Okay, moms, let’s be real, being motivated to hike when you’re pregnant can be really, really hard. If it’s not the terrible nausea you’re dealing with, then it’s the various aches and pains that come with pregnancy. And let’s not forget the shortness of breath and sheer exhaustion that creating life within your body brings. Then, add caring for your little(s) on top of all of that discomfort, and it might just seem like getting out is an unreachable goal.
Despite the understandable temptation to give up, the truth is that you don’t have to let those two pink lines on that stick stop you from adventuring in the great outdoors. If you can find the motivation and are able to exercise caution while out on the trails, you will likely find that the payoff is ultimately greater than the struggle.
Here’s a list of ways you can keep yourself motivated to continue to get out on the trails while you’re pregnant:
- It’ll be good when you get there:
Remind yourself that once you are out and actively hiking, you will benefit immensely from not only the breath of fresh air but also the break from all the busy day-to-day stuff you may otherwise be doing.
- Keep yourself fueled on the trails:
Keep yourself going with lots of water and snacks on hand. There’s nothing more difficult than trying to hike not only pregnant but also hungry or thirsty. Fuel yourself and baby along the way and it will be a much more enjoyable outing all around.
- Make it a bonding experience:
View this as a special bonding time for you and your kids, as well as the little baby on the way. If your spouse is able to join you on a hike, allow it to be some special time for you both as a couple before things get a bit busier at home with another little one to care for.
- Remind yourself that it’s good for you and baby:
It’s widely known that exercise and activity are great for a healthy pregnancy- let the idea of taking care of yourself and your baby help to keep you motivated and active.
- Embrace the season you’re in:
Let the joy of the current season (whichever season you’re in) drive you- whether it’s taking in the beauty of the color-changing trees in fall, the picturesque look of the snow-covered trails in winter, the allure of watching as new life begins in spring, or the myriad of different adventures that can be undertaken during those beautiful summer days.
- Seize the opportunity to be with family:
Remind yourself that these are the last opportunities you will have to enjoy hiking with your family in its current capacity before the addition of a new member (or members) will change the dynamic a bit (ultimately for the better, of course).
- Pace Yourself:
Don’t push yourself too hard while you’re pregnant. It’s important to listen to your body and make sure you don’t overdo it. It’s okay to dial back on the activity level a bit, after all, you are creating a human along with everything else that you are doing. Keep in mind that a shorter hike is still a hike and getting out and enjoying yourself is the ultimate goal.
- Invest in really good hiking shoes:
There’s nothing worse than being pregnant and being nervous about falling or slipping around in the mud on the trails. It’s so important for you to feel comfortable and secure out on the trails and a solid pair of hiking shoes will likely help you to be more confident taking on the trails in all kinds of conditions and terrain.
- Make sure you’re supported all around:
As you get further along in your pregnancy it’s so important to make sure you have proper support for your growing baby bump. A solid pregnancy belt is a great investment to help you be fully supported and comfortable on the trails.
- Do it for a good night sleep later on:
A nice walk will likely wear you out a bit so that, come bedtime, you will hopefully sleep like a baby (no pun intended).
If all else fails, let the stories of other pregnant mamas taking on the trails inspire you to know that it is possible and that it will benefit you immensely if/ when you do it.
Photo Credit: Deanna Curry & Michelle Craig
ABOUT HIKE IT BABY
Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities and removing barriers to access so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. With more than 300 communities across North America, they firmly believe all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors, and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature. To learn more, visit HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. To support their mission and further their programming aimed at supporting families, donate here.