A question often asked is “Is Hiking safe while pregnant?”
Of course yes! Hiking while pregnant is completely safe provided you take the necessary safety steps and precautions. We do not think that pregnancy should stop one from exploring the outdoors.We will also be answering some of the most asked questions such as Can a pregnant woman go to high altitudes? , When can I travel during pregnancy? Can I go hiking in early pregnancy? Etc.
Why is it good to exercise during pregnancy?
There are so many benefits to staying active during pregnancy. Being physically active will:
- According to FitPregnancy.com , the chances of you having gestational diabetes is lowered by 27 percent if you stay healthy and active.
- Easy, quicker and shorter labor
- Promotes good and sound sleep
- Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
- Boost to brain health of the baby
- Help you to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy
- Mood Uplifter
- Baby’s heart health is better
- Lesser weight gain and easier to get back into shape post delivery
8 Tips for Hiking While Pregnant
Get a YES from your Doctor
Before you decide to go on a hike, camping or even long distance travel it is highly advised to meet your midwife and get a YES from her. It is always good for the doctor to do a thorough checkup and give you the green signal to go ahead with your plan. When i visited my doctor, i told her about my travel and hiking plans and she said that i can go ahead with it after assessing my health conditions. In fact she said that some sort of exercise is a must for a healthy pregnancy as it not only betters the blood circulation but also improves the overall functioning of the system. Cardiovascular exercises are highly recommended during pregnancy provided you do not suffer from any health issues or complications. Also check with your doctor if you need to carry any medicines just in case you fall sick. My doctor did not prescribe me any medicines.
Do not carry heavy load
During our hike, I was in my first trimester (9th week of pregnancy) and during this period it is not recommended to carry any heavy weights. The first 12 weeks are very crucial in a pregnancy and that is when the hormones are rapidly changing and having a toll on the new mom’s body. We carried a small backpack with essentials only and i handed over the backpack to my husband and carried absolutely nothing. Since we knew that we would have to hike quite a distance and that only one person is fit enough to carry the load, we packed sensibly. Nothing more Nothing less!
Take breaks often and its okay to slow down
Do not push yourself while you’re pregnant. Listen to your body and take rests as and when required. If you feel dizzy, or nauseated at any point of time then call it quits. Prior to my pregnancy days I was a runner and also could hike pretty fast but this time i felt the need to slow down. I realized that my pace and stamina changed. I took many breaks and almost double the time to complete the trail but nevertheless managed to complete it without any body injuries or complications. Whenever I felt low on energy, i stopped and rested a while and bounced back after refueling myself.
Avoid high altitudes
Another common question on everyone’s mind. Can I hike at a high elevation during pregnancy? Well. If you are not used to living in high altitudes then its best to avoid hiking in high altitudes during pregnancy. Never ever experiment with something for the first time during pregnancy. I opted for a National Park, which had relatively easy hiking trails and flat terrains. I avoided slippery routes and stuck to clearly defined routes. Hiking at high altitudes can lead to nose bleed, drop in the pressure, breathing issues etc.
Wear the Right Gear
Opt for comfortable clothing and shoes. Wear something that makes you comfortable and fits your growing belly. You can opt for stretchy bottoms for that extra comfort. Make sure you wear a good pair of hiking shoes or boots to avoid any pains or blisters. Also make sure to check your shoe size if your feet have started getting swollen. Carrying a pair of hiking pole is also a good idea for that extra grip.
Drink it up! Make sure you do not get dehydrated during your hike and keep sipping on water at regular intervals. I am not a fan of artificial juices or electrolytes and hence always carry water or lemonade with me to quench my thirst.
Nibble on Snacks
Carry sufficient nuts, protein bars, chocolates, fruits etc. It is very important to make sure that your blood sugar doesn’t drop. Eat small portions at regular intervals to tackle hunger pangs.
Carry your Basic medicines
If you are on any medication, then make sure to carry those medicines with you. You never know when you would need it in the midst of your hike. If you plan to camp overnight, then do take a hot water bag to relieve any aches and pains that you may experience after the hike.
We hope you enjoyed this post. We will come back with more travel stories in our next blog post. Meanwhile , we hope you read our post on How to stay healthy during travel