If you enjoy off roading regularly and now find yourself pregnant, you might wonder if you will still be able to go off roading. Is it safe to go off roading while pregnant? We had the same question and decided to find the answer and determine if it is safe to go off roading while pregnant.
It is safe to go for a mild off roading trip while pregnant. However, you should avoid going on trips with many bumps or long stretches of uneven road. There are also certain times when off roading is more dangerous for you and your baby during your pregnancy.
Even though you can go for a short, mild off roading trip when you’re pregnant, there are a couple of considerations when doing so. There are dangers to off roading when you are pregnant, which we will discuss. There are also certain stages of pregnancy when you are at more risk and mustn’t go off roading. Finally, there are certain precautions you should take when off roading to ensure your safety.
Why Is It Unsafe To Go Off Roading While Pregnant?
There are conflicting studies on whether you can put your baby in danger when driving on a bumpy road if you are pregnant or not. However, the best course of action is to be on the safe side. Certain types of off roading can put you and your baby at higher risk.
1. Uneven Or Bumpy Off Roading Is Unsafe During Pregnancy
There are certain stages of your pregnancy when your baby is more vulnerable, and you are at higher risk of miscarrying. However, research suggests that bumpy roads are unlikely to cause damage to an unborn baby or result in a miscarriage.
The bigger problem with driving on bumpy roads while pregnant is that it puts more pressure on your bladder and organs. As your baby grows, your uterus expands and it starts to press on organs such as your bladder and diaphragm. Thus, when you are off roading on a bumpy or uneven road, you might feel very uncomfortable and need to stop frequently.
It is best always to drive slowly when going through potholes or if your off roading track has long corrugated stretches or uneven roads. Apart from your comfort, moving slowly on these roads puts less pressure on the amniotic sack, which keeps your baby safe.
2. High Temperatures When Off Roading Are Dangerous For Pregnant Women
When pregnant, your body temperature is higher than usual because it works harder. Therefore, you are more sensitive to fluctuating temperatures. You are also more prone to getting hyperthermia, a condition in which your body temperature goes dangerously high.
High temperatures are dangerous for unborn babies and can lead to birth defects, including blindness. Although these defects mainly occur if the mother is ill and has a fever during pregnancy, it is best to avoid being in any situation where your body temperature will spike.
Therefore, if it is a scorching day, or the off roading trip happens in a very hot area, it would be best to skip the trip. However, if you do find yourself on an off roading trip in extremely hot weather, be sure to drink enough fluids and turn on the car’s air cooler.
3. Rough Off Roading Is Dangerous For Pregnant Women
This statement might be obvious, but it is best to avoid any rough off roading while pregnant. Both the mother and the baby are more vulnerable, and in case of the car rolling or crashing, both could get seriously hurt.
When you’re pregnant, your joints, bones, and muscles temporarily become more fragile as your body uses some of your nutrients to feed the baby. Therefore, it is easier to twist, dislocate, or break something when pregnant. Thus, it is best to avoid any off roading where there is a chance of the car flipping or crashing as you might get seriously hurt.
These are merely some of the reasons why off roading is unsafe to do when you are pregnant. Furthermore, there are certain stages of your pregnancy when your baby is more vulnerable. During these times, off roading should be wholly avoided.
When Is Off Roading The Most Dangerous If Pregnant?
There are two pregnancy stages when your baby is most at risk, and you should avoid off roading. During the first trimester or weeks one to twelve of pregnancy, your baby is at a higher risk. During this time, your baby’s organs will develop, and it will grow from an embryo to a fetus.
During the first trimester, you are also most at risk of miscarriage. Therefore, you should avoid doing anything dangerous during the first trimester, such as off roading. This will help to ensure that your baby’s organs develop correctly and that you have a successful pregnancy.
Another vulnerable stage of pregnancy is the third trimester, starting when you are twenty-seven weeks pregnant and lasting until you give birth. During the third trimester, your baby will change positions, and its head will move towards the underside of your belly, facing towards your back.
During this trimester, your baby is in a vulnerable position. It can easily get hurt if you are in an accident or if the road is extremely bumpy. Another concern, in this case, is that you might go into labor. Although experts say it is unlikely that uneven terrain will cause labor, you might still start getting contractions while on the road and far away from medical help.
Should you decide to go off roading while pregnant, you must take a few precautions if something goes wrong or if you go into labor.
Precautions To Take When Off Roading While Pregnant
You must make some preparations in case you decide to go off roading while pregnant. These guidelines will help you prepare for the unlikely event that something goes wrong or make your ride more comfortable. Here is what you can do to prepare for an offroad trip while pregnant:
- Pack snacks and fluids to keep hydrated during your trip.
- Take a first aid kit and have the number of the closest hospital and your doctor at hand.
- Take regular breaks from riding and take a short walk during these breaks. This will help you and your baby to relax.
- Drive slowly when going over bumps or through potholes.
- Keep the A/C on to ensure your body temperature doesn’t increase too much.
- Set your seat slightly back and place a pillow on your seat to support your lower back.
With these precautions taken, mild off roading should not be a problem if you are pregnant. Additionally, it is best to always consult your doctor before doing any off roading. If you have increased risks of preterm labor or complications, it is best to avoid off roading altogether.
Off roading can be a great way to relax and enjoy nature. However, rough off roading is not ideal if you are pregnant and can be dangerous for you and your baby. While off roading might not cause a miscarriage, it can be uncomfortable, and an accident can cause big problems.
There are some preparations to make to ensure you and your baby are safe when off roading. Furthermore, you should avoid off roading in your first and third trimesters of pregnancy, as your baby is more vulnerable during this time.