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Climbing when pregnant

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 LPA 31 Jul 2020

Hi!

Has anyone here climbed when pregnant?

I'm in my second trimester and am hoping to return to climbing now lockdown is easing- only planning on doing top rope, no leading or bouldering!

I've bought the Petzl 8003 in both sizes as that's what the internet suggests to get but both sizes don't seem to fit quite right (size 1 is a bit tight already at the top of my belly and I feel like I'm a bit short for size 2).

Now I've never worn a full body harness before so I'm not 100% certain about how it should fit, but any advice for wearing one (or just climbing when pregnant in general) would be greatly appreciated!!

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 Heike 31 Jul 2020
In reply to LPA:

I climbed til two weeks before  birth, stopped leading at 6 months and never did any bouldering. Worked out well. I wrote  an article about it on UKC , can't find it right now, but maybe do a search. Good luck with the pregnancy and all. 

I ever only had one full body  harness, the tie in was above he bump.

Post edited at 19:21
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 Jezz0r 31 Jul 2020
 Heike 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Jezz0r:

Thank you! My now not very small baby has my phone all the time, so I can't find anything....

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 Baron Weasel 01 Aug 2020
In reply to LPA:

Catherine Destiville soloed the old man of hoy whilst pregnant (rope solo for the crux pitch). I think it's on YouTube. 

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 Baron Weasel 01 Aug 2020
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 iccle_bully 01 Aug 2020
In reply to LPA:

Hi and congratulations!! 

I climbed throughout both of my pregnacies. Personally I bouldered to about 12 weeks then just top roped until it stopped being fun which was about 8 months the first time and 6 and a half the second.

The advice is (as with any exercise) to listen to your body and not push too hard. I found this very difficult as my body no longer felt like my own and I had no idea what was normal and what wasn't but I persevered. Some days I climbed as well as I would have done pre pregnancy (woohoo for hormones) and some I would climb appalling but enjoyed it all the same. I was careful not to do anything dynamic or to overstretch due to the relaxin in your body making tendons more loose. In the end it was PGP which stopped me climbing both times, I just became too uncomfortable and wasn't enjoying it any more. 

i had a petzle pregnancy climbing harness the first time around and just a standard full body harness the second. I'm not sure about specific guidance around how they should fit, I just made sure that I was secure and that nothing was pressing or going to press when weighted on my bump. 

Just a note on post birth... Do your pelvic floor exercises!!! Boring but true and it will help. Again listen to your body and when you feel ready to back. For some that might be a couple of months, for me I needed some sense of normality and I went back within a couple of weeks both times, it was very gentle and I spent more time sat feeding than I did climbing but I loved being back in that space. I suppose what I'm saying is do what is right for you within what is safe. 

There's a great podcast I think it's Hazel Findlay talking to Rachel who set up Rock Tots about climbing and pregnancy/post birth/with kids. 

Beth Roden wrote a lot about climbing pregnant if you go back through her archives (her son was born in 2014). 

Different sport but I found Jo Pavey's book interesting and useful (this mum runs).

The women's climbing symposium had a session on climbing when pregnant last year, not sure if any of the resources from that are on the resources Facebook group. 

ENJOY! 

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 heleno 01 Aug 2020
In reply to LPA:

Congratulations!

I climbed for the first 5 or 6 months of both my pregnancies (a long time ago now!)   I just used an ordinary harness, though if I'd carried on longer I might have needed a body harness.

However, the current situation might make your experience very different from other times.  You mention a post-lockdown 'return to climbing' - do I take it you haven't climbed since you became pregnant?

If so, you will not only have lost some strength and fitness, but you will also not have gradually got used to the changes in your body as you would have done if you'd climbed throughout your first trimester.  

So everything might seem particularly difficult at first.  You may need to start very gently and build up.  Pregnancy will affect your core stability and balance, and the increase in relaxin can make your joints more vulnerable.  

This is not to say don't do it!  It's just to say take extra care, and keep your expectations gentle, at least to start with.

Good luck, and enjoy it.

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