Pregnancy and Climbing

A personal report by German climber Julia Schöpp

Julia Schöpp about pregnancy and climbing
Julia Schöpp and her son in the training area of the Berta Block Bouldering Gym in Berlin. Here she had been bouldering and training during her pregnancy. Read the article about her thoughts and experiences on pregnancy and climbing:

I climbed through most of my pregnancy, and bouldered through more than half of it. While some people thought I was brave, many others probably thought I was stupid, and irresponsible. Interestingly, nobody said that to my face. But that is what we have the internet for, isn’t it? Ask in any of these pregnancy forums, if climbing is “allowed” during pregnancy, and I’m sure you will find someone to tell you what  a horrible person you are for even thinking about it. That’s very unfortunate, because what most climbers will probably do when they get pregnant – myself included – is to search the internet for any reliable information on pregnancy and climbing.

Fortunately, there are also articles and blog posts of people like Beth Rodden / @bethrodden or Melody Meigs / @patchworkandpebbles, who went through similar situations. I found these testimonies, among others, incredibly helpful. While reading about the experiences of other women, I felt more confident to make my own decisions. This is so important; as traditional wisdom about sports and pregnancy still mostly covers aqua gymnastics and yoga. And even though many people will tell you to “just do what feels right for you,“ it is still good to know that others have done similar things before, and it all went well.

Now that our baby is born, I want to add my own experience to the growing collection of testimonies out there covering pregnancy and climbing; hoping that other climbers might benefit from it. At this point, I probably need to add that I’m not a doctor, nor an expert, nor do I necessarily think that everything I did was right, or even smart. I’m just trying to add one more voice to the debate; so that others can decide for themselves.

read more