Sure, the outdoors is a great place to get exercise and fresh air. Growing up hunting deer and wild mushrooms I always knew I wanted to spend time in the outdoors hiking when I was pregnant, but once I actually found out I was pregnant I was suddenly scared of the great outdoors. Hiking can be extremely dangerous and taxing on the body, but it is the unforeseen dangers that pregnant women really need to look out for.
When hiking you may come in contact with snakes, ticks and spiders. All can cause severe pain if they bite, but some bites can be life threatening or even deadly. Before hiking during pregnancy make sure to wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants to prevent spiders and ticks from crawling into your clothes. Thick jeans can help prevent snake bites as well. If you’re pregnant during the summer months, you may want to skip the hike in the woods if your clothing will cause you to overheat.
Steep Hills, Sharp Grades and Hidden Holes
Walking up steep hills and down sharp grades during the first couple of months of pregnancy is not a problem, but as the pregnancy progresses you may start feeling a little loopy on your feet. Clumsiness is associated with hormone levels during pregnancy so take extreme care when choosing your hiking location.
Another consideration is the ground cover. If the ground is heavily covered with leaves and fallen debris, you need to choose another spot. You make step into a deep hole or onto a loose rock and fall, which could severely injure you or the fetus.
I never ended up hiking during my pregnancy, but I soon returned to the woods and started hunting again after baby was born. Life during pregnancy is not about giving up the things you love; it is about making a few subtle changes to protect the baby you’re growing inside.