For safety purposes, please schedule an appointment with your doctor so that you know for sure that it is safe for you to hunt for long periods at a time before actually going. Everyone is different and everyone requires different needs than others. With that being said, let’s hop into what steps you can take to ensure that you are taking the proper steps before your hunting trip.
As a mother, you want to do whatever it takes to make sure your baby comes out healthy. As a result of that, you find yourself searching the internet over and over again for answers regarding the safety of the activities you did prior to your pregnancy, and this is awesome because safety is ALWAYS key with anything, especially archery.
In this article, we’ll be getting into everything you need to know about hunting while pregnant and what you should be doing to ensure you’re keeping yourself safe and your baby safe as well.
The good news is that yes, it is safe to do while pregnant. And although shooting a bow is something you’re still able to participate in, you’ll still need to make sure you are taking the extra steps and safety precautions needed to make sure you are safe at all times. Keep in mind that this depends on how far along you are as well.
As a hunter, you may know that walking in the woods for hours at a time can be very tiring. But, while pregnant, it can be tiring to just move around the comfort of your own home, let alone around outside for a long period of time.
So, to avoid completely burning out too early and putting too much strain on yourself at once, it is recommended that you take very frequent breaks so that your fun experience isn’t long, drawn out, and full of discomfort. It is good to stay active during pregnancy, but too much activity can be bad for you.
Depending on how far along you are and how big your belly is, pregnancy can, in fact, affect your balance. With that in mind, the chances of you falling over something such as a stick or pretty much anything can be much greater than it typically would be when not pregnant. So, it is probably a good thing to stay in one spot the majority of the time while you’re hunting or even just simply shooting at targets.
If you feel like you’re either not up for the challenge or that the physical aspect of it all might be too much for you, then relax and shoot another day when you feel better. The last thing we want is for you to accidentally trip over a log covered in leaves or other miscellaneous objects lying around and risk the well-being of your and your baby’s health.
BRINGING THE RIGHT SUPPLIES
Your body will require a lot more TLC while pregnant, so making sure you’re bringing the right food and hydration along with a few other things to take into consideration is very important before going on your hunt.
One of the most important things to bring with you is lots of water and electrolytes. It is critical that you and the baby are staying nice and hydrated. Considering that you have another human inside of you feeding off of everything you consume, I think it is safe to say that an abundance of water is definitely necessary.
Another good thing to keep you energized is snacks. Simple enough, but bringing lunch meat sandwiches or trail mix can help a lot with keeping your body nice and strong for the travels ahead. If at any point you feel like you need to stop and take a break, please stop, and take a break. Don’t push yourself to do more than you think you can.
USING THE “RESTROOM”
While carrying a baby, the urge to pee can be pretty unbearable when the baby is pushing on your bladder, so prepare to find a spot in the woods to squat down and pee. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
While pregnant, feet tend to swell due to an increased amount of water retention in the body and also because of the pressure that is being applied to your feet while carrying your baby. This can be very uncomfortable if you’re covering a good amount of ground in a fairly short amount of time.
So, keep in mind that whatever size shoe you’re wearing now might not do the trick and that you may have to buy a size bigger solely for the purpose of your hunt. Sometimes your normal, every day wearing shoes just won’t cut it.
NEVER GO ALONE
I would say that this is the next most important step aside from staying hydrated, because not only should you bring a partner with you for the needed support that you require due to the disadvantage you have, but also just in case of the rare moment you may experience when coming face-to-face with aggressive wildlife.
The likelihood of encountering an aggressive animal isn’t usually something you need to worry about, but you’ll want to make sure that you are prepared and have someone by your side in the slim chance that it does happen.
Unfortunately, wildlife doesn’t have much compassion for women who are pregnant any more than they do for those who aren’t, so keep safe and bring a friend or a significant other to make sure you have that added protection you need while hunting.
DON’T OVERDUE IT
If you are strong-willed, it may be tempting to think that you can take on more than you actually can, but the outcome of going overboard can actually be pretty uncomfortable and should be avoided at all costs while on your hunting trip.
Between harsh weather conditions and tons of physical activity, it is easy to get overheated, and is highly suggested that you take as much time with anything you may do and slow done, get something in your stomach and wait until your symptoms subside.
Some things you may experience from overdoing it are…
Remember that you are not a workhorse and that you shouldn’t push yourself the same way you did before your pregnancy.
AFTER THE HUNT
I have one word, and that’s “rest”. After walking around for hours, you’ll want to now reward your body with the much-needed care that it’s craving for, and the best care it can get is by laying back and doing absolutely nothing. That’s right, nothing. Take 30 minutes to an hour to let your body recuperate from all the work you just put it through. Your baby will thank you when it’s able to.
HOW DID THIS BENEFIT ME
Well, now that that’s over with, let’s look at the potential benefits that you may have just reaped from your hunting experience…
Reduced Constipation, Swelling, Or Both
Better Nights Sleep
Better Muscle Tone, Strength, And Endurance
So, not only did you get to do what you love, but you also got something from it as well.
I do promote hunting and bow shooting while pregnant, but I cannot stress the safety aspect of it enough. Women are strong and can handle a lot of physical pain, but, pushing your body to do more than it is capable to do is not always the smartest decision.
What was originally a fun experience can turn into a very uncomfortable one pretty quickly if the right safety measures aren’t taken. And again, if you are unsure of whether or not you’re capable to do that much physical activity, please consult with your doctor to make sure that everything is okay.
Even if you do feel confident that you can make the hunt, ask your doctor anyway. The last thing you want to be doing is coming back home from a trip feeling sick because you thought you could push yourself harder than you actually could.
Make sure to tell a friend or significant other wells in advance before hunting so that everyone is prepared before leaving the house. Please let them know that you are moving much slower than you normally would be and that they might have to have a little more patience with you than usual.
Double-check to make sure you have all the supplies you need packed up and stock up on tons of water so that you’re staying nice and hydrated throughout the entirety of the trip. Picking up some trail mix from the local convenience store or packing leftovers in Tupperware the night prior can give you an advantage so that you don’t have as much to do the day of the hunt.
Taking a nap or relaxing in a nice, warm bubble bath afterward can help relieve any tension or swelling you may be experiencing due to all the walking and added movement you put yourself through.
Most importantly, though, have fun and make sure to go easy on yourself so that you can get right back out there and do it again!