/ Pregnancy climbing, skiing and instructing

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bumpy on 08 Oct 2013 -

Posting not on my normal login as not yet 12 weeks.
What are other peoples experiences of skiing particulary ski touring whilst pregnant? Will be 4-5 months when i intend to go.
Am pretty fit currently and still enjoying running, also intended on doing my winter ml this year, guess that may have to wait!

I also work as an instructor and would love to know other peoples experiences of when they were able to work until? And employers perspectives- currently freelance

Thanks a bunch

p.s. couldnt post this in the correct forum due to being anonymous
jussy on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy:


I don't have any personal experience ski touring pregnant but can say that lots of women manage to stay very active in the hills throughout their pregnancy. I was climbing up until 38 weeks and used a fulll body harness (I stopped leading pretty much at 8 weeks or so out of personal choice), and did lots of hiking until 41 weeks, including a walking holiday to the Pyrenees around 32 weeks when we were doing hilly 10-15km hikes each day...

Have a look at this:
Carolyn - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy:


My pregnancies both fell earlier in the year, so only skied in very early pregnancy. I think the major issue is likely to be tiredness - I certainly found big days in the hills pretty tiring. Maybe depends if you're thinking of day trips or a multi day trip where you're committed to continuing?

No direct experience of what employers might think, I'm afraid. I was out on mountain rescue callouts until perhaps end of second trimester, but after that some team members started looking more concerned about me than about the casualty ;-) I was still hillwalking until the last few weeks, though.

Oh, and yes, I'd leave the winter ML. Snowholing whilst pregnant and needing to wee lots is not on my list of experiences to repeat!

KiwiPrincess - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy:


I am just a bit before you, I Skied to 14 weeks and found it fine except on the field where I was worried about other people crashing into me at bottle necks. Also the lift motion could make me vomit. Most my friends say their ligaments got loose and made Control difficult about 6 months.

Winter is over but I find I am really breathless on the up hill walking and Biking and am alot slower ( i may be unfit as I was very ill for a while and just slept and vomited) . Feels good to do some exercise, But I have had to drop the intensity alot-I found I get ill if I do too much, and need to rest so would say just listen to your body.

Practically I started to find lifting out from my body, and The jiggling of running hurts my Uterus Ligaments, and Abs. But I think it could be totally fine for others.

I started to poke out about 17/18 weeks and would not have wanted to take a fall from that point on. Plus I started to feel the baby so was more aware of it. Stay within your limits

Attitudes of others vary hugely and I keep being told I shouldn't be riding, But I feel really comfortable so long as I am on a cruisy intensity. Other people think I'm crazy for slowing down, while I have my freedom.

You probably wont fit your ski pants but Salopettes still fit and I'm going to Hubbys soon.
I cant fit my rock harness. and yoga pants, and trackies are all I can wear from my old wardrobe. Looser tops still fit and Jackets but I get a cold patch around the tummy where they ride up. I have a tiny wardrobe of longer Tops remaining, and again My husbands are better but UGLY!
Lots of cheap maternity stuff but not from Technical fabrics for the outdoors.
Reportedly your feet grow too!
Carolyn - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy:

Ah yes. Distinct lack of even vaguely technical maternity clothing. I had to resort to Ron Hills by the end......and fortunately my husband is a similar height, so I could borrow t-shirts, waterproof jackets, etc.
Carolyn - on 08 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy:

Also, work - I forgot that, whilst I wasn't doing paid work in outdoors, I did teach on a WGL training course as a volunteer at about 8 months pregnant. None of the MIAs I was working with batted an eyelid. I have a feeling that I was pretty tired by that point, though, and opted out of going out on night nav in favour of more sleep (course was over staffed, so no problem doing that).
bumpy on 09 Oct 2013 -
In reply to Carolyn:

Thanks everyone for the posts, have done lots of googling and feel much better about being able to continue as long as i feel comfortable.

I am not too keen to ski on the pistes so will probably just stick to being away from crowds as i will be 4 months by January, Just hoping i dont show too much. Thankfully my mother didnt so hoping i got those genes.

Am rather gutted about not being able to do my winter ml, was really psyched for it but considering how tough its meant to be i dont think i would enjoy it.

On another point, i would love to book a trip away for january that i can enjoy before i get too big. Any ideas? Anything adventuous, ski touring, hiking, scrambling etc... but pref not carrying too large packs.
Rachel W on 09 Oct 2013 - whois?
In reply to bumpy: Congratulations!

I have no idea about ski touring, but I would say see how you are feeling nearer the time if you can.

I thought all the extra blood flow would turn me into some kind of female Lance Armstrong - but in my case at least all those extra red blood cells were not for me! I cycled till about 29 weeks (though I have heard of people who cycled until 38 weeks - I don't know how they managed unless they pedalled like John Wayne!), but very early on noticed how much slower I needed to go and how quickly I tired. I think it depends on the lie of the baby etc as well. I guess just be prepared that you might need to go at a much slower pace and take more breaks!

The other thing to consider is your balance. Some women find it is not as good with their changing body shape, and are more prone to falls as a result.

Exercise is a good thing during pregnancy - both for the mother and the baby - even into the third trimester. You just have to be a bit careful of high-impact exercise when bigger as some of the ligaments around the uterus are very stretched. But you will know your own body, and you will find what you can do and enjoy.

There will be people that tell you that you are wrong whatever exercise you do! I have found being a mum seems to make (even complete strangers) think they can tell you what you hould or shouldn't do! Some of it might turn out to be good advice, but ultimately trust your judgement

I would play it by ear as much as you can on how long you work before maternity leave. I worked till 38 weeks, but I mainly work in an office. Listen to your body, and if you need to stop a week or so before you intended then do so.

I think one of the hardest things of being active is resting immediately after the birth. Even a routine birth takes a fair bit of recovery. I was advised that gentle exercise was good but to start with a 5 min walk the first day etc - I thought they were being ridiculous! Turned out a 5 min walk around the local park 48 hours after the birth was all I could do. However, I did bounce back pretty quickly. So I guess give your body the rest it needs and you'll be back active in no time!
Jonny2vests - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy:

Our doctor nearly laid an egg when Jen told her she was still skiing at 3 months. Jen stopped, although in hindsight, the doctor was clueless about touring and probably imagined resort pistes. Jen carried on climbing an kayaking till the end, big multipitch routes even, but no leading. I think she found walking uphill far more exhausting than climbing, we backed off a couple of easy approaches, but she could still follow E2 at 8 months.

The best advice she got was don't do anything new or anything you're not solid at, don't have any long breaks if you intend to carry on with an activity, and avoid trauma.
Alun - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy:
First of all, as a recently-new parent to a soon-to-be one, congratulations, babies are awesome, and being a parent is great.

There has been some interesting advice so far on this thread, but I'm going to sound a note of caution.

As an instructor you're obviously an excellent skier, and I'm sure you will take extreme care and not do anything silly if you ski when you're pregnant. But, you may just catch an edge and fall hard. Or hit a rock off-piste if you are touring. Or hit a hidden icy patch and take a tumble. Or some out-of-control moron might take you out from behind.

So, assuming there is a possibility of you falling, you then have to look at the possibility of that fall damaging your baby. Or, equally as bad, taking a fall and even thinking that it damaged your baby (when the actual cause might have been something unrelated).

On one hand, the argument goes "is it worth potentially harming your baby just for a a few hours of fun? Surely you can live without skiing for a year or so?".

On the other hand, the counter-argument would say that you shouldn't stop "living your life" just because you are pregnant, and being indoors wrapped in cotton wool is likely to drive you crazy. Doubly so given that, as an instructor, skiing is your life to a certain extent.

Only you can take the responsibility for that decision. So make sure you think about it well.

The only further thing I would add, as the father of 4 miscarried children, is that the emotional pain of losing an unborn child is considerable. And, according to my wife, the physical pain can be quite unbearable.

I say this now in a happy place and as father of a beautiful 6-month old baby girl. Best of luck and hope the pregnancy goes well.
Alun - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to Rachel W:
> I have found being a mum seems to make (even complete strangers) think they can tell you what you hould or shouldn't do! Some of it might turn out to be good advice, but ultimately trust your judgement

This is definitely the best advice!
bumpy on 09 Oct 2013 -
In reply to Alun:

Thanks for your words of wisdom, and congratulations on the new arrival!

I went for a fell run last night and felt great but did feel the effects already- it took me a while to find my stride and running and working this week i found myself out of breath a bit easier than normal.

My partner is being very supportive and wants me to carry on doing what i feel able to.

I am definatly not looking forward to others comments - What do they know about your body that you dont!

Off to see the doctor next week so may broach the subject then and see how supportive they are about keeping active. Fingers crossed.

I just found a great post on summitpost from an american lady who climbed and skied all the way up to 39 weeks. She charted all the physiological effects and emotions. Its a really great read for anyone in a similar situation.

Summitpost- chronicles of a pregnant weekend warrior
Jonny2vests - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to Alun:

I think you can 'what if' till your blue in the face. Most doctors will tell you riding a bike is ok, encouraged even. All the skiing arguments (and worse) can be applied to that too.

Miscarriage from stress, perhaps made worse by inactivity, is also a risk.
Simos on 16 Oct 2013 -
In reply to bumpy:

First of all congrats!

I only know a bit about piste skiing and not much about ski touring but I would imagine that even as an instructor, falling is still a very real possibility so I would think this is perhaps the main thing to consider. I'd really not equate skiing with other activities like running though, don't remember ever falling while running!

Obviously a very personal choice but worth remembering that the problem is not just the fall itself but also probably when taken for x-rays to the hospital afterwards etc. Having seen my wife take a bad fall at a seemingly easy part of the piste, break her pelvis, then multiple x-rays/scans at hospital etc (luckily she wasn't pregnant) and also having worried about pregnancy in the past, I personally really would not risk having the two combined (and nor my wife would i am sure) as in the grand scheme of things i think it's not worth it and it would be an absolute nightmare even if nothing bad happened as a result a fall! (this I am sure about!)

Maybe I am biased because of past experiences but obviously I can only speak for myself.

Best of luck and enjoy every minute of it, time flies by and they do really grow up before you know it!

Timmd on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to bumpy: It seems to me you need to think about how 'dynamic' something is, and how easily you can bring your arms and legs into positions to protect your midriff, to stop you taking a knock anywhere near your developing bundle of joy and wonder.

Off the top of my head, and I'm not sure why I've thought of it, I guess the 9 months is approx. a hundredth of your baby's possible life span, if the scientists are correct, and hopefully a sixtieth or so of the amount of time you'll spend being around while s/he is. It's the blink of an eye.

Being neither female or pregnant, I've nothing to add except CONGRATS! ()
Jennie on 16 Oct 2013
I'm just coming up to 8 months now (turning into a whale and unfortunatley my plans to keep active during pregnancy very much got put on hold as from about 2 half months to 6 months i was just too nauseaous to do anything ( i was completly useless and confined to bed). I was gutted. I 'd even invested in a full body harness from mountain mamma with the full intention of carrying on climbing (TR only) for the duration of my pregnancy. But it wasn't to be. Everyones pregnancy is different though and i really hope you have stress free and active one.


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