Can You Zip Line When Pregnant?

You’ve found out not too long ago that you’re pregnant. Congratulations are certainly in order! With all the busyness of preparing for a baby, you had completely forgotten about the family zip-lining trip that your partner had planned. Can you still go?

No, you shouldn’t zip line when pregnant for several reasons. Many commercial zip lining companies have a weight limit, which pregnant women might surpass. Even if you’re within the limit, the harness and lanyard can apply pressure on your abdomen, which could put your growing baby’s health at risk.

The information in this article will give you all the facts on zip lining at various stages of pregnancy. While ultimately, it’s your choice as a pregnant woman whether you’ll go zip lining, we’ll help you make an educated decision that you’ll feel good about. Make sure you keep reading! 

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Why You Shouldn’t Zip Line Early in Your Pregnancy

Within the first trimester of pregnancy, some women will have a bump, but many more will not. Although you don’t visibly look pregnant, you certainly feel pregnant. You’re probably going to experience symptoms not conducive to zip lining. Let’s talk more about what you’re going through now. 

Related Reading: Is Zip Lining Dangerous? Safety Statistics

You’re Fatigued

Fatigue and zip-lining simply don’t mix. Although a commercial zip line crew will take care of getting you rigged up for your ride, you still want to be alert and ready to go. You then might notice things that the crew can miss, such as that your harness isn’t as firm as you’d like. When you’re tired, this can go right over your head. 

On top of that, it’s hard to enjoy a zip line ride when you’re ready to close your eyes and catch some Zzzs, and that’s not fair to you. 

You Have to Urinate Often

For the women who are urinating frequently during early pregnancy, zip-lining isn’t a great idea either. The average zip line ride lasts around an hour and a half. You’re not zip lining that entire time, of course. First, you have to go through an orientation, which may be 20 minutes long, then you do some training. Then finally, you ride. 

Whether there are bathrooms available along the way will depend on the zip line company, but there might not always be. You certainly cannot urinate when you’re on the zip-lining course. Between the lanyard and harness, your rig could put pressure on you, making it hard to keep your full bladder from leaking.  

You Have Tender Breasts

The breast tenderness that starts in the first trimester of your pregnancy will be there for the next seven or eight months of your term. If you’re having a hard time even wearing a bra right now, then you won’t enjoy the sensation of a padded zip line harness being strapped tightly over your chest. Your breasts will be so sore that you might have a difficult time enjoying your ride. 

You’re Nauseous 

Pregnancy-related nausea, which some call morning sickness, does not only occur in the morning. Your stomach could flip-flop any time of the day, which makes getting through your daily activities difficult.

Although not many people report feeling nauseous when zip-lining, it does happen. Those people, by the way, are not pregnant. Since you’re likely to be nauseous anyway, why engage in an activity that can make you feel even sicker?  

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Why You Shouldn’t Zip Line Later in Your Pregnancy

Between your first and second trimesters, many more changes will be afoot. By the time you reach your third trimester, you should be noticeably pregnant. As you’re gearing up to give birth sooner than later, your limbs might be swollen and your mobility limited. Getting off your feet–quite literally, in this case–through zip-lining sounds like a nice reprieve, but is it?

We would caution you against zip-lining later in your pregnancy just as we did during your first trimester. Here are some reasons that come to mind. 

You Might be Over the Weight Limit

Putting on weight during pregnancy is natural, with the average amount of weight gain between 25 and 40 pounds depending on your starting weight. Yet the extra pounds you’re packing as you grow your baby might preclude you from zip-lining. Many commercial zip-lining companies have strict weight limits, with the cutoff regularly around 275 pounds.

These weight limits are for rider safety. The zip lining gear is tested to work until a certain weight limit is applied. After that, the efficacy of the harness, lanyard, and other gear might not be as high. The zip line cable can also only handle so much weight before it could fray. You do not want to push the cable’s limits, as that’s how accidents happen. 

Your Back Is Already Sore

As your stomach expands and your breasts get heavier, your back is going to feel the brunt of these changes. Being squeezed into the zip line rig is not going to do your screaming back any favors. You’re better off staying home and getting a massage instead. 

You Might Have Shortness of Breath

Ziplining can take your breath away since it’s so exciting, but what if you can barely catch your breath in the first place? During the third trimester, many women report shortness of breath. Getting worked up in any way can only worsen this side effect. 

Whether it’s from fear or exhilaration, you don’t want to lose your breath while zip-lining. That can lead to a very scary situation in the sky, not to mention it could be a potential medical emergency. 

You Could be Having Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are common in the third trimester. These contractions are only mild, but they occur at such random intervals that they’re difficult to plan for. While you’re having a contraction, your stomach feels very firm, as if the muscles there were tightening. Even your uterus hardens for the duration of the contraction.

It’s about a 30-second thing, but a very uncomfortable 30 seconds nonetheless. If you have to stop what you’re doing when you have a Braxton Hicks contraction, then it’s not a great idea to go 60 feet in the sky. If you happen to have a contraction, the last thing you’ll want is to be wearing a zip-lining harness. 

The Harness Can Put Pressure on the Abdomen 

Speaking of the harness, it isn’t great for your growing baby. Zipline harnesses by their very nature are supposed to fit tightly on the body. You’re still able to breathe freely, but a form-fitting zip line is one of the ways a zip line company can ensure your safety as you ride. 

The pressure that the harness creates on your abdomen could be risky for the baby’s health. You don’t want to do anything that could harm your unborn child, so that means zip-lining should definitely be off the list. 

What Can You Do While Your Family Goes Zip Lining?

You spoke to your doctor and they don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go zip lining either. You had really been looking forward to racing down the zip line cable with your family, and now you’ll be unable to. You don’t want to cancel the entire trip, as the rest of your family is so excited, but what will you be able to do?

We recommend calling the zip lining company you booked through. You might be able to buy a pass that lets you watch your kids and spouse race down the zip line course. Although you can’t be there with them, this is the next best thing since you’ll still get the see the joy on everyone’s faces! 

Final Thoughts

Ziplining when pregnant is ill-advised. Although ziplining is safe, falls and other injuries can happen, which could be disastrous for the baby. That risk aside, between the pressure the harness can create, the nausea you experience every day, and the contractions you could be having, you’re much better off with two feet on the ground until well after you deliver your baby. Enjoy being pregnant. Ziplining can wait! 

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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