Can you ride a bike while pregnant? Yes, but you might want to adjust your routine. Here’s how to stay safe if you’re staying in the saddle.
Biking for two is a personal choice.
While some people stay on the pedals all the way to delivery, others stop riding as soon as they find out they’re pregnant.
So, can you ride a bike while pregnant?
Is it advisable, and is it safe?
The short answer is yes.
But only if you want to!
Here are some of the most important tips and safety advice to remember when staying in the saddle.
In this article: 📝
- Can you ride a bike while pregnant?
- How long can you ride a bike while pregnant?
- Does bike riding affect pregnancy?
- Can riding a bike cause miscarriage?
Can you ride a bike while pregnant?
If you’re asking, can pregnant women ride bikes? the answer is: yes, they can.
Cycling while pregnant can be a safe and low-impact exercise.
In fact, some women cycle throughout their entire pregnancy.
If you aren’t a confident cyclist, it’s best not to take up any new sports during pregnancy.
The rule of thumb?
If you feel comfortable riding and your doctor says it’s OK, go for it.
The important thing is to listen to your own body and not push things too far.
There is always the danger of falling though, which is the main reason cycling is considered a higher-risk sport.
Of course, you don’t want to exhaust yourself or fall off your bike when pregnant.
So while continuing cycling is fine (if you feel safe and comfortable!), it could be time to cut back on those longer, hillier routes.
How long can you ride a bike while pregnant?
You can continue cycling while pregnant for as long as you feel comfortable.
Just know that your growing bump will change your center of gravity.
This might make you feel wobblier.
So you may find switching to indoor cycling feels best for you.
As ever, every pregnancy is different for every woman.
If you’re feeling exhausted and nauseous in your first trimester, cycling might feel a million miles off!
On the other hand, you might relish the fresh air and freedom.
If you’re still cycling as your pregnancy progresses, you’ll probably want to rearrange your seat and handlebars.
Sitting in more of an upright position ensures there isn’t pressure on your bump.
Does bike riding affect pregnancy?
Overall, pedaling while pregnant is a safe activity.
But the associated risks of traffic, weather, falls, potholes and pedestrians add danger.
In terms of the body and movements involved with cycling, it shouldn’t affect your pregnancy.
Here are a few things in mind when hitting the road:
Keep exercise moderate
This applies to any exercise (not just cycling) when pregnant.
A good rule of thumb is you should be able to have a conversation as you exercise.
If you find yourself panting for breath, it’s time to pull back.
Take it day by day
You’ll feel different throughout your pregnancy, trimester by trimester, week by week and even day by day.
There are so many hormonal changes and your body is working hard to keep you and your baby healthy.
So if you don’t feel a ride one day, that’s OK.
Slow and steady wins this race
Plan accordingly, as you’ll be exercising at a more moderate pace.
Your routes will take longer, and you’ll probably want to shorten them too.
You’ll also need to build in time for pauses and stops, and pack extra snacks and drinks.
Can riding a bike cause miscarriage?
Cycling itself doesn’t cause pregnancy loss.
In fact, women who stay active during pregnancy have lower risks for things like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.
But accidental falls can hurt your baby.
This can cause pregnancy loss in the worst-case scenario.
This is why some professionals recommend against outdoor cycling during pregnancy.
So, you might prefer using an indoor stationary bicycle.
This gives all the benefits of cycling (apart from that fresh air) without the risks.
Of course, even experienced cyclists can experience new challenges with balance, handling and energy during pregnancy.
So just ensure you’re always listening to your changing body, staying as safe as possible and well within your comfort zone.
If you do hit the road, happy riding, mama!