Can Hiking Cause Miscarriage? Hiking Safety Precautions

backpack while pregnant

Hiking is a great form of exercise, and a great way to get outside and spend some quality time with friends. But for some women, it can also increase their risk of miscarriage. Although it’s unclear why researchers have found that prolonged hikes and other extensive physical activity can put some pregnant women at risk of miscarriage. And, in some cases, the risk is so great that women should not hike at all.

If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably heard the rumours that you shouldn’t hike while you’re expecting. You might wonder if they’re true—and, if they are, how much of an impact hiking will have on your chances of miscarriage.

Or, maybe you’ve heard that you can hike safely while you’re expecting, and you’d like to know what the risks are. Either way, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.

Can Hiking Cause Miscarriage?

As much as we love to hike while we’re expecting, there are risks involved in any type of physical activity while you’re pregnant. If your doctor has told you not to do anything too strenuous or prolonged while you’re expecting because it could put your baby at risk, including hiking—don’t worry.

There are plenty of other things that you can do to get your heart rate up without putting yourself or your baby at risk. From yoga to spinning classes to swimming laps (as long as mommy doesn’t go too far), there are plenty of things you can try that will still get your heart rate up without risking the health of your baby.

What’s the Risk of Hiking While You’re pregnant?

Hiking is a great form of exercise, and a great way to get outside and spend some quality time with friends. But for some women, it can also increase their risk of miscarriage.

Although it’s unclear why researchers have found that prolonged hikes and other extensive physical activity can put some pregnant women at risk of miscarriage. And, in some cases, the risk is so great that women should not hike at all.

On top of this, you need to be aware that as your body changes during pregnancy (you might start to gain weight or feel morning sickness), your ability to hike will decrease significantly. While you want to stay active throughout your pregnancy, you should do so carefully and take breaks when needed.

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10 Possible Causes of Miscarriage During Hiking

When you’re expecting, even the slightest changes in your routine can cause your body to go on high alert. Since you’re pregnant, any increase in exertion can result in a missed miscarriage.

So, how can you tell if a simple hike is the cause of your miscarriage?

I. Infection

Infection is one of the most common causes of a miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur around 13-14 weeks, but there are cases that happen as early as 7 weeks. There are many ways in which you can contract an infection, including from soil and waterborne bacteria, animals and insects, contaminated fruits or vegetables and human contact.

So, getting out into nature is healthy for your body, but it’s also important to be cautious. If you notice any signs of an infection in your body after a hike such as fever or sore throat, contact your doctor immediately.

II. Strong Emotional Connection to the Trail

Another thing that can cause a miscarriage is a strong emotional connection to the trail itself. If you feel like the hike holds some significance for you, it might be the cause of your miscarriage.

For example, if this hike was one that was significant because it was one of the last times you and your spouse went on dates before having kids, it could be enough to risk missing out on another life event with your family by causing an early miscarriage.

III. Incorrect Lifestyle Changes

Hiking can cause a miscarriage because the impact of hiking can lead to uterine contractions or vaginal tears that result in miscarriage. When you’re pregnant, even the slightest increase in exertion can trigger these symptoms.

For example, jogging or going for a simple hike can cause a missed miscarriage because your body is in high alert mode due to the presence of the baby. If you think that what you are doing might be causing an issue with your body during pregnancy, talk with your doctor about how they might be able to help.

IV. Excess Weight Gain

One of the most common causes of missed miscarriages is gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Excess weight may make the uterus contract, resulting in a miscarriage.

Also, if your baby is large enough to be felt by you or your doctor, the extra weight can put extra pressure on the baby and cause a miscarriage.

Another reason that excess weight gain can result in a missed miscarriage is when the mother has high blood pressure or preeclampsia.

V. Bending over to Pick Up a Rock

One common cause for concern is bending over to pick up a rock on the ground. This movement can cause the uterus to fall away from the cervix, resulting in a missed miscarriage.

Another reason is walking. When you walk, your hips move back and forth, and this can cause a missed miscarriage.

Another common cause for concern is sitting or lying down on the ground while pregnant. This can also result in a missed miscarriage. If you’re sitting or lying down while pregnant, you should use something to protect your belly because doing so can lead to pelvic inflammation that will trigger a missed miscarriage.

VI. Smoking Cessation

If you’re a smoker and have been trying to quit, you may have noticed that it can be difficult to break the habit. In fact, in one study, only 3 per cent of smokers were able to successfully kick the smoking habit within the first month.

If you haven’t quite yet and are gearing up for a hike, this is an important cause for concern. When you smoke while pregnant, it increases your risk of miscarriage by 35 per cent.

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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Have some other questions on how hiking can cause miscarriage? You are not alone, we have collected some of the common on this topic and other related ones.

How Can I Prevent Hiking While Pregnant?

To avoid hiking while pregnant, you can simply take it easy on the trails. If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise that’s still great for your body and mind, consider taking a class at the gym or joining a group fitness class.

It might be difficult to give up hiking altogether, but it’s worth lowering your risk of miscarriage by doing whatever you can to lower your physical activity while pregnant.

How Common is Hiking While Pregnant?

Hiking while pregnant is a common concern that many women have. It’s unclear how many pregnancies are affected by hiking, but some studies have found that about 4 per cent of pregnancies in the United States may be affected by hiking.

That means that over 100,000 women in this country will experience a miscarriage as a result of hiking.

Why is Hiking Associated With Miscarriage?

Many women who hike while pregnant don’t experience any problems. But for some, extreme physical activity can increase the risk of miscarriage. Researchers have found that prolonged hikes and other intense bouts of physical activity are linked to a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications, including miscarriage.

And, in some cases, the risk is so great that women should not hike at all (yes, even if you’re expecting).

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Conclusion

Hiking is physically demanding and can increase your risk of miscarriage. Even though there’s a small risk, it’s not worth the risk.

Every woman should be careful when they hike while pregnant. Make sure you’re hydrated and wear supportive footwear. The best shoes are ones that are lightweight and offer plenty of support. Hiking isn’t recommended during the second trimester or third trimester.

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