We've put together a short list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding participation by pregnant women. There isn't space here to address every possible issue; please feel free to contact us directly with any questions you might have.
Can I attend an Otherworld Adventure Weekend while pregnant?
That depends on how far along in the pregnancy you are.
Women who are in their first trimester (that is, 14 weeks pregnant or less) may attend. Past this point in the pregnancy, safety considerations mean that we cannot allow you to participate.
Assuming I'm 14 weeks pregnant or less, is it safe for me to participate?
If yours is a normal pregnancy, then Otherworld should be safe for you. We suggest you discuss your attendance with your obstetrician or midwife in order to decide. (More on this below.) Although the weekend does include physical activity, including combat with padded foam swords, the nature of this activity should pose no problem to a healthy pregnancy.
Having said that, we feel obligated to remind potential participants that as many as 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most of these occur during the first trimester; a significant number of them happen before a woman even suspects she's pregnant. In the vast majority of these cases, the miscarriage has nothing to do with any action taken by the woman, and there is nothing she could have done differently to prevent it.
This fact is easier for some people to accept than others. If participating in an Adventure Weekend will make you feel anxious, or if you think you'll feel guilty if you do indeed miscarry after participating, then attending while pregnant is probably ill-advised.
Can I attend and simply choose not to participate in combat?
No. To begin with, even if this were viable, it wouldn't remove you from all of the physical activity of the weekend. You could, for instance, be walking down a path and trip over a root. Of course, you could also trip and fall in your own house, and during the first trimester, it's extremely unlikely that either fall would endanger your pregnancy.
Also, while combat is far from the only thing that happens at an Adventure Weekend, it is an activity that's interspersed throughout the event. It's not feasible for us to tell our staff to avoid a certain person.
When I discuss the Adventure Weekend with my OB/midwife, what should I say?
Explain that you'll be taking part in a weekend-long outdoor event. Tell her you'll be walking at least 6-8 miles on nature trails over the course of the weekend, as such, it's possible you might trip and fall. Also tell her that the event involves simulated combat with padded foam swords; you can explain that getting hit with one of these feels much like having a Nerf football thrown at you. Ask if she feels that either of these would be high-risk behavior for you.
If your health-care providers would like to learn more, they (or you) are welcome to contact us.