Episode 46: Laura Walker on Pregnancy, Return to Curling & Mom Life on the Road 843 632 Stephanie Thompson
In today’s episode I am joined by Laura Walker who shares her learnings as a curler managing life, training and competition while pregnant.    Laura shares her top tips she gives to other curlers who are pregnant; how to develop a support system, when to seek out help, her thoughts on return to play and managing being a mom while competing.   This episode is not intended to replace the guidance of your own personal medical professional, and it is our opinion that this conversation is important for all humans to listen to, regardless of your personal plans for pregnancy. Please enter this episode with an open mind and avoid judgment on the opinions and ideas presented.   You can listen on your favourite streaming ap, watch and listen on Curling News/SI website, or below: Key points: Top 5 tips for the curler who is pregnant:
  1. Mindset:
    • “Go in with a plan, but don’t expect anything to go as planned”
  2. Recommend seeing a pelvic floor therapist earlier in the pregnancy; not just post-natal when things need recovering
    • 1.5 Do the work
  3. Finding the right people: physical, mental & emotion
  4.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help
    • Tip for support system (friends, family, teammates, coaches): Don’t assume anything. Even if they don’t ask for help it doesn’t mean they don’t need it. Offer opportunities for reprieve and to be honest with you
  5. Speak to self like you would speak to a friend
  Other tips & thoughts:
  • Return to curling -pressures and lack of support based on our systems (specifically points) in Canada
  • There is a difference between being cleared for activity and the level of activity. Be mindful to take the time and seek out the supports to properly ‘rehab’ after pregnancy and giving birth
  • Not just about the physical return but also mental and emotional return (sleep deprived, exhausted, hormones, priorities; timing of feeding, pumping, the pressure to play regularly)
  • Permission to take time off/for yourself
  • Mom life on the road (parent life)
    • What to bring (below) 
    • Introduce bottles early to test run if someone is watching baby
    • Hotel rooms -research to ensure space for playpen, kitchen sink & counter for washing bottles, etc.
    • Help -family, teammate, parents, hired, etc.
  • Rachelle Brown “be where your feet are” 
  • Imagery and visualization is helpful throughout pregnancy and especially as part of your return to play plan
  Key links mentioned:   Other episodes:
  • Episode 19: Giving Yourself Gracewith Lori Olson-Johns
  • Episode 11: Return to Curling Part 2: The Bare Minimums
  • Episode 21: Megan Pomarensky on how to get the most out of your rehab and training
  To stay as up-to-date as possible, make sure to join the Empowered Performance newsletter and to follow me on Instagram at @empoweredperformance   Take care,   Coach Steph   Laura’s travel must-haves:  
  1. Slumberpod (essentially a blackout tent that goes over the playpen). Pricey, but sooo worth it. Baby sleeps better and you can co-exist in the room with them when they are sleeping. 
  2. Baby carrier or wrap – I like my stretchy wrap (have the Beluga Baby brand) because it can fold up small in my carry on and I can use it to have my hands free in the airport, getting on the plane, etc. Also great for when baby is a bit fussy and you need to walk the halls of a hotel 😉
  3. Jolly Jumper Bathe Eze – can lay it flat in your suitcase and pack stuff on top of it so it doesn’t take up room, and makes it a lot easier to give baths in the hotel. 
  4. Oxo Tot Travel Size Bottle Brush and Drying Rack – makes washing bottles and/or pump parts so much easier in a hotel room.
  5. Medela Quick Clean Wipes – must have for pumping on the go especially on a longer travel day when you will need to pump more than once before getting a chance to wash your parts
  6. My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow – when babies are really little especially, I like this specific pillow because it has a clip so you can either clip it onto your stroller, carry-on, or around yourself so it doesn’t add something else to have to carry, but it’s handy to have on the plane so you aren’t supporting baby the whole time. 

Providing tools & education to move better & improve performance. Proudly Canadian.

Back to top
The Empowered Performance for Curlers Podcast

Episode 46: Laura Walker on Pregnancy, Return to Curling & Mom Life on the Road

Stephanie Thompson

Stephanie Thompson


R.Kin, B.Ed, CSEP-CPT, Competition Development Coach in training, 200 RYT in training
On & Off Ice rehab & performance training. Providing tools and education to move better & play better.

Sharing is Caring