Author Topic: Biking while pregnant?  (Read 4760 times)

Krnten

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Biking while pregnant?
« on: March 17, 2015, 07:26:37 PM »
Hey ladies,

Have you done much biking while pregnant?  Did you feel the need to stop at some point and if so when?  I just started bike commuting when I found out I was pregnant and am wondering how long I can do it.  So far it has helped a lot with first tri exhaustion.  But I'm on NYC streets and slightly worried about safety once the baby starts showing.

ysette9

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2015, 07:49:03 PM »
I can't speak from experience because I had a high risk pregnancy and had to quit all high intensity exercise, but I have been told to quit once you start showing because it shifts your center of gravity and can make it harder to balance. Perhaps bring it up with your doctor.

merula

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2015, 07:55:58 PM »
You might be safer when you start showing as people may be more deferential to you.

I think biking is a risk, but so is riding in a car or the subway or really anything.

My midwife told me that I should plan on stopping biking before the third trimester because of the balance/center of gravity issues. Granted, that wasn't hard because it got too cold for me to want to bike well before then. I have heard of people biking throughout their pregnancies, and more power to them. There's just no way I would have had the energy for that.

MsFrugalista

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2015, 08:02:18 PM »
I was able to bike comfortably until 5-6 months (although I was not a daily commuter). After that it just got uncomfortable, my knees would hit my belly! My doctor said I could bike for as long as I wanted. However, every pregnancy is different, so I also would suggest you talk to your doctor first before doing anything you're uncertain about. Apparently in Denmark they cycle right to the delivery room http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/2008/05/with-child.html.

Hope you have a happy and safe pregnancy and delivery!

johnny847

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2015, 11:36:43 PM »
I was able to bike comfortably until 5-6 months (although I was not a daily commuter). After that it just got uncomfortable, my knees would hit my belly! My doctor said I could bike for as long as I wanted. However, every pregnancy is different, so I also would suggest you talk to your doctor first before doing anything you're uncertain about. Apparently in Denmark they cycle right to the delivery room http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/2008/05/with-child.html.

Hope you have a happy and safe pregnancy and delivery!

I'm laughing at the mental picture forming!

OP, this will probably mean that it will be more feasible to bike while pregnant on a cruiser bike, where you sit more upright, as opposed to a road bike, where you sit leaning forward.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2015, 06:51:11 AM »
I'd ask your doctor.

I had a woman on my synchronized skating team who was able to bike until she felt like she couldn't balance anymore (3rd trimester is when she stopped).  Her doctor also told her she could ice skate until she couldn't tie her own skates anymore- so she skated with us most of the pregnancy.  The baby is pretty well protected in there- if it is something you did before the pregnancy, you can usually keep doing it.  The only thing I've heard point blank every doctor say no to is scuba diving.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 09:15:30 AM by iowajes »

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2015, 07:23:41 AM »
I am still biking in the second trimester, but I don't bike in traffic.  I plan on asking my midwife this week.  Right now, I haven't found it any more difficult than normal.

zhelud

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2015, 09:09:29 AM »
When I was pregnant, my doctor told me that I could do any exercise I wanted, as long as I didn't overheat.  I rode my bike to work until it became too hot in the afternoons (June). I was about 4 months pregnant when I stopped. By the time it had cooled down in the fall, I was just too enormous to want to do anything.

tweezers

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2015, 09:34:26 AM »
I took my regular spinning classes throughout my pregnancy, including the morning my water broke.  However, I stopped bike commuting around the beginning of my third trimester because I couldn't fit into my waterproof pants any more and I didn;t want to buy bigger ones (and winter is wet in the PNW), it wasn't comfortable (my legs hit my belly and the handlebars when I stood for hills), and I was a little paranoid about being injured by an oblivious driver. 

It really depends on your own comfort level and specific pregnancy.  Good luck!

mm1970

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2015, 09:35:14 AM »
I felt after the first trimester that I just didn't have the balance I needed, so I switched to spin classes where the bike doesn't move.

With #1, biked until he was born at 38 weeks.

With #2, I got bigger, so I think I made it to 36-38 weeks, and I just couldn't get up on the bike anymore, and I couldn't reach the handle bars without my knees hitting my belly.

greenleaf

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2015, 09:36:00 AM »
I've had two kids and biked until the end (including after the due date with #1) with both, not just for transportation, but also exercise (had to switch to my husbands bike shorts and jerseys) both on road and off (but nothing really crazy of course).  I also towed my toddler in a trailer while very pregnant. The limiting factor was usually how long I could go without a bathroom, not anything to do with biking itself. But I am a fairly experienced cyclist (former racer). It gets awkward (have to avoid belly with knees) at some point, though it depends on the pregnancy.  My first baby was small and second was big, but for some reason it was less awkward biking at the end with #2.

I don't know if I would have done that in NYC.  I used to bike a lot in traffic in and around Boston, and there were certain parts of my commute that were a little dangerous, but I was younger and less risk averse then.  I think it depends a lot on your route, what the bike lane situation is, what traffic is like (and how fast it is), and your comfort level.  While pregnant I was mostly (but not entirely) on bike paths and trails ( because we chose to live where we do because of its bikability).  If I had been pregnant in Boston, not sure what I would have done.  Possibly found a longer but safer route, or possibly commuted with public transport and biked in safer places for fun.

One other person I know who biked while pregnant (another former racer) stopped around 5 months (it was winter in Boston, so I think her reasons were safety), but she taught a spinning class in the 3rd trimester.  A couple others (again former racers) have continued longer in big cities though probably not quite as long as I did. I did hear that one fell at one point and had to go the hospital to get checked out as a precaution.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2015, 09:49:20 AM »
My wife stopped after the first trimester.  It's a low probability, but there is increased risk of falling on a bike . . . and you'll fall harder than if you were walking.  Heavy squats (with a spotter) continued until the third trimester though.

JLR

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Re: Biking while pregnant?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2015, 04:28:47 AM »
I biked in my third pregnancy, towing the older two in the trailer behind. I don't remember exactly when I stopped, but I do remember riding late enough that I had to point my knees out to the sides to avoid my belly when pedaling.