Pregnant Outdoor Instructor

“You can’t do that” possibly the most common thing I have been told since getting pregnant.

Today on my “I can bloody well do that” list I went gorge walking in the Ceunant area on Afon Prysor so I could see where my husband has been working, but also so I could do some ML river crossing practise for my assessment next year. Only had one slightly damp foot – Meindl’s for the win.

(I also ate brie and pate if anyone’s keeping check on me being a bad mother.)

20 weeks pregnant and not stopping yet!

I probably should have mentioned before, but for 8 years I worked as an outdoor instructor. I still do, but being pregnant has put a bit of a dampner on the whole thing. I also work as a Coordinator (mainly projects) and at the moment I am working for a well known company in Wales.

When we knew we’d be moving to Wales I started to research local companies who i’d like to work for and Husband did the same. There were a few, but unless you have your MIA working in Wales can be tricky. Essentially, even the Postman has his ML and there are hundreds of people looking for work. Even with 8 years experience the qualifications I have are not relevant, only Husband’s are (and that’s only just).

When we knew we were pregnant I asked (on a Facebook forum aimed at women who work in the outdoors) if anyone had any advice for pregnant instructors and there wasn’t much there. I did get told that “everyone makes sacrifices” which I took to mean that if you work in the outdoors as a woman that you are expected not to get up the duff. On a forum of around 1000 women there was literally no help – depressing to say the least.

I also communicated with two organisations who manage NGB’s asking for advice and got very little support back.

Interestingly what did happen was that the news of “the pregnant instructor” spread like wildfire and companies (who’ll remain nameless as I am sure they haven’t meant to breach the law) started asking staff on induction days if they were pregnant. All due to one little post made by me.

The annoying thing about it all was that if the organisations had embraced the idea of supporting pregnant outdoor instructors by upskilling them, the companies they work for and other instructors it could have opened doors for so many families – plus made them some money as they could offer courses……………… However, the outdoor industry is still very much in the dark ages and to be honest it’s not a battle I have any interest in fighting. I have bigger battles to undertake.

So my day out today was great fun. We did a few river crossings, I am getting my confidence back and my ever patient husband has (as always) been very supportive. It was also fun to take the bump out and explore more of our local area where we found our first Welsh Dragon.

I’ll keep doing as much as I can while pregnant. It makes me feel better, it’s best for the baby and it’s best for me. Sod what anyone else thinks.


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