Rock Climbing while Pregnant- Birth & Recovery

Birth & Recovery


0-2 weeks post birth:

My water broke unexpectedly 6 weeks into my 3rd trimester (So I was 34 weeks pregnant) in the wee hours of Sunday morning and I ended up having an emergency c-section and giving birth 4 hours after my water breaking. After the initial rough 24 hour period where I was still weaning of the full body anesthesia and on a morphine drip; I started walking and climbing stairs very slowly around the hospital . I am not going to lie, but the first 2-3 days recovery from c-section was unpleasant and exhausting; especially since I had to go to different wings of the hospital to see the babies as they were at 2 different units on opposite sides of the hospital.

The first 2 weeks was spent not resting as I had 1 baby in the hospital, and 1 at home. However, I think it made my recovery quite fast because I was forced to walk a lot more than I would have. Standing for long periods of time ( over 30mins),walking more than 1km or moving from a sitting/laying to upright position was still unpleasant as it felt like my guts wanted to come out of the incision; however I really didn’t have a choice in resting or not standing since one baby was in an incubator and I had to stand to feed him and he ate super slow.

I ended up gaining only 19lbs total, of which 9 lbs was babies. On the 4th day, when I went home; I had already lost 11lbs. I proceeded to have a week of extremely sweaty nights and by 2 weeks, I had lost more than the weight I gained. Haven’t said that, my core was literally just mush. I did not attempt to exercise or walk more than I needed as I had to recover from my surgery.

6 weeks old

2-4 weeks post birth:

2 weeks after birth, both babies came home so I didn’t have to spend the day running around between home and hospital anymore. I also felt like I could walk and stand comfortably enough so I started on taking 1 hour strolls each day. At first I was really slow but by the end of week 3, I was walking comfortably enough to keep pace with other pedestrians.

4-6 weeks post birth:

At week 4 , I started to “pretend jog” at a pace of 10-11min/km. By pretend jog, I mean bouncing up and down at very slow pace. I tried to “pretend jog” everyday and by end of week 5, I was comfortable enough to jog very slowly but continuously for 6km. I went to the physiotherapist where she told me I didn’t have diastis recti, and gave me some exercises to re-learn to activate my core. I also went to the gym to do some easy machine weights i.e. presses, biceps, bodyweight squats. I also started to hangboard at week 4, but without activating my core. At this stage, I listened to my body, if at any point I felt even slight discomfort; I stopped.

6-8 weeks post birth:

Leading. But dogging because falling is scary.

At week 6, I went to the bouldering gym and did very easy problems and down climbed everything. By the end of week 7, I was working the easy benchmark problems on the 25 degree moonboard. I also went outdoor climbing and started leading again on straight routes. My physiotherapist gave me the all clear to work on core exercises at week 7 after which I stopped seeing her, I went to some yoga classes, hit the gym, and jogged a bit less. Once I could climb again, I started feeling like myself again; although haven’t not lead climbed in 6 months; I was terrified of falling.

8-10 weeks post birth:

First trad climb post birth. A test on my weak core.

At week 8, I went on a girls weekend trip to Long Dong, Taiwan to climb. I struggled up some old climbs I had tried before but I had a great time climbing some trad and sports routes.

A few days before week 10; I managed to send a 7a I had never finished before. And after that, I have decided I am more or less recovered. Sure, my core is still a lot weaker than it used to be,my endurance is low, I am still terrified of lead falls, and I can’t do nearly enough pull ups as I used to, but I can dog my way up my old climbs again so its just a matter of time.

In conclusion, I think I had a really fast recovery. I think a lot of it was due to exercising throughout pregnancy, and combined with having no complication from surgery really made for fast recovery. I am overall really happy with my recovery.


Hong Kong. Travel. Climb. In that order.

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