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Walking while expecting a child

CUFC74

New Member
I wonder if any forum members have experience/advice about the Camino for a couple expecting their first child (in early October). We're not focusing on hospital facilities at the moment. It's more if anyone has any experience to share on whether we are foolish to even consider doing 2-3 weeks, perhaps in May. I was thinking maybe of Leon (or Burgos) to Santiago. Cruz de Ferro and O Cebreiro are two obstacles I can see. Also, any thoughts on equipment (backpack especially) (for a pregnant lady).
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Two deal-breakers:

1. Find out what your midwife/physician thinks of the idea.
2. Find out what kind of travel insurance you are eligible for.

You will be young, healthy, fit and in your second trimester, so it may be OK, but still dicey and not without potential hazards such as:

- Falls and slip-and-falls. (I have done both, many times). At about 4 months, you may be a little off-balance and less able to keep upright on very uneven/unstable terrain.
- Contaminated food and drink. No worse a risk than N.A, but caution is best
- Increased exposure to communicable diseases in close-quartered albergues. (hopefully you've had immunizations including Hep A & B.)
- Heat stroke - it can be very hot for days and days so take reasonable precautions for hydration and rest. If you're too hot and dehydrated, so is your baby.
- Swelling - Pregnancy and heat could cause fluid accumulation and swelling in ankles and feet causing blisters.
- Backpacks - I would certainly keep it very light and hopefully your partner will carry some of your heavier items.

One additional note: how much time do you have and how far do you intend to walk? I wouldn't recommend more than 15-20 km a day and probably a full rest day every 3 days, especially in the heat.

So I haven't walked a camino while pregnant, but these are the precautions that come to mind. If your doc/midwife are in agreement and you can get out-of-country travel insurance, it could be OK!

Best of luck.

lynne
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
All Lynne's advice is wise and I think based on her professional experience.

Just my thoughts now, from the point of view of someone who has been pregnant a few times -
if I was in your position and wanting to do the Camino, I would, but with a very relaxed attitude.
i.e.
- choose a short stretch, probably not ending at Santiago, where there are plenty of albergues close together so that you need not walk very far each day
- research the interesting places to explore en route and stop in these places, enjoy discovering churches, or castles, or interesting medieval towns or whatever is your thing. I find stopping to sketch is very restful. Sitting together with my husband in a sunny spot overlooking a beautiful view and eating our picnic lunch, idly taking about everything and nothing, has been enormously good for our individual emotional health and our relationship. I'm sure it would be good for your developing baby!
- don't get swept up into the how fast and how far can you walk mentality, make it a pilgrimage to a less geographic goal than Santiago but just as significant.
- if as your pregnancy develops you find it more debilitating than you expected, and you start to wonder if you really want to go as far from home, then remember that the Camino will still be there in the future, and people have done it with small children! MAybe you could have a plan B for another special trip or activity just in case!

God bless
enjoy being pregnant which could be seen as a spiritual journey in itself!
Buen Camino
Bridget
x
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I´ve only seen a few visibly pregnant pìlgrims in my days of camino-ing. None wore a backpack. Two were bikers. One pushed or pulled her gear in a little cart. And the most memorable one, who was very well along in her pregnancy, was traveling with three other pilgrims, a pack donkey, a dog and a tiny goat!

All of these women were quite athletic, and none expressed any exceptional problems. A couple of them were overwhelmed by the great treatment they received from the Spaniards along the path and from fellow pilgrims... even when the albergues were packed, the pregnant woman was always offered a bunk!

Reb.
 

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