The fact that I’m three months pregnant doesn’t change anything.”
– Catherine Destiville,preparing to solo the Old Man of Hoy seastack.
In most sports, people can still participate even after they’ve become pregnant. It’s not as risky as some other physical pursuits! If you’re already rock-climbing, you can probably continue it up to the point where you go into labor.
Of course, you should consult an OB before engaging in any sport or exercise activity while pregnant to make sure it is safe for both you and your baby. That said, some women find they are able to continue activities like rock climbing, running and golfing during their pregnancies as have many other women.
Here are some tips for rock-climbing during pregnancy (if your doctor says it is ok):
Climb top rope only- You don’t want to risk taking falls at lead. The stress on your body is minimal and most of it is only in the butt.
Stop if something hurts- A good general rule of pregnancy is to stop any activity if you feel pain. Then ask your doctor about it before you continue.
Full body harness- A full body harness is recommended as it will give you the most support and will be the most comfortable. If the harness starts to dig into your sides or become uncomfortable, then it’s a good time to quit.
Relaxin will loosen you up- Keep in mind that the hormone relaxin will cause your tendons and ligaments to loosen and prepare for delivery. The closer you get to your due date, the more susceptible you may be to injury. In subsequent pregnancies, you may feel this looseness earlier in the pregnancy.
Balance and strength are affected- In pregnancy, your balance will be affected and your center of gravity will shift. Your strength can also be affected while pregnant so keep this in mind while climbing. You may need to make adjustments.
Never climb alone- While it is recommended that you never climb alone anyway, this is especially true when you are pregnant. If you did fall or run into some type of trouble, there would be no one else around to help you.
Alison Osius, a climbing editor at Climbing Magazine climbed during both of her pregnancies. Alison gave birth to two healthy 8-pound babies. Every pregnancy is different so it’s hard to say with certainty if you will be able to climb while pregnant, but there’s a good chance that you will still be physically comfortable doing so.
If climbing walls is something that you truly love, then there are therefore a few things you need to consider when it comes down to having the best climbing experience. You should firstly make sure that you go to an indoor rock climbing gym or at least find one that’s climate controlled due to the fact that many extreme temperatures can cause discomfort and make matters worse. Secondly, around your fourth month of pregnancy it’s even more crucial that you’re taking care of yourself so head to the bathroom right away once hungry and looking for food! Lastly, going to a good rock climbing gym also provides a more controlled environment in case anything were to happen either with your friend or anyone else scaling along with you as they can call for help or get someone on hand if anything happens.
Rock climbing, with your doctor’s consent can help stay in shape and release built up tension during pregnancy. It is possible to rock climb throughout the entire 9 months of pregnancy or until you reach full term. You will enjoy time doing something you love as a family as well as bonding with your partner!