You recently found out you’re pregnant, and now you’re afraid to do anything. And maybe you’re so tense that even going for a walk scares you! We understand that everything is new to you, but you should relax. Although pregnancy is a crucial moment, medicine has proven that women who go through it can live a regular life. True, you should stick to some rules, but if you’ve always followed a healthy lifestyle, changes will be minimal. For example, did you know that it is possible to go camping while pregnant?
Can’t believe it? Then read the article carefully because we’ll break down all the topics on the subject. In the first part, we will focus on the benefits that camping while pregnant has on the body and psyche. Then, since exercise has positive effects on the baby, we will spend a few words on that too. In the middle section of the post, instead, we’ll provide tips about what to pack. Finally, in the last paragraphs, you’ll find suggestions about safety and rules to follow.
A note before providing insights: the obstetrician always plays a key role, and his/her directives may not be questioned. Thus, if you want to go on an adventure, you should discuss it with your doctor. Remember, outdoor activities are important, but safety always comes first, and making a few sacrifices is worth it.
Is Camping Good for Your Pregnancy?
Generally speaking, in case your pregnancy progresses smoothly, playing sports is highly recommended. Of course, the time spent doing it must be monitored. In particular, doctors estimate that women with a sedentary life should do around 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. Some of the sports recommended by obstetricians include gentle exercise, yoga, and swimming.
Pregnancy, though, is not the occasion to start something new. So, if you never practiced any sport, the best option is to walk 30 minutes a day. ‘Okay, but I haven’t read anything related to camping yet.’ As we wrote above, it all depends on whether this is something you already do or not. In short, if you have been camping a lot before, you can keep doing it while pregnant as well.
Playing sports during pregnancy brings many benefits. First, it prevents you from gaining too much weight. Second, it helps you fight the onset of gestational diabetes, a disease that can cause complications such as fetal malformations. Besides, outdoor activities improve blood circulation, which helps fight swelling in the legs or other parts of the body.
All the actions you do affect the baby’s health, and sports have a positive impact. Improving heart output and lung capacity, in particular, helps your baby receive oxygen-rich blood and eliminate waste. Moreover, exercising will prepare you for delivery because it strengthens your abs.
Of course, there are some recommendations and restrictions. For instance, you must avoid sports that involve falls (cycling, horseback riding) or trauma (tennis, golf). Also, intense activity is a no-go because it can cause poor blood flow to the placenta. Finally, you must immediately stop in case of blood loss or contractions. These events, in fact, could result in premature birth or poor fetal growth.
What to Pack to Have the Best Camping Experience Ever
If you read a lot about pregnancy, you may already be aware of the must-haves for a comfortable camping trip. However, some information needs to be stressed because accidents happen. You don’t want to run out of water in the middle of nowhere, do you? So here’s our list of essentials to make your camping experience perfect.
Comfy Clothes and Shoes
When you are pregnant, all you dream of is clothes that do not tighten around your belly. Our advice is to go with yoga pants, a classic piece that puts comfort first. For the top part, instead, you can choose t-shirts or long-sleeved shirts. Of course, all these pieces should be loose-fitting or stretch.
Before packing, you have to consider a few factors, such as the weather and the location you chose. For example, if you go camping in summer, you should bring a shade hat. Moreover, you should include in your backpack some extra clothes, because pregnant women can sweat a lot! On the location you chose, there are lots of bugs? Then you should protect yourself with long-sleeve shirts.
Wearing the right shoes is crucial. In particular, they have to be comfortable, sturdy, and have a tight grip on the ground. Since leaning forward is something you should avoid at any cost, the best solution would be slip-on shoes. As we said before, during pregnancy, your legs may undergo swelling. Thus, to be comfortable, you should pack an extra pair of shoes (they should be half a size larger). Ground gripping is a fundamental element too. During pregnancy, in fact, your center of gravity shifts forward, and you can fall more easily.
Comfy Items to Sleep
Sleeping while pregnant can be difficult. And, as you can guess, when you go camping, it gets even worse. That’s why you should pack all the necessary items to make your camping bed as comfortable as possible. We suggest you bring an air mattress, a sleeping bag, a fleece blanket, and pregnancy pillows.
Air mattress is a good option because it’s extra-thick. Yet, depending on how the baby is positioned, it may not be that comfortable for your hips. If this is the case, you can solve the problem using pregnancy pillows or a sleeping pad. Are you wondering why we suggested bringing some blankets? Well, during pregnancy, it is very likely to feel hot. As a consequence, using the sleeping bag in summer may be stressful.
Just a few more notes. First, if your pregnancy pillows are too big to fit in your car, you can replace them with camping ones. Second, be careful when purchasing sleeping pads because many are too thin to provide the right amount of insulation.
In the end, the correct solution is always trying different products at home. That way, you can decide which items fit your needs best.
A Reclining Chair
Although the doctor gives you permission to go camping, you should not forget this vacation if focused on your health. This means you should take frequent breaks to let your body rest. In our opinion, bringing a reclining chair is essential because it allows you to take nice quick naps. Very important: if you need to buy a new one, choose wisely. In fact, only chairs with footrests are relaxing enough to be suitable for naps.
Not all campgrounds have restrooms. While this may not be a problem for men, pregnant women may have a hard time. Earlier on, we said that leaning forward is dangerous, but there are other things you should avoid. And squatting in the forest to pee is one of those.
In the first place, since your center of gravity is shifted, you may fall. Second, getting clean in the woods is not easy, and hygiene is a priority when pregnant. For this reason, you should consider buying a portable toilet.
A Tall Tent
Remember the times when you crawled out of your tent for two and went to explore the world? Well, if you go camping while pregnant, you should forget about it. In fact, crawling is dangerous, and we are sure you don’t want your belly to hit the ground. In our opinion, buying a tall tent is the best option, because it allows you to stand. Once you try it, you’ll never go back!
Yes, we listed it. However, as you already know, pregnancy is a delicate moment. Thus, all the products that can be applied to your skin should be used with uttermost attention. Bug repellent, in particular, may contain substances that are dangerous for your pregnancy. For this reason, you should always ask your doctor before buying anything. As an alternative, you can use lemongrass essential oil. Even when you use natural ingredients, though, you should always do it with the supervision of your doctor.
A camping lantern is something you should always have with you, regardless if you are pregnant or not. Just think about the nights you spent under the stars in the company of your better half and this item. When you are pregnant, you may use the lantern for other purposes, but it will be a lifesaver. An example? You will carry it with you whenever you need to pee in the middle of the night!
Hanging Wardrobe Shelf
This item is cheap, but, at the same time, it will become a precious ally during your pregnancy. In fact, with this type of shelf, you’ll never have to bend over to pick up clothes, shoes, or anything else. We love it because you can find it in any home improvement store. Plus, all you have to do is clip it to the tent and you’re done.
Camping While Pregnant – Food, Drinks, and Medications You Should Not Forget About
This is the first thing you should think of! Pregnant women, in fact, should drink more than they usually do (we’ll tell you why in the next section). Second, if the campsite has no restrooms, you have to use the water you find there to wash up. And sometimes it’s not safe as it sounds. Yes, you can boil it, but having your own water is always the best solution.
• Salty Snacks
If you are not used to drinking a lot of water in normal condition, such snacks will help with your thirst. Also, some of these, like crackers, can help you deal with morning sickness.
We kept it as generic as possible on purpose because each pregnancy is different. In short, this item regards pregnancy vitamins and all the medicines your obstetrician prescribed. Remember, going on holiday is not an excuse to stop taking them!
• High-fiber foods
When you are pregnant, dealing with constipation is quite common. The first cause is progesterone, a hormone that is responsible for keeping uterine contractions under control. Unfortunately, it also blocks your intestinal peristalsis. Moreover, as the fetus grows, it obstructs the passage of stool. If you are desperate, don’t be. You can solve the problem by eating food that contains a high percentage of soluble fibers. For instance, you should carry with you green leafy vegetables, apples, pears, peaches, and plums. Beware: all fruits should be peeled, and raw vegetables should be carefully washed.
Safety Tips for Going Camping While Pregnant
Safety is the first aspect when it comes to pregnancy. For this reason, we tried to make a list, sorting it from the worst issues to the least important ones. However, in our opinion, they all have a high grade of relevance and should not be neglected.
Plan Some Breaks
Are you going to reach the campsite by car? If the journey is going to take hours, you should plan some stops and take a walk. We understand that you prefer to get there as soon as possible, but you need to take care of yourself. In fact, sitting for too long may cause cramps or even blood clots. Also, pregnant women need to pee more frequently. So take advantage of these stops and listen to your body needs. In addition, car motion may increase morning sickness, and inhaling fresh air may help limit the discomfort.
Drink As Much As You Can
Yes, all of us forget to drink sometimes, but nothing happens. When you bear a child, however, things change. If you don’t drink, there may not be enough amniotic fluid for the fetus to float in it. As a consequence, your baby may develop deformities in its arms or legs. Moreover, you can experience urinary infections, preeclampsia, fluid retention, and constipation.
How to tell that you should drink more water? You can understand it from your urine: when it’s particularly dark, you should drink more. If you suffer from morning sickness, our suggestion is to drink in small sips.
Stay Close to Civilization
Pregnancy is not the time to go on the adventure of a lifetime. Instead, you should opt for safe travel, and choose a campsite that is close to towns or villages. No matter in how many weeks you’ll give birth, the unexpected may always happen, and you should be prepared. Plus, this is not the time to explore new campsites either. Are you wondering what to do then? In our opinion, the best solution is to choose a place you already visited as a couple.
Moreover, you should avoid mountain locations. High altitudes, in fact, may cause oxygen deficiency, especially in those who are not used to such physical exertion.
Create a List of Medical Information
First of all, you should bring with you the telephone number of your obstetrician. This way, you can ask him/her anything you want at any time. This is crucial because googling to solve doubts about health is a no-go, especially when they relate to pregnancy. Second, after deciding the location for your holiday, you should always look for information about the closest hospital. If the due date is soon, the baby could be born sooner than you expect!
Be Careful With Food
You should consider going camping like a holiday, which means you should ask someone else to take care of burdensome things. Like cooking, for example. After all, you’re pregnant! However, do not forget that during these 9 months you should be extra careful with food. So, if you delegate cooking, always make sure to provide the correct instructions. In particular, raw vegetables and fruit should be washed carefully, and meat or eggs should be well-cooked. And if you do not follow those rules, you could face serious risks, like getting salmonella.
Another fundamental thing to do is to plan your meals. Yes, we know you look forward to outdoor activities, but making a schedule for the day is crucial. Other websites report that if you do not have time to cook, protein snacks make a good compromise. For instance, some of them mention you can eat cheese sticks, almonds, and so on. In our opinion, though, prioritizing a healthy diet is the first thing to do when pregnant.
Moreover, not all kinds of cheese are made from pasteurized milk. Are you wondering what the big deal is? Well, the dairy products that do not use this ingredient are not safe for pregnant women. Plus, when you eat, you provide nutritional elements to your baby. Thus, even during a camping holiday, you should always have a full meal.
Of course, during the day, there are times when you should have a snack to gain some energy. In those cases, we suggest you opt for trail mix, sunflower seeds, etc.
Listen to Your Body (and Watch Your Steps)!
We understand everything is so exciting that you can’t think of taking things slow. However, we highly recommend listening to your body because its signals are never random. So, if you feel like taking a nap, sit on your recliner (or lay on your bed) and sleep.
We wrote this above, but we’ll say it once more for your sake: when you’re pregnant, your balance gets precarious. That’s why, even if you have ground-gripping shoes, there are some chances that you may fall. Thus, if you go for a walk or do some exercise, we recommend watching your steps!
Choose the Right Pitch
As we said before, you may feel the need to pee more often. If you have your portable toilet, there won’t be any problem. If, on the other hand, you chose a campsite with restrooms, picking the pitch with care is essential. To go more into detail, you should put your tent as close as possible to the bathrooms. You don’t want to walk a lot in the middle of the night to pee, right?
Moreover, you should choose the right pitch based on the shadow available. Since when you are pregnant, you can feel hotter, you really do not need to stay in the sun all day long.
Is It Safe to Sit Next to A Campfire While Pregnant?
Yes, bonfires have a timeless appeal. But, while you may be excited to relax in front of one, you should know this isn’t’ a good idea. In fact, where there is wood burning, there is a large amount of carbon dioxide. And, for the safety of your child, you should not inhale it.
True, to damage his nervous system, you need to be exposed to smoke for a long time. However, we believe that the best way to stay safe is not to start something dangerous.
Finally, we reached the end of this article. If you read till here, all we want to say to you is ‘don’t be scared.’ At first, it may seem there are too many factors to take care of, but you’ll get used to it. In the end, all these tips we provided are just common sense. And during these nine months, you’ll learn what suits your needs best.
Besides, there are at least two people that can help you to plan a perfect babymoon. Yes, we’re talking about your obstetrician and your partner! After all, the doctor is there for you, so you should make a list of questions and schedule a consultation. You’ll see, he/she will solve all your doubts. Your partner, instead, will be in charge of handling all the burdensome tasks throughout the vacation.
Are you going to go with your friends? Then, it’s going to be even funnier. Not only will you be able to make special memories, but they will be happy to help you every time you need it.
Camping while pregnant has never been so easy!