With all of the pregnancy advice, instructions, and limits, you may be wondering if your usual hobbies and pastimes are safe for you (and the bun in your oven). When many outdoor enthusiasts become pregnant, they question whether they should hike while pregnant or if they should cling to the sofa for the next nine months. Experts, thankfully, have positive news.
Is Hiking Safe During Early Pregnancy
Hiking, in moderation, poses no risk to mothers or their unborn babies during a normal pregnancy. Hiking, in fact, can be a terrific way to obtain low-impact pelvic floor exercise, support good blood flow, and stay sane through what can be a trying nine months. In this article, we will share a guide to enjoying your passion for hiking whilst being pregnant, as well as answer many of the questions that first-time moms have.
The first thing to do before hiking is to visit your doctor
Sounds quite an obvious right? A positive pregnancy test results in a frenzy of excitement. In the thick of the excitement, you’ll probably make an appointment with your physician to discuss the pregnancy. While you’re there, you should receive some basic advice from your doctor before hitting the trails. While exercise is typically beneficial during pregnancy, each pregnancy is unique, and it is critical to discuss your pregnancy with your doctor.
An early ultrasound will be one of your first doctor appointments during your pregnancy. The ultrasound is used to detect specific conditions (if any). The ultrasound may assist a doctor in determining whether mama-specific pregnancy guidelines are required. At the absolute least, the ultrasound and initial checkup are good times to talk about the type of hiking you intend to do and whether it is appropriate for your pregnancy.
While it is unlikely, an ultrasound can give a doctor evidence that may justify the prescription of bed rest. Bed rest is a medical directive that includes varying degrees of activity restriction for pregnant women. Activity limits are based on the mother’s unique health as well as the overall delicateness of a pregnancy. If your doctor tells you to reduce your limits, it could mean you should avoid anything that makes you sweat and your heart race, however, rules sometimes differ from woman to woman depending on the stage of pregnancy.
If your doctor suggests activity restrictions, suggest low-impact hiking, such as strolling on a paved trail with no additional pack weight. Your doctor may permit this type of activity as long as you monitor your exercise levels and bring a trekking companion. It is quite rare for a pregnancy to have severe activity restrictions, at least during the first trimester. However, if your doctor advises you to minimize your exercise, follow his or her advice. A doctor may instruct a woman to follow stringent bed rest rules in several cases. Normally, the situations that may support this order are fairly severe. Going against your doctor’s advice could jeopardize your and your baby’s health.
Even if a woman is in excellent health and has a textbook pregnancy, she should notify her doctor of her plans to go trekking. Trekking during the initial trimester does not have to be a dangerous activity, but gaining approval from a doctor is the first step. It will likely help set some fundamental parameters for you to follow and will alleviate any nervousness you have about trekking. Hiking during the first trimester may be a really calming experience, and getting permission from a doctor first is the best way to enjoy your climbs.
Hiking is a wonderful way for many of us to unwind and spend time alone. While being in nature has a very calming influence on the mind and soul, if you want to trek while pregnant, having a friend with you is a really excellent idea. There are two primary reasons for this:
- If something goes wrong, you need someone to be there: The effects of pregnancy on your body can be unpredictable. During pregnancy, inner balance, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels can all fluctuate dramatically. Someone must be present to assist you and call for aid if you lose your balance, lose consciousness, or experience any other emergency.
- The ‘conversation rule’ becomes easy to follow: The conversation rule is a good rule of thumb developed to aid in the tracking of exertion. Essentially, you want to be able to carry on a conversation while engaging in physical exercise. This is especially beneficial for individuals who have been put to varying degrees of bed rest.
Having a trekking companion allows you to communicate back and forth while monitoring your respiration levels. If you find yourself out of breath in the middle of your journey and unable to construct a full phrase at a time, it may be time to take a break and regroup.
Be sure to pack yourself a hiking bag, but maybe don’t carry it yourself. A muscle is the part of your body that is performing all of the work to keep your baby safe. And that muscle is already at work. Hiking also constitutes a workout, so you should give a little somewhere to make sure you’re not putting too much strain on your body. You can ask your hiking companion if they would mind carrying some of your things. I’m sure they would love to help you out.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body might gain up to 50 pounds. It’s best to keep the extra weight from bags and backpacks to no more than 10-15 pounds. The longer you hike, the quicker your heart will beat as your body needs to spend more energy. As your weight grows, you may have more acute dehydration, motion sickness, and bodily discomfort. Furthermore, a pregnant woman’s center of balance shifts as the pregnancy advances. Overburdening yourself with a hefty backpack can result in a painful and deadly fall. This is one of the many benefits of hiking with a friend. They’d probably be willing to carry your hiking supplies so you can focus on appreciating the scenery and, you know, nurturing a life inside you.
It’s also super important to check your pack multiple times before leaving. You don’t want to get out on the trails and realize you forgot anything essential. This is usually true when trekking, but it is especially true when carrying a baby. A pregnant woman’s journey can be fraught with complications ranging from toilet breaks to dehydration to swelling ankles. Being prepared before you go will assist ensure that none of this keeps you from going off the grid.
Some essentials to pack when hiking during pregnancy
- Water. And lots of it: Staying hydrated is critical when hiking while pregnant, especially if you are heading out in extremely sunny or hot temperatures. You should drink between eight and ten ounces of water at least every two hours during your hike. Make sure it’s water. Other forms of liquid don’t count!
- Your cellphone with a fully charged battery: Even though you should bring a hiking companion. And they should have their own phone; you can never have too many means (and backup plans) to contact authorities in an emergency. Bring your phone in case you become separated from your hiking companion or if their phone malfunctions. If your phone’s battery isn’t too reliable, it might be worth keeping a power bank with you, just in case your phone dies.
- Snacks: We all know that pregnancy cravings can be out of control, but bringing junk food like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and bulk-sized Nutella isn’t going to cut it. Snacks for your hiking activities should be protein-rich, filling, and low in added sugar. Snacks made with peanut butter, dried fruits, tuna packs, cereal, and trail mixes are all excellent examples of what to eat when hiking while pregnant.
- Toilet paper: Just trust us on this one. Women who are pregnant pee a lot… A lot. It’s also a wonderful thing to have for a variety of other reasons.
- Anti-nausea medication: A mother who claims she was never nauseated throughout her initial trimester is undoubtedly fortunate. Queasiness is a very typical, albeit very bothersome, early pregnancy symptom. Many ladies get so weak that they are unable to eat or leave the house. So, if you’re lucky enough to go hiking, bring some anti-nausea medication in case you become dizzy or have vertigo.
Stop right away if you feel symptoms such as abdominal pain, lightheadedness, excessive vomiting, fainting, or any other alarming events throughout your hike. It is always preferable to be careful. Call your doctor right away and cut your hike short.
Thankfully, the stereotype that pregnant women are fragile and easily broken is fading. Pregnant women are increasingly enjoying themselves by being active and healthy. Hiking is unquestionably a fantastic pastime for potential mothers. You don’t have to become a pregnant homebody if you see your doctor first and follow some of the most basic standards and safety practices. Getting close to your baby throughout the first trimester will prepare you for hiking with your child when they join you in person.