You’ve got a baby bump, but you’ve also got an itch for the great outdoors. Fear not, for you can do it all. After all, Sacagawea got her and her baby over the Rockies the day after he was born. Life doesn’t have to wait!
For some, it may just be the thrill of being surrounded by nature that makes camping (even while pregnant) an alluring experience. If you’re used to camping and being quite active during your trip, pregnancy will slow you down a bit, but it doesn’t have to stop you altogether.
So how do you go camping while pregnant? Preparation is key for pregnant women to enjoy the outdoors and have some peace of mind. You will need some essentials that you may not normally need and it is important to not over heat or get to cold.
Along the way through these topics we will cover some other tips and tricks to make sure you have a great trip!
Plan and have some help.
Pregnancy brings a lot of change to your body which calls for some added care. Out in the woods, that care is doubled. In every situation, especially when preparing, check in with yourself about your level of comfort. Every stone should be turned, from where you’ll sleep, spend your days, relieve yourself, and what you’ll carry.
It’s best to opt for the less-rugged destination for these 9 months and save the more daunting places for when it’s safe to give it everything you’ve got. The added weight from the baby is likely to set your center of gravity off and increases your chances of falling on particularly precarious plots of land. Every step needs to be mindful, even on gentle terrain.
Going with your partner or a trusted friend is vital. There’s a lot of heavy lifting that may need to be done. Too much exertion can put a strain on you and your developing fetus. Even if you have always been used to helping unload the supplies and set up the tent, now is a good time to sit back and let others take care of it.
Have a comfortable chair to relax in.
For those moments when you need to take it easy, you’ll need a good place to sit. Bring the most comfortable camping chair you can. Some of the best on the market nowadays give you the chance to recline and put your feet up! It’s a great place to rest your feet, which can become swollen after a bit of walking. It’s an investment that you’ll relish again and again, especially in the days to come of taking your little one on trips with you!
Even if you don’t want to get the chair with the bells and whistles, a camping chair is necessary for you to rest. Put your feet on anything you can and make time to regain your strength and energy. Make the most of your trip, but don’t deplete too much energy. Your baby needs you strong!
Bring the right food.
Ensuring you’re eating well and often will also contribute to having the stamina for the day. Take time for a healthy snack throughout the day. Granola and fruits, both very common camping commodities, are perfect for keeping you energized. If you’ve got extra cravings, pack those as well. A jar of pickles may be what you need to feel relaxed, and that’s okay. Just bring it.
In planning for your trip, make sure you’re in on the meals. If there’s something you just can’t stomach, like spicy food, or something you just absolutely dread, like hot dogs, make it known. Don’t worry about seeming fussy at the moment. When it’s time to have a meal, you absolutely don’t want to be left out of the mix.
Make sure you have access to a restroom.
Many campsites will also be equipped with restrooms, which is a big win for you. Your baby, especially at later stages, is putting a lot of pressure on your bladder. Add all the extra water you’re drinking, and you can find these outhouses to be a place of refuge.
Some places may not be as equipped. You can look at the bathroom situation in the woods in two ways: there is a limited opportunity, or there is opportunity everywhere. You’ll want to make sure you’re propped up with little risk of falling over, and that your hygiene is tended to. Toilet paper or, even better, wet wipes will come in handy for these moments (that will surely be aplenty!)
If there is not a restroom where you are going camping, make sure to bring a portable potty. There are even special tents for privacy.
Get some exercise, but watch the more advanced trails.
You’re out in the wilderness for a reason, so it won’t all be about getting rest and relief. Allowing yourself exercise is vital to keeping healthy while pregnant. It’s recommended that pregnant women should spend 2.5 hours exercise a week. If you’re regularly active, that number is higher. Camping is a great way to get this time in. Enjoy taking the time for hiking or swimming, but be gentle. You’ll fare much better on a hike with flat paths than rocky summits.
Make sure you have or bring clean drinking water.
Making sure you bring clean water is of utmost importance. While pregnant, you’re going to need more than usual. Once you’re out camping and your activity level is higher, staying hydrated is essential to keep you going.
Some campsites will offer clean running water, but some women may not even want to risk it with that. If there is any contamination, you run the risk of getting sick or infecting your baby.
You can opt to bring extra gallons of water with you as long as you have someone else to help with that heavy lifting! If it’s just too much, Iodine tablets are a great way to ensure your drinking water is safe and you can stay hydrated. There are also life-saver water bottles on the market with built-in filters. You are carrying a built-in extra load. Handle with care!
Have proper bug repellent.
It’s also important to be exceedingly cautious of mosquitos and ticks while out in nature. West Nile Virus or Lyme Disease could have serious health implications for mommy and child. Proper protection is necessary, and the unfortunate truth is that excludes the powerful DEET. Citronella oil is a good alternative. Make sure to have proper closure or netting for your tent to make sure they don’t creep in during the night.
It may be a wise choice to find an all natural repellent while pregnant.
Bring proper equipment for sleeping
When it’s time to pack it in for the night, your sleeping bag alone isn’t going to cut it. Without a doubt, you are one tough mama, but you need proper rest to keep the strength. Give your hard-worked body and your growing baby the necessary comfort of a cot or an air mattress. Bring an extra pillow, too, so you can prop up on your side to sleep. A good night’s rest will mean you can get the most of your days!
Hopefully, you’ll get a full night’s sleep under the stars (more or less), but at any stage in your pregnancy, you’ll know that that’s not always the case. Your hormones are changing and can bring with it restless leg syndrome, queasiness, or insomnia. Since discomfort could even happen at home, being outside of your comfort zone could amplify it. It could mean a world of difference to pack some melatonin. Since it’s naturally created in your body specifically for you to sleep, it’s safe to take in small doses (3mg) while pregnant.
Bring a pregnancy kit.
If you have all the vital aspects, you’re on your way to a great trip. If you want to, you can pack yourself a little pregnancy bag for those added bonuses that are just for you. A sponge so that you can wipe down, will be helpful. So will a battery-powered fan. Pack those up with your important prenatal medicines and tums. While you’re at it, slip a little bit of chocolate in there, too.
There’s no need to feel like all this is too much. It’s not selfish at all. If anything, this is all for ensuring your little one is cared for in the long run.
Make sure your needs are met.
Going camping while pregnant is not too much more of a challenge than it would be otherwise (or, for that matter, with a young child!). Be honest with yourself and your fellow campers in what you need. If that’s a mid-day nap, then you get the most comfortable spot you can and you rest. If that means getting something a little different to make for dinner, so be it. Being relaxed will make the trip more bearable for everyone involved.
Don’t go too far off the beaten path.
The final word in preparing for camping while pregnant is to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected. No matter what stage you’re at, you want to make sure you’re within reach of attention if need be. Stay close enough to civilization so that if anything should happen, you can be tended to in a hurry.
Pregnancy is a beautiful, exciting time. Being in tune with your body during this time is crucial, and your baby is bound to thank you. Camping brings a lot of joy to individuals of a growing family and being happy and active has positive impacts on your baby. Allowing it to slow you down just a bit is okay. Staying true to your active lifestyle will help keep you healthy during pregnancy and help you bounce right back to full-activity when the time comes.
A few more questions you might have.
Can I go camping while I am 4 months pregnant?
The answer is yes. Many people go camping while they are 4 month pregnant. If you follow the directions we have laid out for you there should be no problems. The most important thing to remember is to bring everything you will need to be comfortable. This includes a bed as well as all natural bug spray.
Can I go camping while 8 months pregnant?
Honestly, we were curious about this one too so we did research. It seems that many people go camping while 8 months pregnant and the same tips seem to apply to camping during the first, second and third trimester. For each person the experience seems to differ, we found one person who slept on the hard ground and said it was the best sleep of her pregnancy. We don’t recommend this but everyone is different and experiences will differ from person to person.
We do recommend no matter if it is your first, second or third trimester that you do not inhale any more campfire smoke than is required and none at all would be best. Also, we recommend all natural products if possible for bugs. During the third trimester, we highly recommend that the camping trip not be too far away from civilization. Actually, we recommend this for all stages but especially for the third trimester.