Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Climbing pregnant: Week 39

Rock Climbing
Yee-Haw! I'm officially feeling very pregnant. I went climbing in the gym yesterday and it felt great. Each climb is very slow. I have to swing my body side to side to be able to see the foot holds, actually place my foot on it and then shift my weight in order to go up. It's like hula dancing. For the first time I'm not psyched to make it to the top of the route because it means lowering down. I really don't like the lowering part. My harness squeezes my belly and its uncomfortable. Baby is fine, I'm not like cutting myself or anything. It's just uncomfortable. I had to yell down to Doug, my climbing partner, to lower me faster...I'm sure I sounded impatient and demanding. I'm so lucky to have him. He doesn't care. He cares that I'm climbing, and that's it. He doesn't mind that I can barely get up a climb, or that I don't let him fall while I'm belaying. Thank you Doug for being so supportive!
The big day is coming soon. I'm both nervous and excited. I'm trying not to count down the days. A watched kettle never boils.
I'm reading a pile of labor books to help myself prepare. But everyday that I climb I'm thinking more and more about transferring those thoughts and methods to my labor. When I get a little pumped I focus on my breath and imagine myself in the middle of a really hard contraction and I think about opening and relaxing. Climbing is still climbing of course and can't really compare to labor but I believe any kind of mental preparation I can have increases my success of having a natural birth.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I've been waiting until that has passed to start doing "Let's get this show on the road" activities. I plan to take a long walk every day (and climbing of course) following my bday until my son is born. I just don't want to share my birthday with my offspring.
To think, I'll get to meet him in the next couple weeks. It's so exciting!


  1. Hi Carrie, I just came across your blog this week because I have been trying to read more about climbing while pregnant. I really enjoy reading your blog! Anyway, I hope that the big day went great and everyone is healthy! :-)

  2. I'm 22 years old am pregnant with my first child at 11 weeks. I've been climbing for about 2 years and just called my obgyn and she said that rock climbing is a no because even if it's a full body harness, there would still be pressure on my pelvis and that could cause harm to the baby delaying blood flow. Did you check with your doctor about this because I saw you wrote about it being uncomfortable but the baby is fine? The news about climbing disappointed me a lot...

  3. What I write on this blog is based on the only information I have which is the vast experience of myself and countless other climbing pregnant Mama's. The research on climbing while pregnant is nil but I will say this:
    If you are healthy. If you do not have any pre-existing medical conditions that would lead you to being susceptible to additional injury (i.e hip problems, previous pelvis problems...) Not knowing what your history is limits me in giving you an answer. BUT. I have never heard, felt or seen any problems with the full body harness on pelvic blood pressure. That makes no sense to me. Has your OB/GYN seen the harness? Have you tried it on for her? I took mine in and showed my OB. I also showed PT's that I was working with. The grand consensus was that it seemed great though a bit uncomfortable when further along. You should never have the leg loops so tight that they don't allow circulation. (See the normal instructions for the harness.) Personally, I'm not sure that your doc had a good answer for you so this is what you got. Climbing is fine while pregnant. Have you read the ACOG guidelines in my last blog post? Has she? Not many people know about rock climbing and this sounds to me like just another incidence. Be educated yourself, and help educate your MD and then the two of you can make a decision together.
    One last thing: DO NOT LEAD CLIMB. TOP ROPE ONLY

    Congratulations. This is a beautiful time, be happy and wellness will follow.

  4. Hi there,
    I am expecting my third child, 12th week, and have been climbing and bouldering for many years. The obgyn I was with for my first two kids said climbing is a no. I climbed and bouldered during both pregnancies, watching for my body and its signals, climbing less harder the further pregnancy progressed, toproping only after I found out and I have given birt to two healthy and happy babies. Both kids now climb today :-) My new obgyn, a climber herself, now told me I can boulder and climb as long as I am feeling well doing it. She said to quit bouldering Vhard soon because of the risk of falling and jumping off tends to be dangerous after a few weeks into pregnancy. This is not news to me really, it just makes sense :-) Toproping with a good harness that fits well is ok according to my obgyn and by my experiences something that has promoted my well-being and happiness as well as my connection to my body during pregnancy. I think if you listen to your body and use common sense during pregancy climbing is a wonderful way of feeling great about yourself and your body. Talk to your obgyn, show her the harness and Carries experiences. I am sure she will be able to make better decisions if she is informed better :-)
    I wish you all the best for you and your baby!


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