/ Rock Climbing Harness For Pregnant Women
It strikes me that there must be a lot of second hand harnesses out there due to their limited period of usefulness. If anybody knows of any that are being sold second hand then I would be grateful if you could let me know.
I would imagine most women would just accept that they aren't going to be able to climb for a while and just get on with it.
Hopefully most women who climb are aware they can climb during pregnancy. I recently spoke to a friend who went climbing with a 7 month pregnant climber. No real need to stop altogether, can always keep up skills safely by top roping/seconding/ easy leading which all require decent harness.
You can climb when you're 7 months pregnant?! Surely that can't be safe? Leading while pregnant sounds like terrible idea.
As Alison Hargreaves managed to climb the Eiger Nordwand while six months pregnant, I would imagine many less talented climbers would be ok on the crags at seven.
There is another link below which suggests guidelinesaround suitable climbing during each semester. It suggests leading routes is ok in first semester, leading routes below your grade in second and only top roping in third.
Obviously it is whatever the person feels confortable doing. I doubt the person in questions should be taking any whippers! I have no personal experience with this so can't comment on that!
Climbing is an excellent pregnant activity if you can already climb. General medical advice regarding activity for pregnant women is to not try anything new.
My wife climbed the a Squamish Chief 7 months pregnant, 10 pitches, seconding only. She used a chest harness linked to her sit harness, with the waist belt loosened.
As time went on, approaches and walking in general became tough but the climbing didn't really get any harder, she stopped in her 8th month.
Wrong. All the ones I know (and I know a tonne), carried on climbing.
I don't find that a very convincing argument at all.
Interesting. Obviously, there's a continuum between being freshly impregnated, where you're unlikely to even be aware that you're pregnant and it'd be pretty hard to do any damage, up to a point where the equivalent of a punch in the stomach could kill your baby. Your link seems to suggest that the transition occurs very roughly somewhere around 13 weeks (boundary of first and second trimesters).
Actually, for the second trimester it says you should lead *way* below your pre-pregnancy limit or stop leading altogether, which sounds much more reasonable to me.
The consequences of a slip are potentially so much greater, that the risks (to the foetus) of leading must be more akin to the risks (to you) of soloing (especially coupled with the fact your balance, ligament and endurance are shot). So if it were me (or my wife) I guess the question I would ask is would I be happy soloing this route, especially given that it's not just my life I'm gambling with? I'm not saying the answer would definitely be "no", but I'm surprised by the responses on the thread linked above.
Does the harness support the bump at all? When my wife was pregnant she found it hard enough just supporting the bump all day by 7 months. I would have thought that the forces in taking even a gentle fall at that late stage would be quite uncomfortable?
We might have one still, wife used it while the bump was managable, including a week multipitch climbing in the Dolomites at 5months.
It's a ridiculously oversized petzl full body harness, already second hand when we got it. You are welcome to it if we still have it. I'll ask.
She tried to keep pressure off the bump, she avoided things like abseiling or just sitting in the harness, she didn't have the biggest bump either, which helped.
She's a pretty decent climber and she basically didn't put herself in a situation where she could fall, which to be honest is how she behaves normally. She took a tiny fall once and didn't like it.
In terms of risk, you're right in that you should avoid impacts. Yet many women cycle and walk and are told that the benefits outweigh the risks, I think its the same with climbing. Are you more likely to fall climbing than when riding a bike? Depends on the person. I agree that pregnant leading sounds like a silly idea though.
A full body harness certainly doesn't provide the bump with any support, it's completely clear of it. I chose not to lead in pregnancy, but seconded up to about 7 months (when winter arrived, making it rather less appealing). I was happily fell walking up high well past 8 months in my first pregnancy..
In reply to the OP:
I suspect many harnesses get passed along to friends (mine certainly did)...
oh that sounds promising if you can find it I would gladly pay postage and packaging.
If you can find it then let me know firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow! Really! Part of me hopes this is a troll, even if it means I've been sucked in!
If I stopped climbing it would have a hugely detrimental impact on my physical and mental wellbeing which would be incredibly detrimental to the baby. Yes reasonable adjustments are necessary but theses are a individual choice of the couple and will be influenced by a wide range of personal factors all of which is no one else's business in much the same way as whether people choose to have a home birth or be in hospital (i mention the analogy as it's another well considered choice couples male that people seem to feel is perfectly acceptable thing for them to comment on).
Rant over, sorry!
Try them on. I tried a fall harness that looked like it would be good not touch belly but you hung vertical like a dead fish, and couldn't get feet out to descend. It also crushed my ribs and was hard to breathe.
I ended up using an industrial harness with a wide belt that was supportive to lower on but could be worn loose so not to put pressure on bump and had shoulder straps to hold up to support with top roping.
Do whatever feels good. Climbing was one of the less impact things. I found I had to use poles for the walk in/ out as I started slipping( too heavy for foot size, friction) keep hydrated.
I gave up when the fun was less than the effort of getting my shoes on, rather than climbing being too hard.
Not really. It is based on my experience. Since the birth of my second child last May, I have hardly done any climbing. There just isn't time. I had forgotten how you just can't leave them alone for any length of time, and when you have to entertain a 3 year old, it is utterly hard work if you don't have the support of your partner... ergo - having kids means you have to sack off a lot of stuff you used to take for granted. I know some manage to get around this and good on em, but my experience has been quite the reverse.
my wife climbed up unitl the day before our boy was born - no leading or bouldering - simple really.
I found climbing when the first is here hard enough but with the second on the way I've accepted that time will just be too short with two of them. I'll try though! Still another climbing partner on the way though ;P
The OP was about climbing whilst pregnant, not climbing with two small children...
ALL medical advice I've received from midwives/Drs is not to climb, but i don't think they necessarily understand climbing and how the risks can be reduced.
It's more convincing than the one that you used...
The missus was seconding until approx 6 months pregnant (up to E1 at that). She had a full body harness which may not have protected the bump, but she says it was very comfortable and much better than her standard harness ever was. At 6 months she started to get a bit nervous about climbing while pregnant and as that was playing on her mind it was a good time to stop.
To suggest that women should just stop is silly. It's all about personal choice and making a call about the environment, personal circumstances and level of comfort.
PS we still have the harness, the missus is not keen to give it up just yet.
This is a very personal and interesting subject I am researching at the moment. The more understand (medically) about pregancy, the more complex it becomes, and every pregancy tends to be quite unique on the maternal side.
As other replies have stated, at the start of the first Trimester, you may not even know you are pregnant, although pregnacy tests these days have a very high sensitivity rate, but once the hormones "kick in" you may not feel like climbing.
During the second trimester, the foetus is well cushioned by the mother and and an adequate supply of amniotic fluid/liquor (ask at your 20week scan)
In the third trimester, the foetus is "cooked" by 36weeks, and then is laying down foetal fat ready for the first few days outside the womb.
The research I am reviewing is about high impact foetal injuries ie seatbelt injuries from rapid deceleration, but there, at present,is no correlation between, gestational age of foetus, speed of impact, and even placental site, and these deceleration forces are far higher,than say a 10m leader fall.
I dont want to sound alarmest but placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the womb)although rare, less than 2% of pregnacies can just occur spontaneously.
As was quoted earlier Obstetricians, Gp's and Midwives tend not to understand climbing and so will tell the mother not to climb, however they will accept the risk that the same mother will get into a car, and feel safe with a seatbelt.
This is an extremely brief overview,and pregnancy is very immotive and personal to the prospective parents.(Thats my disclaimer).
However, if anyone requires any advice, please contact me, and I will endeavour to give you helpful information to take to your maternity unit.
Hope that was informative.
Sorry, I not sure what you're on about.
Well then try reading the rest of the week old thread you just replied to.
I am also on the lookout for a second hand full body harness. Used a friend's during my first pregnancy. No ill effects noted. Hard to concentrate on overhangs though when little one was wriggling about inside at 6 months. All on a top rope. Five years on am expecting again. Haven't climbed much in my first trimester as have been vomiting so much. Feeling better now but bigger hence the harness search. Glad it's not the best winter season ever as am sorely missing winter climbing!
Sorry, it took me a while to get round to doing a comprehensive search. I think I chucked it when I moved house last year.
Good luck with it all.
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