How to have a wild pregnancy
Expecting? You don’t have to stop exploring! We spoke to author and adventure writer, Amy Molloy five weeks before her due date, to discover how the mum-to-be has continued to live on the wild side – with a bump on board. Here are the tips you won’t read about in the baby books…
START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON.
There is a good chance our baby was conceived in a tent in a National Park (actually, it was our friend’s tent – sorry Bruno!) From the offset, my husband and I made a vow to try to continue to live our outdoorsy life, both during my pregnancy and hopefully after our daughter makes an appearance. I’m not saying it’s easy but with extra planning and perseverance it’s possible to keep living the wild life with a tiny hitchhiker. I joke that our unborn daughter has already been to more waterfalls than the average adult.
UPGRADE YOUR ACCOMMODATION.
After the third month of my pregnancy my husband upgraded our camping sleeping arrangement – from a single-man swag that we usually share to a mattress in the back of our 4WD Landcruiser. For us, that’s utter luxury! To be honest, when he suggested it I wanted to push back (“I don’t need special treatment!). But, the truth is I do and now that our baby is the size of a pumpkin having the extra space and padding is a blessing. As is the Sea to Summit blow-up pillow I sleep with between my knees.
FIND YOU BIGGEST FAN.
When you have a bun in the oven, it can get HOT! That’s why I advise any adventurous mama to invest in a camping fan for middle of the night heatwaves. The type I have can be hung from the roof of a tent or a van and provides cool, breezy relief when my internal thermostat goes haywire. The added bonus? You can pack it in your hospital bag for labour.
STRAP YOUR BELLY.
Even at 35-weeks pregnant, I find hiking uphill very doable. It’s the downhill that is uncomfortable, as my pelvic bone becomes a baby trampoline. My saving grace has been kinesiology tape which I use to take the weight off. There are lots of how-to tutorials online. As I told my husband when he laughed at me, “Olympic's athletes wear it…although not on their bellies”. Whenever possible, I also end every hike with a walk in a cold stream to avoid swollen ankles.
ALTER YOUR ACTIVITIES.
Before pregnancy one of the hobbies I loved was spearfishing but, once I started growing a life, I lost my killer instinct and kept ‘accidentally’ missing the fish I was aiming at. When my husband went spearing I didn’t want to suffer from FOMO, so instead I took up the role of camerawoman. By swapping my speargun for a GoPro I still feel like I have a purpose but I can swim peacefully on the surface (deep diving is a no-no during pregnancy because it limits bub’s oxygen supply).
TAKE REMOTE CONTROL.
I was born two-month prematurely so know that babies can make an early arrival. Usually my husband and I are fans of a ‘no-plan-plan’ (arrive at a trail and see where it takes us) but now that I’m in trimester three we take more precautions. We’ve invested in a Spot Tracker, tell people at home where we’re going and only hike within two hours of a major town and hospital. I’ve also learnt to respect my limits. These days I (begrudgingly) let my husband carry my water for me because I know I can hike further without the extra load.
LISTEN TO YOUR BABY.
There will be people who tell you – firmly - that you shouldn’t be hiking/cycling/climbing etc. But, the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to trust my body and my baby’s messages. Our unborn daughter will quickly tell me (usually with a sharp kick) if I’m moving in a way that makes her uncomfortable. In fact, when I hike the rhythm seems to put her to sleep. Within ten minutes of trekking she stops moving and I feel her head rest on the inside of my stomach (growing a human being = amazing!).
Follow Amy @amy_molloy
Amy Molloy is a journalist, author and ‘digital nomad’ who takes her work on the road at every opportunity. Previously Editor of Grazia Australia, she now writes for publications including The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, the Times, Marie Claire and Harpers BAZAAR. Amy is also Contributing Editor at The COLLECTIVE magazine, a Senior Contributor at We Are Explorers & an ambassador for 1 Million Women. Her baby is due in October 2016.