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Pregnancy + Hiking

Hollywood sign

Beachwood drive north of Franklin. Spotted: Hollywood sign and gaggles of tourists with selfie sticks

My favorite view of HOLLYWOOD sign is from the Griffith Park Observatory, but the only way to reach the sign is to hike (illegally, I may add) through some difficult terrain. 

To stay true to your match.com (Bumble? Hinge? OK Cupid?) profile where you met your spouse and swore you loved hiking, you may be asking …

Is it safe to hike during pregnancy? 

Yes. With some precautions (as always). 

Main precautions

  1. Be safe and careful. Pregnancy makes women more prone to injury. A pregnancy hormone, aptly named relaxin, relaxes the connective tissue (tendons and ligaments, mostly). It helps prep our bodies for labor and delivery but it makes pregnant women more susceptible to injury.  Pregnant women also experience a shift of their center of gravity which makes them clumsier and more like to trip, fall, lurch, slip, what have you. Strenuous hikes often require some balance and coordination, some jumping and leaping. Don’t do these kinds of hikes while pregnant. 
  2. Snacks and water. Stay hydrated with plenty of water. Even if you’ve never been the snacking type, pregnancy can change that. Keep a snack in case you need some calories
  3. Rest and don’t overheat. If you need to rest, rest. Sit down and put your head between your legs. Stop and stretch. Stay cool and in the shade.
  4. Sun protection. Skin is often more sensitive during pregnancy so may burn easier or get irritated with direct sun exposure.  Those dark patches on the face, called melasma, get worse with direct sunlight. Wear sunscreen and wear a hat. 

And of course check in with your doctor or health care provider to make sure you as an individual don’t have contraindications to outdoor activity. 

But go, exercise that pregnant body, clear your head, breath fresh air. You’ll feel good and hopefully get some beautiful views too. 

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Aug 1, 2018

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