In the lead up to giving birth, many couples like to arrange some fun activities to enjoy before their little one is born, and life becomes, let’s just say, busier!
From a romantic camping trip or hiking vacation with your partner, to jetting off for a few days of skiing, the more adventurous moms-to-be out there are probably not short of ideas.
But what about ziplining, is this considered to be a safe activity for those expecting?
The short answer is ziplining does carry some risks to pregnant women, including discomfort and shortness of breath, and under the Ts&Cs of the company who operate the activity you may not even be allowed to take part.
Let’s find out more.
Can You Zipline While Pregnant?
It’s worth stating up front that in many cases, especially during early pregnancy when your bump is not visible, the decision as to whether or not to zipline is up to you.
Because if you are comfortable with the risks and considerations which we’re about to go into, and you are willing to potentially lie on the company’s waiver form, then in reality there’s nothing stopping you from ziplining if you really wanted to.
But is this a good idea?
The reality is that pregnant women are typically advised not to zipwire during their pregnancy.
One of the main reasons for this advice is because the harness and lanyard that you will be using will put additional pressure on your abdominal area, which is clearly not something you want to do during pregnancy.
There are both safety and comfort factors that you should seriously consider before you decide to go zip-ling or zip-wiring.
Let’s take a look at five of the most important considerations.
Risks & Considerations
1. Pressure On Your Abdomen
One of the main reasons why ziplining during pregnancy is not recommended is because you need to wear a harness that is fastened around your waist.
In order to keep you safe, these harnesses are designed to fit tightly around your body, and this puts unnatural pressure on your abdomen.
Even if the fetus is small, your baby is still inside you, so it’s not a good idea to put pressure on such an important area while you’re expecting.
Another reason why you may want to avoid this activity is because it could well be uncomfortable and unenjoyable for you, which will clearly defeat the purpose of why you’re doing it!
Over 50% of women experience morning sickness at some point during their pregnancy, and around 75% of those who do experience morning sickness also experience vomiting.
Things like feeling nauseous and lightheaded are more common in early pregnancy and during the first trimester, which is the time when those who women who do decide to go ziplining actually do so (more on this later).
Pregnant women also often experience a sore back and tender breasts, and both of these are likely to be exasperated if you go ziplining, and a zip line harness and padded ring are therefore likely to be the last things you’ll want to be squeezed into.
3. Shortness of Breath
It’s a well known fact that thanks to high progesterone levels, pregnant women breathe faster than normal.
Most of the time this is harmless and is caused by the normal changes of pregnancy, but if you’re having trouble breathing normally, the last thing you’ll want to do is partake in an activity that will make it worse.
Whether it’s the thrill of what’s to come or the natural adrenaline rush, ziplining can literally take your breath away – something that might not usually be a problem, unless you’re pregnant…
4. Weight Restriction
Many ziplining companies have maximum weight restrictions in place to help ensure the equipment does the job it’s supposed to do.
Most courses or operators have a weight limit of up to 275 pounds, and given you’re naturally going to be putting on weight during your pregnancy, you might find that your pregnancy means you’ve risen above the maximum allowable limit.
5. Risk of Falling
Accidents happen, and one of the risks of ziplining is that you may fall – something that has been happening more often over recent years.
When accidents do happen, it’s usually either falling off or crashing into something such as a tree or a zipline structure.
Clearly there is potential for these injuries to be serious, and they can include anything from broken bones or worse, to bruises, sprains and strains.
A minor fall during early pregnancy is typically nothing to worry about, because your body is designed to protect your developing baby during pregnancy.
A fall in your second or third trimester could however be harmful to both you and your baby, which is yet another reason why most people believe the risks of ziplining during pregnancy are simply not worth taking.
For more information on how to stay healthy while expecting, check out our Complete Guide To A Happy & Healthy Pregnancy.
Can I Zipline During My First Trimester?
Some operators simply refuse to let pregnant women zipline, even if you are willing to sign their waiver form.
However, you might find that there are certain ziplining companies that do allow pregnant women to zipline provided you are in your first trimester.
So on hearing this, you are probably wondering if you can zipline during your first trimester, or if the risks are still not worth taking.
Again, the ultimate decision will come down to what you are comfortable with.
Some things like discomfort and shortness of breath are less likely to be of concern in your early pregnancy, but remember the equipment will still be putting a lot of pressure on your abdomen, and the risk of an accident or falling while ziplining is there, whether or not you’re pregnant.
Many companies simply will not let you zipline if you are pregnant, and if that’s the case, your decision will already be made for you.
If you have found a operator that does allow pregnant women to participate, it’s certainly worth speaking with your doctor or midwife to get their opinion and advice before going ahead.
Thankfully, zipline accidents tend to be rare, but it’s worth remembering they do still happen.
Nausea, shortness of breath, discomfort and putting pressure on your abdomen are things you also need to consider, as well as the fact that you might not actually enjoy your ziplining experience even if you do decide to get up there as normal.