5 Changes I’ve Made While Tramping in My Third Trimester
Kiwi adventurer, creator of Alice Adventuring and chocolate-lover Alice shares five changes she’s made when tramping in her third trimester.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love chocolate and tramping (in that order). When I found out I was pregnant, it was therefore natural that I still wanted to go on adventures, despite the many physical and mental changes happening. I had many people who told me that it wouldn't be possible, but my midwife and pelvic floor physiotherapist gave me the all clear, so off I went!
I'm now well into my third trimester, and I've definitely had to slow down in the past few weeks as I approach birth. But overall I'm really happy with how active I've managed to stay during most of my pregnancy.
I've written a blog post with lots of specific details about tramping while pregnant over on my website, so I was ready when Mountain Safety Council asked me to write this piece, especially as Plan My Walk app has helped me stay active in pregnancy too, particularly in my third trimester.
Plan My Walk has a ton of features that I've found really helpful while I've been adjusting my adventures throughout pregnancy. Here are five new habits I've picked up, and how Plan My Walk has made it easy for me:
1. Choosing shorter walks, closer to home
In first and second trimester, I was able to tramp much as normal, albeit with a few changes. However as my pregnancy progressed and I became less comfortable, bigger tramps were no longer as appealing or indeed possible. I started to look for walks that were shorter, and closer to home.
The map function on Plan My Walk came in really handy for this. There were so many short walks nearby that I'd previously overlooked in my quest for more epic adventures. It liked being able to see them on the map and click for more details - there were even some walks I'd never heard of before.
Finding new walks helped me to stay motivated and active, rather than just repeating the same old, short walks near town. Exploring new places gave me my fix of adventure, even though the walks themselves felt slightly less adventurous compared to what I was used to.
2. Checking what the track is ‘actually’ like
The further I got along in my third trimester, the less comfortable I was with walking on the tree-root ladder tracks I was used to. I instead preferred tracks that were better maintained, not too muddy and with no crazy steep sections. The reviews of each track in Plan My Walk made it a lot easier for me to choose appropriate walks.
People can rate the track on scale from "easier" to "as expected" to "harder", and also leave detailed information from their own experience. This up-to-date information helped me decide which walks were appropriate for me (short, flat, scenic), and which ones I might want to give a miss (lots of uphill, muddy, not well maintained).
3. Starting a hiking wishlist for future adventures
While searching for shorter, nearby trips, I stumbled across lots of longer tramps that I no longer felt I could do in third trimester but really, really wanted to attempt at some point (Rees-Dart Track, I'm looking at you). I didn’t want to forget these trips, so the wishlist feature on the app came in super handy. I could click on the little heart and it would save each track to my tramping wishlist. Now I have a list of epic tramps for when I'm up to tackling bigger adventures again!
4. Always using a packing list - baby brain is real!
I normally just have an informal packing list stored in my brain that guides me when packing for trips from day walks to multi-day adventures. But a mental list didn't really cut the mustard while pregnant, especially as fatigue started to hit again. Plan My Walk gives you a checklist for gear and food, so that you don't have to worry about leaving anything crucial behind at home.
Since being pregnant, I’ve had to adapt what I pack on tramping trips. I carry more food and water, which I was expecting,, but something that surprised me was being more susceptible to sunstroke. Forgetting sunscreen and my sunhat isn’t really an option any more, so using a list to make sure they’re always in my pack is an absolute winner.
5. Consistently sharing my plans and whereabouts with an emergency contact
Tramping safety is something I've always taken very seriously, but I’ve definitely prioritised this even more while pregnant, even for short walks. I love the Plan My Walk safety features (no surprise when it's been developed by the Mountain Safety Council)! Being able to note down all my trip details in one place, and then email this to my emergency contacts definitely gave me peace of mind, and was super easy to do. That combined with carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and first aid kit (as per the packing list), meant that I felt comfortable going on shorter walks in my third trimester even by myself. There are a lot of changes you have to prepare for when you’re pregnant, so heading out into nature, even if I didn’t have a free buddy to come with me, was much needed therapy.
As always, listen to the advice of medical professionals involved in your pregnancy when planning tramps. Every pregnancy is different, and there are certain situations which are higher risk and might prevent you from heading out as much, or for as long, as you'd like. But if you can, the metal and physical benefits of staying active in pregnancy are great. Let Plan My Walk make it easy for you.