8 months by which point my ankles were barely capable if holding me while standing, let alone hooping. I lost all my beautiful hooping videos in a hard drive failure before they had a chance to be uploaded. Now at 14 weeks I am gearing up for a prenatal hooping video once again. I love when new videos come out. There is nothing like the primal beauty of motherhood blended with the oneness that can be experienced and witnessed by hooping.

Leave a Reply