Nov 04 2014

Climbing Pregnant: Medical Study

When I first started blogging about climbing while pregnant I was contacted by a host of people. A lot of messages were from women wanting advice on when to stop climbing, was it safe to climb, would they recover, potential risk to the baby, etc. I tried to do my best to aggregate what other women had done, but quickly found that there were no medical guidelines to climbing while pregnant – unlike other sports like running, yoga, etc. Two doctors that are climbers also contacted me during my pregnancy and we got together to compose a survey about climbing while pregnant and post pregnancy. We know this is just a rough start, but hopefully as a community we can gather a host of responses for all of us! Big thanks to Jenny Cohen and Long Huynh for helping spearhead this! All responses are completely confidential.

For mobile users, this link might be easiest to use.


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  • I've been climbing and competing for 12 years and I'm expecting my third baby. I would love to complete the survey for my first two pregnancies but I'm not sure how to answer question 8. Obviously my grades declined towards the end of the pregnancy and then after I returned to climbing I became stronger again. At what point "after" the pregnancy are you looking to collect information?

    November 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm
  • Hi Nicola! Thanks so much for your message and question! If you could fill out the survey for each pregnancy, that'd be awesome. For your first two, perhaps answer for when you felt you returned to full strength? I filled out the survey for my hardest before climbing (so, 5.14) and then answered that I was 6 months postpartum and I'm only climbing 5.9. Let me know if that helps or not, or if I can help clarify more.
    Thanks again for your question, a lot of women have asked the same thing!

    November 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm
  • Thanks Beth! It's so great that you've started this survey. I'm really passionate about my sport and it would be great to be able to cite some information for other climbing mom's and friends.

    November 5, 2014 at 9:32 pm
  • Hi! I have answered for my first pregnancy and I wanted to fill out the survey for the second, but I can´t get in again… 🙁 Nice initiative!

    December 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm
  • Hi Amaia –
    Thanks so much for filling it out! Hmmm, bummer you can't get in again – did you try on a computer with the survey on this blog? Let me know if I can help!

    December 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm
  • :j

    Hey Beth, good survey! Unfortunately I missed filling it. During the time I was waiting to get back on climbing after my first precnancy the survey was closed. Do you still need answers for the survey? Can I still fill it somehow? (It isn´t available for me anymore) It is great that you are collecting information about this matter!


    January 29, 2015 at 9:13 pm
  • Hi Jenni!
    Thanks so much for your message! The doctors are working on the results now – so I'll publish as soon as we hear the results!
    I hope you are feeling great!

    February 13, 2015 at 5:06 pm
  • :j

    Thank you for your answer, good that you have received enough material to work on. Looking forward to hear the results!

    February 14, 2015 at 8:52 pm
  • Dear Beth,
    Thanks for writing your blog! I would love to hear the outcome of the survey (and would be happy to fill it out if you would still need participatns). I'll be writing a piece about climbing while pregnant (for the Netherlands Mountaineering Association) and it would be terrific to also include some medical expert advice.
    Thanks, Sytske

    August 28, 2015 at 12:15 am
  • Hi Sytske! Thanks so much for your message! I'll check with Long and Jenny (the two doctors heading up the survey results) on timing of completion. I think they are still working with a statistician to tabulate all the results.
    Thanks again! Beth

    August 28, 2015 at 4:55 pm
  • I forgot to check the "notify me"box, haha

    September 21, 2015 at 4:59 pm
  • Thank you Beth! Also, it was wonderful to meet you (and little Theo) in Smith Rock on Labor Day and talk about climbing while pregnant. In the meantime I've read your blog post in which you interview Long about climbing while pregnant and she writes about doing abdominal exercises and answers my questions. Thanks again for writing inspiring and interesting blog posts and I look forward to reading more! Sytske

    September 29, 2015 at 5:01 am
  • Hi Sytske! Great to meet you! Glad that the interview helped with the abdominal questions 🙂 I hope everything goes well!
    All my best!

    September 29, 2015 at 5:01 pm