It takes a lot to knock Kristi Olivares off her surf board. Pregnancy couldn’t do it, not even when the pregnancy lasted nine and a half months. The Australian mom continued her surfing routine throughout her entire pregnancy - with her surfer-dude obstetrician’s blessing, of course - and she chronicled it online in video, photos, and blog posts as the adventure surfed onward toward the delivery room.
Olivares is originally from Vancouver, Canada, but lives in Sydney now. She’s only been surfing about four years but loves the sport too much to give it up for pregnancy. She continued her normal routine of surfing no fewer than four days a week but she did modify her technique and her way of choosing when and where to hit the waves.
This surfing mama-to-be continued using her entire collection of surfboards until about week 14, when she started leaving the shorter ones at home. She devised a list of prenatal surfing guidelines that she adjusted along the way, such as:
- As her baby bump became pronounced, she stopped paddling out on her stomach and opted instead to sit on her knees and pop up from this kneeling position when it was time to catch a wave.
- She took more breaks than usual, going with the flow as she tired more easily as the pregnancy progressed.
- She made sure to roll into the fetal position whenever the inevitable spill occurred (and her video footage shows she always came up smiling).
- In the beginning, she limited her surfing to waves no higher than her shoulders but by the 30th week of pregnancy, she limited herself to waves only waist high, at most.
- When she didn’t have a friend to carry her nine-and-a-half-foot surfboard from the car to the water, she learned to carry it herself on her head.
Olivares recorded it all herself, too, using a video camera mounted on the front of her surf board. She then posted stories, videos, and photos of her escapades on a website devoted to female surfers around the globe, and on YouTube.
Negative feedback has come, expectedly, but the positive feedback has outweighed the bad. Olivares never let it get her down.
Alexander Bobby Olivares was born on September 10, 2013 and, yes, he’s a little surfer dude already. He goes with his mother to the beach nearly every day and is said to be quite relaxed there. Olivares says, “I believe that he recognizes the sound of the crashing waves and the motion of walking on the sand from when he was in my belly.”
Source: “Mom-to-be keeps surfing, even at nine months pregnant.” One Herald. One Herald. n.d. Web. Jan 30, 2014.