Best Tips For Camping When Pregnant
I went camping while pregnant for the first time last summer and loved it. However, I did learn a lot about things to do while pregnant and camping and how to be better prepared. In this guide I want to share with you the best tips for camping when pregnant that I recommend from my own personal experience.
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MY EXPERIENCE CAMPING WHEN PREGNANT
I was lucky to have at least one camping trip during this pregnancy during my second trimester. After dealing with prodromal labor since 25 weeks gestation, my doctor gave me the okay to take a camping trip. We both agreed that it would be nice to get a change of environment as long as I followed a few precautionary steps (more details below) to stay healthy and keep the baby comfortable inside.
We decided to do a 5 day camping trip at Vogel State Park in Georgia. This is our family summer camping destination that we do with my in-laws and sister-in-laws and sometimes even my parents. It's a yearly must for us.
Because I was pregnant we decided to take extra measures to play it safe. For playing it safe, we decided that I not do any hiking trips this time due to the prodromal labor and how far along I was. When we went anywhere, there had to be a bathroom close and easy access to get back in the car in case of any emergencies. We also made sure to do activities that kept me cool. And most importantly, to listen to my body and signals that it gives me.
As for my trip, we drove around the mountains, visited local mountain stores, went swimming at the lake, and watched my girls play putt putt.
RELATED ARTICLE: CAMPING GUIDE TO VOGEL STATE PARK
BEST TIPS FOR CAMPING WHEN PREGNANT
This guide to camping when pregnant will go perfect for any pregnancy that is not high risk. If you do have a high risk pregnancy, please consult with your doctor first and make sure they give you the okay to make the trip. Ask your doctor about all the proper precautions you should take to ensure that you and your baby are safe. And if you can't go camping while you are pregnant, it's ok too. Safety is more important and when your baby arrives, you can have all the camping trips you want as well.
1. WALK AROUND THE CAMPSITE BUT ALSO GET YOUR REST
You're probably wondering why this sounds so confusing. It is important for you to get your rest. Don't over do yourself. If your body is tired, take a nap. If you need to sit, sit or even lay down in a hammock. But if you do lay in a hammock make sure that there is someone that can help you get out of it. My husband got a kick out of it when he saw me like a crazy whale trying to squirm my way out of the hammock with no success. He may even have a video of it but if he knows what's good for him, that video will remain hidden to the world forever!!! 😛
Besides sitting, you also need to move. Take a short walk to the bathroom. I'm pretty sure that after ten minutes, you probably have to go again anyways. Visit a nearby stream or playground. Nothing too strenuous. Keeping a good cycle of rest and movement will greatly help your circulation to your legs and all around your body.
2. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Staying hydrated is key. I drank so much water during my pregnancy that I got sick of it. However, staying hydrated is key. It helps you from not going into early labor or even having false contractions. It also helps with your circulation, headaches, body aches, you name it. Most of all, it helps keep your fluids in the amniotic fluid in good levels. Sadly it also keeps you going to the bathroom frequently but don't let that stop you from staying hydrated and keeping your baby safe inside.
One thing that we did as that we filled up our 5 gallon Igloo Water Cooler with water and ice and kept refilling my tumbler throughout the day. Every morning we would add more ice and water to it. It was also perfect for our kids to grab their own water as well.
3. SLEEPING COMFORTABLE WHILE PREGNANT IN A TENT
Another amazing thing you can do when camping when pregnant is invest in your sleep. I highly recommend investing some money into a comfortable air mattress and cot to help your back. Get some comfortable bedding as well. Be a "fancy camper" if you have to be. What's important is that you are comfortable, your body is not sore in the morning, and you can sleep more peacefully.
We purchased this Coleman Queen Cot and Air Mattress. It was perfect to have. I didn't have to squat or struggle to get up and down from the ground. I could sit comfortable on it. I was able to dig through my bag as well without hunching over. It was definitely a life saver. We brought a thick fleece blanket, a comforter, a fitted sheet and our pillows for extra comfort and warmth.
Other women that I know who have gone camping while pregnant have chosen to sleep on the ground instead and just use a very comfortable pad. However, I didn't want to take this route. I wanted to be comfortable especially since I already was having a few pregnancy issues. Even if you don't use the air mattress and decide to use a pad, I would at least bring it and leave it in your trunk just in case you change your mind during the trip.
As an added bonus we brought a tower fan to beat the heat of the summer during the day. It was perfect and made down times during the day much easier and more comfortable.
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4. BRING YOUR PREGNANCY PILLOW
Camping while pregnant means that you are sacrificing some of your comfort from your own bed. No matter what, I knew I was not going anywhere without my Boppy Pregnancy Pillow. There is just something about having that extra support on your hips that makes for a good night sleep... or even a nap. I used it in the tent as well as on the hammock.
5. PICK A SHADED CAMPING SPOT CLOSE TO THE BATHROOMS
In order to get a good camping spot you have to plan ahead. We made our reservations at the very beginning of my pregnancy without knowing what will come ahead. We knew that if we needed to cancel we could 2 weeks before our scheduled time. Our overall goal was to choose a camping spot close to the bathrooms and that was shaded. We knew we didn't want to deal with direct sun especially in the afternoon on a summer day. Staying in the shade while pregnant is good for avoiding heat exhaustion as well and staying hydrated.
As any pregnant woman, we have to go to the bathroom a lot. Finding a camping spot by the bathrooms was important as well especially for those night time bathroom trips. I didn't want to be running pregnant in the dark to the bathroom or have an accident as well.
6. STAYING COMFORTABLE DURING PREGNANCY
Not only do you want to sleep comfortable but you also want to stay comfortable throughout the day. I packed clothes that was loose fitting, stretchy, and warm or cool depending on the temperature and time of day. Here is a list of what I packed for me.
- Comfortable socks
- Teva sandals - These are so comfortable and I didn't slip once wearing them.
- A hat
- A bikini - I didn't want a swimsuit that was tight around my belly and something that I can go to the bathroom easily in.
- Maternity shorts
- Maternity leggings
- Maternity Tank Tops
- Maternity shirts - I got this cute "I miss Wine" and "Eating Tacos for Two" shirts on Amazon.
- Maternity long sleeve shirts
- Comfortable bras - I highly recommend the Auden Nursing Bra from Target. It's by far my favorite.
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7. HIGH PROTEIN SNACKS FOR PREGNANCY
There is nothing better then to have something to munch on between meals. After all, you are camping while pregnant and probably burning more calories then normal. Having healthy snacks that are high in energy, have protein, and are delicious is key. I mean you are also growing a little human inside and that itself burns a lot of calories.
Some of my favorite snacks during pregnancy were:
- Nature Valley Granola Bars with Almond Butter
- Trail Mix
- Ritz Crackers - This was more for those days I felt nauseous.
A few other high protein and healthy snack ideas are:
- Protein bars
- Deli Meat with bread - You can make a sandwich and cut it into four pieces for easy snacking.
- Seeds and nuts - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds, peanuts, etc.
RELATED ARTICLE: HEALTHY SNACKS FOR KIDS ON THE GO
8. DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR PERSONAL MATERNITY MEDICAL KIT
It is always important to have a first aid kit when you go camping for safety and emergency situations. However, I like to add a few extra things for pregnancy specifically. I wanted to make sure I had my basics covered. Some of the items that you can include are:
- Vitamin B6
- Hemorrhoid Cream
- Prenatal vitamins ** - This one is a must have!
- Any prescription medications that have been recommended to you by your doctor.
Please talk to your OBGYN about what over-the-counter medications are safe to take during pregnancy. My OBGYN gave me a list and the items mentioned above are just a few of the items that were on there. Always talk to your doctor before taking any medications.
9. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY'S SIGNS
Never stop listening to your body. You have to make sure you give your body rest when it needs it. Take a nap or go to sleep early. Being pregnant can be tiresome. If you have body aches, take it easy. Maybe just have a day at the campground to just relax and play games there. Whatever it is that your body is telling you, listen to it. Take it easy and always take precautions at all times.
10. ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DOCTORS ORDERS
And the most important tip of all!!! LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR'S ORDERS! If you are in a high risk pregnancy, don't risk it. Always talk to your doctor first before making any plans outdoors. You need to always take precautions and make sure that your doctor gives you the okay to proceed with any plans you may have. By doing so, it will keep you and your baby safe.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR CAMPING WHEN PREGNANT
Instead of tent camping like I did, you can also choose to rent an RV or camper instead. Outdoorsy has a very nice selection of RVs and campers for you to choose from. The best part of renting through Outdoorsy is that they will even bring your rental to your campsite and set everything up for you. Its a win, win! Now you have a comfortable bed to sleep on and a little more sense of home and comfort then what a tent would provide.
LEAVE NO TRACE, ONLY FOOTPRINTS
It is always important to follow and practice Leave No Trace Principles when visiting the outdoors. These principles are very important in conserving our planet and minimizing your impact while exploring the world around you. You can learn more on how you can practice LNT principles here.
Now that I've shared these tips for camping while pregnant you can start planning your next camping trip. Remember to always take precautions, talk to your doctor, listen to your body, be prepared, and find a camping spot close to the bathrooms. I hope this guide helps you have some fun outdoor adventures before your little bundle of joy arrives.
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