Tips to Safely Enjoy the Great Outdoors During Your Pregnancy

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pregnancy

Spring is finally here and it’s time to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days. Physical activity is important for a healthy pregnancy so long as you indulge in non-strenuous activities and stick with exercises that are in your comfort zone. This could mean exercising outdoors, lounging at the beach, camping, hiking, or simply strolling through the park in your neighborhood. Simply getting out and connecting with nature can help lower stress levels and improve your mood. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the outdoors safely while you’re pregnant.

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Outdoor Pregnancy Safety Tips

Discuss more strenuous activities with your doctor

While it’s well-established that physical activity is important throughout pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor before you try a new physical activity that requires you to exert a lot of energy and be highly mobile. Most outdoor activities such as walking, swimming, and hiking are considered low-risk, but bicycling, horseback riding, ice skating, rollerblading, and rock climbing are regarded as high-risk activities during pregnancy because of the potential falls. It may also help to use a maternity support belt when walking or hiking to reduce back pain, especially as your baby grows and you advance in your pregnancy.

Always wear a pregnancy-safe sunscreen

Skin protection is absolutely essential when you’re spending time outdoors as UV rays are harmful to both you and your baby. Sunscreens will not only protect against sunburn and skin aging but will also lower the risk of skin cancer. Just make sure to choose a pregnancy-safe sunscreen – these are typically mineral-based products and will not contain potentially harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone, homosalate, and avobenzone. Going through the labels can be tedious, so here’s a list of the best pregnancy-safe sunscreens to make it easier for you.

Bring lots of water and snacks

Water and snacks are not just meant to keep those pregnancy hunger cravings at bay when you’re out walking on a trail or spending a day at the beach. They’re meant to keep you well-hydrated and nourished so you (and your growing little one) have enough energy for the activity. This is important because expectant mothers are more vulnerable to extreme heat and associated complications such as dehydration and heat stroke, which can seriously threaten a pregnancy. Try to include water, an oral rehydration solution, and nutrition-dense snacks, such as fresh fruits and trail mix.

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Find community activities

While it’s nice to enjoy some ‘me time’ in the tranquility of nature, it’s also a good idea to have people around and to be part of a group when you’re pregnant. This will give you a lot more peace of mind as you don’t have to worry about being stranded or alone when you need help. Moreover, the shared outdoor experience can be plenty of fun, giving you an opportunity to connect with other mums.

Don’t forget the bug spray

Bugs are everyone’s least favorite part of the outdoors, but they’re especially problematic when you are pregnant. Mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs can transmit infections that pose a serious risk to both mother and baby. In addition to wearing protective clothing and boots, it would be a good idea to invest in a pregnancy-safe bug spray. You can choose from products containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 as the active ingredients, as these are considered safe during pregnancy.

Aside from the tips mentioned above, it would also be a good idea to avoid spending too much time outside during peak sunlight hours. When you are outdoors, try to keep cool by staying in well-shaded areas and by wearing light and breathable clothing. Use well-fitted and comfortable shoes to avoid injury and protect against foot swelling, which can be problematic for many expectant mums.

Spring is the perfect time for anyone to enjoy the outdoors and if you follow these precautions there’s no reason why you should be excluded from the fun.

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