6 Tips For Hiking With A Bun In The Oven
Raise your baby on adventure before they're even born.
When you’re expecting, there are several activities you must abstain from – things like keg stands, hang gliding and water boarding are frowned upon. Thankfully, hiking is something you can enjoy right up until D-day and is even a useful tool for getting things moving when baby doesn’t want to come out. Get out and enjoy the trail while you can, following these tips to keep you and your little bambino safe and comfortable.
1. Pack Snacks
You’ve never experienced hangry until you’ve seen a pregnant woman in a ravenous rage and it can be pretty terrifying, so always pack snacks. Pregnancy requires extra calories and when you add that to the energy demands of hiking, there’s a very good chance you’ll find the need for a snack along the trail. Snacking at regular intervals will also help keep your blood sugar stable and prevent weakness and lightheadedness that some pregnant women experience during activity. For those of you hiking with a mom-to-be, for your own well-being and safety, throw in an extra granola bar or two for momma bear.
2. Stay Hydrated
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – something all expectant ladies learn early on, especially if you’re active. Staying hydrated minimizes some of the less-than-pleasant side effects of pregnancy. Always hit the trail with a full water bottle and try to drink at least six ounces every 15 minutes. Adequate hydration will improve your ability to maintain a safe body temperature and prevent baby from overheating. Also, avoid hiking on particularly hot and humid days when possible.
3. Choose Comfy & Supportive Clothes
Comfy, light and loose-fitting clothes will be your best bet for the trail – a waistband digging into your robust midsection is a sure-fire way to make your hike seem like a little slice of hell. Dress in layers so you can strip down and prevent overheating. Make a quality bra a priority; depending on where you’re at in your pregnancy, the girls can get a little cranky if they don’t have the support they need, especially when you’re covering rough terrain.
4. Wear Accommodating Shoes
Stiff or unforgiving shoes are something you want to avoid. Pregnancy has a tendency to make those cute little tootsies swell up, which can increase exponentially when you’re on your feet all day long. Choose shoes that support and protect your feet but allow for plenty of expansion in all directions.
5. Know Your Limits
Exercising during pregnancy is one of the best steps you can take for you and your little minion, but exercising to the point of exhaustion is a move you want to avoid. Know the trail before you go and be ok with the fact that you may not have the stamina to make it the entire route. Put your ego aside and, if you’re not feeling it, head back to the trailhead.
6. Stay Alert
It’s easy to lose focus on the trail when you’re surrounded with all that gorgeous scenery but it’s important to know where you’re walking. Pregnancy causes a surge of the hormone relaxin, which is responsible for making your joints more lax and flexible. This is great in terms of birthing your baby but not so great for joint support. It’s easy for the average hiker to sprain an ankle on uneven terrain, add fickle limbs and a constantly changing center of gravity and you’re at an increased risk of injury. It would be crazy to abstain from outdoor activities, just stay vigilant and you’ll be fine.
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.