When I was around 6 months pregnant, I decided that Bump and I needed a little excitement. I had been spending too much time inside- nauseous for the first trimester, and exhausted (due to anemia) for the second trimester. I was also a little depressed from the lack of involvement from the baby’s father. Aside from work, my social life had dwindled. I needed adventure.
So, we made our way out to Burning Man- just Bump and I.
By now, I’m used to people telling me that many of my decisions are probably not a good idea. But, if I would have listened to them, I never would have had as much fun as I have!! This was one of those times for people who had never been to Burning Man to be opinionated about my decision to go to Burning Man pregnant.
But, I wasn’t going to let 100 plus degree weather, desert dust and peoples’ opinions stop me and Bump from going to my third Burn and feeling the LOVE!
So, I researched and planned how I could safely Burn. I felt like I was blindly navigating, because I had never been pregnant before, didn’t know how I’d react to the heat or the alkaline dust, wasn’t finding information on women going to the Burn pregnant, or any services that would be offered for pregnant women. I started to question my decision again.
I finally reached out to some midwives, who were part of a holistic practice (and had also been to BM before). I didn’t want to reach out to the hospital, because I had already experienced some of their fear-based birthing. I didn’t need any more people holding me back! The midwives told me that since I was a low-risk pregnancy, it could be done. They said to stay hydrated, not to be in the sun for too long, get plenty of rest and exercise.
Okay! I started feeling good about my decision again!
After hours of scouring the inter-web, I was tremendously relieved to come across this blog post about Megan from Carrots and Flowers going to Burning Man the year before, at just one week before her due date! This was the post that gave me the final boost of confidence to head out to the Playa. Thank you, Megan! What a beautiful story. I wish I was able to get more super cute photos like Megan did! But, I got lost in the moment..
After reading, I was motivated, but still a little hesitant to go alone. But, I felt like some good vibes, dancing, inspiration and lots of loooove was crucial for me and Bump… so, off we went!
In my usual fashion, I made this decision last minute. I didn’t have enough time to join a camp or coordinate with friends. So, I packed up my truck with essentials, and headed out to Reno without a ticket. I made it all the way to the Reno Walmart, and spent hours asking people for a ticket. The only person who actually had one looked at me suspiciously, because I was alone, bugging her at 4 AM in Reno. I guess I don’t blame her.
I gave up around 4:30 AM, and started heading towards Lovelock. I stopped along the way and took a nap in a parking lot. In the morning, I saw that several other people were trying to get a ticket, but I still took it as an opportunity to meet some cool people and hang out. After hours of talking to people and looking for a ticket, I finally made my way through the heavy line.
At will call, a bunch of last minute people were also looking for a miracle. I figured my luck wouldn’t go too far competing with all those people.So, I grabbed some shade and water, and I walked into the desert, down the long line of cars and flew a sign. It was about an hour and till somebody waved me down… and…. I was gifted a miracle!
It was already Wednesday when I got in, so I drove the perimeter to look for a group to camp with.
Usually, I put a middle finger up to many “societal norms”. But, to be honest I was a little self-conscious of people judging me for not taking care of myself or the Bump. But why? I didn’t want to skip out on some much-needed love and community just because I was pregnant! And, you shouldn’t either.
Turns out, most burners thought it was radical that I had the courage to come out to the playa pregnant and solo. The only negative comment I got was from a girl who walked by me saying, “You’re pregnant! Get off the playa!” It was a good thing she had already walked by before I realized what she said.. This is my body, my baby and not only should Burners be exercising radical inclusion, but I was radically self expressing myself by being there!
IT CAN BE DONE! JUST BE REASONABLE WITH YOURSELF AND WELL-PREPARED.
That being said…….
If you are considering going to Burning Man while pregnant, please first check with your healthcare provider. If you get a pass, all is well with you and you feel healthy and confident, here are some things I recommend (also check on the Burning Man website for more info):
***I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! THESE ARE JUST SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR THINGS I FOUND USEFUL DURING MY PREGNANT BURN***
Shade- Make sure you have some kind of sturdy shade for your camp that won’t blow away in a dust storm. Feel free to take a seat ANYWHERE that has shade, and rest often while you explore! Also, definitely have shade while you’re walking or biking around the desert. Bring a hat, sarong to cover up and you can even get your sarong wet and drape it over yourself to keep you cool.
Water- Bring at least 1 gallon of drinking water per person, per day. I also highly recommend a spray bottle (throw a little lavender essential oil in for a nice touch) so that you can keep your body temperature down, which is crucial. Electrolytes are also a great idea- watermelon, coconut water, emergen-c are great options.
Medical help- Always know where you can locate first aid! Also, check on the book for midwives camped nearby, or ask around!
Food- I almost always carried protein/iron/nutrient dense snacks. I had anemia during my pregnancy, so I had to always have lots of iron (and Vitamin C to absorb that iron better). Don’t forget your pregnancy vitamins and probiotics! You should be radically self sufficient. But, it’s always fun to look into what food options are offered around the playa.
Exercise- Burning Man is a great place to get some much needed exercise in for you pregos! Okay, to be honest, I was being lazy when I was at the house. But, I made up for all of that on the playa, riding my bike everywhere! Aside from riding the bicycle, I danced my ass off! Again, please be sure you are healthy, have no medical issues, have the okay by your doctor to be exercising, have enough shade, water and know when to stop and rest. I feel that music, dancing and so much loooove is essential for a developing little human. I didn’t go to any parties that were too loud, and I made sure that I camped at 6:00, away from designated music areas.
Camp- If you’re not going with a camp, you’ll want to camp with or near some people that are aware of your pregnancy in case you need anything. If you’re a virgin (a Burning Man virgin, cuz we know you’re not a virgin virgin– wink, wink), you’ll want to camp with some people who have been before. Look into joining an established theme camp, or go with some friends and make your own camp! Or, you can be bold and go solo, and camp with some people you meet along the way, or when you’re in!
If you’re reading this and you want to do a rendition- Listen to your body, listen to your intuition, follow your heart. GO HOME! Don’t let society stop you (unless of course, you’re a high-risk pregnancy). Prepare, have fun, rest, get dusty, dance to some music, hug it out,
HAVE A HAPPY PREGNANT BURN!!!