Ahh, the third trimester… the pregnancy homestretch. Although depending on how you’re feeling it can either crawl or fly by. Our little fella will be joining us “on the outside” in the next week or two, so I thought this would be a good chance to recap what I learned about hiking while pregnant during the third trimester.
For me, some weeks flew by while others trudged along, which was reflected on how much we were able to get outdoors. Between the growing belly and uncooperative weather we didn’t get out on the trails as much as I had hoped during the third trimester, but we still managed to hit up quite a few trails… and learn a few good lessons in the process.
Third Trimester Tips for Hiking While Pregnant
- Wash, rinse, repeat. Pretty much everything from my posts about hiking while pregnant during the first trimester and during the the second trimester still applies… I was still active (much slower!), but the rapidly expanding belly required a few additional considerations for hiking while pregnant.
- Meet my new best friend: Trekking Poles. Ahh, trekking poles. I didn’t get a pair until the beginning of the third trimester and regretted not getting them earlier. Once I started using trekking poles I was able to keep up with Nate and the dogs at a much more comfortable pace.
I’m not exactly sure of the particulars, but using the trekking poles reduced the pressure on my belly and virtually eliminated round ligament pains. Plus the reassurance of having the extra balancing support helped minimize my concern about trips or falls. My recommendation to anyone would be to pick up a pair of trekking poles early in the second trimester – you’ll get a lot of use out of them and it will make hiking while pregnant far more enjoyable.
- Shorter distances and flatlands. While the trekking poles certainly helped me to extend the distances that I was able to hike, third trimester hiking distances were a far cry from the first and second trimester. Ideally if we go hiking we’ll do a minimum of six miles… that definitely changed as the third trimester progressed. Hilly and rocky terrain was exchanged for smooth, flat trails and we slowly decreased our mileage down to about 2 miles for the last few hikes. The last few hikes have been very s-l-o-w going, but still worth the effort.
While it was kind of a bummer to skip over the more adventurous hikes, the refreshing feeling that came from simply being outdoors and stretching my legs during the third trimester provided a real boost to my energy – both physically and emotionally. I highly recommend getting out as much as you can… word on the street is that things change A LOT when the baby makes his arrival.
It’s been a great 9.75 months for both me and Nate and we can’t wait to share with you what we learn about parenting while getting out and about in nature.
So that’s my two cents worth. What’s been your experience being active and outdoorsy while pregnant?