pregnant PFD

So my wife and I are expecting our first child in the fall. We usually paddle 3-4 times a week during the summer, but I am wondering how PFDs work with a pregnant woman. Maybe a low profile jacket but shorten the shoulder straps to have it ride above the belly, or should she wear my X-Large and wear it around the belly? Does anybody have any experience with this? If so please share.


This company sells some unusual and hard to find items. There are some special vests for special support for women in the water.

They will send you a catalog if you request one and from my experience the catalog has a wider selection than what is on their web site.’

Just make sure it doesn’t ride up
A pregnant woman is kind of like a toddler in that the belly will be bigger than the shoulders, increasing the probability that the PFD will come off in water. To fix this in kids we use crotch straps. For your wife, it depends on how big she gets [really!] Also remember that her upper body will increase in size too, and breast compression may be very uncomfortable. You may find that what works will change as her pregnancy advances. I could wear a regular PFD until about 8 months, and then there was nothing I could find that would stay on in the water; everything floated up around my ears. I actually thought seriously about sewing some crotch straps on my PFD!

For any PFD you’re thinking of using, put it on snuggly and then try to pull it over her head. If it rides up, try something else. A multi-size one may be easier to adjust than a more precise fit. Once you’ve got one that seems to fit in the store, make sure she tries it on in the water.

Congratulations to you both and good luck!


I misinterpreted the header
and was wondering how many little PFD’s you expected in the litter.

They are adorable when they are young!


Lotus Rio Bravo or
Extrasport Karma. Both are cut short and may not ride up so much. I am a guy with a gut and have been researching pfd’s that won’t ride.

Not exactly on topic
but as a qualified tester (having a gut) the least ride-up I ever had was with a Stohlquist Mocean. All their models have a diagonal strap system that really limits ride-up.


not pregnant, but look that way.

Guacamoli & chips
I knew this gut would come in handy some day! Any thing to help a pregnant woman. Now, pass over more of the guacamoli, please …

SantaCruzMidwife could probably offer some sane & sage advice, IU’ll bet, on more than just the PFD, but on the whole thing regarding pregnency, stages hereof, and y’all’s ability, need, and widsom when it comes to how & how often you eant to


-Frank in Miami

I don’t have experience w/ Pdf’s, though I thought I would. I delivered my baby boy Aug 15 last year. We planned a trip down the Jack’s Fork in late May, but were unable to go. I canceled because by that point, me and my bladder weren’t going anywhere w/o an easily accessable bathroom. At that point, we would have had to stop at least every 30 minutes, which I figured would kind of ruin the whole trip. Something to think about, good luck.

Your name is making me thristy. Good beer. My favorite is a cold Negra Modelo with lemon. That does it…now I’m headng to the store. :wink:

Results ?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist!