Excercise, Horses and First time pregnancy(7 Posts)
This is all a little bit out of my comfort zone I'm afraid cause I'm new to this website and very new to pregnancy!
Me and my fiancé have just found out that we are expecting our first child (I'm only about 4 weeks gone right now) and I just wanted to ask for any advice you guys may have on exercise because we're pretty active people.
More uniquely we also have a couple of horses (We've had them for a while now, they're trained well and are incredibly docile).
I'm quite an obsessive runner and rider normally so I wanted to know if I could keep going with those activities and if so, how long for. With regard to the running, the doc seemed to think it was a good thing that I'm really active and just told me to be careful. I know that I need to watch my distances and how long I run for but is there any specific guidelines that I should be following?
I also wanted to know if I should continue to help tend to the horses or not, This should have been this first question I asked upon finding out that I was pregnant! Stupidly though, I was in so much shock that it slipped my mind! I know for example, that pregnant women should avoid sheep because of the risk of infection being spread. I don't know if there's any rules on horses. Should I avoid riding them for example? I've been riding horses since I was 6 so I'm pretty capable. Then again, I know that horses can spook.
Should I avoid approaching them altogether then? Both me and my fiancés families are pretty close so over the last few days we've had lots of offers to help out. I know that people have jobs and kids of their own though so I'd like to take care of things myself if possible.
We'd really appreciate any advice which you guys may have, I know the second question is pretty out of the ordinary.
Thanks a lot,
Congratulations! Just thought I'd drop you a line about your situation. I have lots of friends that have been pregnant that have either been professional or amateur riders. From their situations I think it is entirely your choice as to how much you do with your horses. Some have ridden in competitive sports until 6 months pregnant, others have made the decision not to just "in case" something was to happen. One friend actually helped break a horse in at 5 months pregnant and was the first person to sit on it, she was exceptionally fit and toned and a very experienced horse woman, that aside it's not something I would do but that is my choice. Another friend recently posted a picture on Facebook of her and her horse competing cross country at 16 weeks pregnant. Another friend was working as a professional show jumping groom, she did not even know she was pregnant until she was 7 months, I know hard to believe but true! My job is working with horses on the ground and if I become pregnant again I certainly plan to work as long as poss but not take risks!
Ultimately it is your choice what you do but horses are not like sheep with infection so one less thing to worry about, I hope.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy your pregnancy.
I'm a stud vet and due my baby tomorrow. I've been working up till today, scanning mares and treating foals. There are no equine equivalents of toxoplasmosis (you know that's cats' litter as well as lambing ewes that you're supposed to avoid? though if you've had cats for years you're v likely to be immune). However there is an obvious risk of trauma - you don't want to get a kick or a fall. I judged it myself and have been fine. Just be careful.
As regards running, I dropped to a walk around 5 months but am still walking the dog a couple of miles every morning.
Re running, listen to your body and allow/reduce distance/stop when your body tells you. Don't push yourself. I had high hopes of exercise but was totally felled by exhaustion in the first trimester (up to 16 weeks really) and also suffered bouts of severe hip pain.
Re the horses. I had 3 to start with, one sadly pts in may (which was incredibly traumatic) GP told me not to ride, but i think he ws being ultra cautious due to it taking me a loooong time to get pregnant and being older.
MW said 'of course you can ride! Just don't fall off'. I have chosen not to ride, 1 horse was retired (now pts) 1 driving pony, and 1 riding horse that is a total look and not at all predictable so i decided to not take the chance. Had retired horse still been sizeable i would certainly have ridden him. He was always very lively, but i trusted him completely.
At 37wks pregnant i am still doing 100% of the horse care. DH helped a LOT in the first trimester though. The thing i struggle with is picking feet out. I am turning out, bringing in, tucking out, poo picking, feeding etc. The two i have left are very easy care. The other one was much more involved being a very old tb.
I am more careful around them, particularly the loony one.
It's entirely up to you if you ride or not. How reliable are your horses? Are they as safe as a horse can be or do you have the odd unpredictable moments? You don't need to answer me but you do need to be honest with yourself.
With regards to general day to day care again ask yourself how likely you are to take a knock. I still bathed and loaded my daughters ponies until I was about 6 months but that was the end of the showing season so it tied in nicely. I did stop helping my friend with her youngsters at shows pretty much straight away due to the unpredictable nature of baby beasties. And anything like holding for the vet etc was delegated.
But do what feels sensible and what you have been doing physically until your body says otherwise.
I'm an avid horse rider though not had my own for a couple of years now. Sorting the horses is fine, as long as you take the usual hand washing and avoiding being kicked precautions!
As for riding, if I knew the horse well and he was a bit of a bomb proof school master then I'd do some light hacking or schooling but jumping, new routes etc would be out for me, but it is personal preference.
I know a lot of people who part loan their horses whilst they are pregnant, due to the exhaustion and they don't want the horses going out of condition but similarly don't want them going elsewhere.
Remember that as you get your bump your centre of gravity shits making you more prone to falls, both on 2 feet and when cycling or horseriding.
With the running, carry on as long as you feel able - being fitter will only do the both of you good - but it's wise to make the following adjustments:
Keep well hydrated
Don't redline your heart rate for any more than very brief intervals - you know that 'dodgy guts' thing you can get after a very long hard run? That's a consequence of the blood being shunted from your digestive system to supply your muscles. That's not a good thing to happen to a baby!
Be aware your ligaments will be affected by relaxin, so you're more prone to twists etc
Be aware your bump when it appears will shift your centre of gravity and make you more prone to falls.
You'll probably find listening to your body the best thing. I'm six months ish and I couldn't run now if I tried!
With the horses, it's more falling or getting kicked that's the issue. Totally up to you how you handle it. I've had friends still jumping at eight months but it's not a risk I'd take. There are bound to be lots of mums at your stable - ask what they did?
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