Cycling safely during pregnancy in a proper way can be beneficial to the pregnant women. Nowadays, healthy pregnant women are encouraged to exercise during pregnancy to keep fit. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that the pregnant women get 30 minutes of exercise. Besides, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK also suggests that the pregnant women begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times a week. Increase this gradually to at least four 30-minute sessions a week. Moderate exercise is of great benefit to the pregnant women: maintain fitness, reduce stress, sleep better and so on.
Cycling is one of the ways to exercise, and cycling can help both the pregnant women and their babies. Some people may worry that biking while pregnant is dangerous, but the ACOG indicates that cycling is safe while pregnant. For some active women who like cycling, even though they are pregnant, they still want to do exercise or to train. They might ask "What if I fall or crash when riding on the bike", but they might also say "I don't want to stay at home". Under such situation, how to ride with safety is paramount important. Here is some advice on how to bike safely during the pregnancy.
Before riding, the pregnant women should know about their physical health: whether they are in good health to support them to ride on the bike or not. It is time for you to ask your doctor for advice. If the doctors give some medical reasons that it is inappropriate for you to do exercise, maybe you need to stop exercising for several months. If the answer is "yes", you can do the following work.
On the other hand, you can also listen to your body's warning signs. Your body will indicate that you can't do exercise at that time. Dizziness, headaches, thirst, and fatigue are signs that your exercise is bad for you. Be careful of these signs if you want to ride.
Biking in the Different Trimesters While Pregnant
All the hard work in your body inside is going to create placenta in the first trimester. It makes you feel much more tired than usual during the process, so plan your bike riding correspondingly to adapt the change of your body. If you want to keep cycling, please remember to do it gently, however, if you feel tired or uncomfortable, stop for a while.
You can keep cycling in the second trimester, the time that is much safer for you to ride a bike, but you need to get advice from your doctor to keep safe at first. Cycling at the second trimester will keep you fit, but remember to be cautious when cycling.
In the third trimester, from month six to your due date, you might feel it is hard to breathe, especially on the hills. If you feel uncomfortable to ride a bike with the bump, it is time to set aside your bike. In fact, whether to put it aside or not is depending on you.
With the increase of time while pregnant, your bump will grow, and you may need to adjust your saddle or handlebars. Raising the handlebars on your bicycle, to let you sit in a more upright position which can help to accommodate your bump. With the growth of your bump, your weight will increase and your balance of the center will change. Under such situation, you may need to make some changes to your saddle or you will feel a bit sore to sit down.
Besides, in the third trimester, many pregnant women are plagued by hemorrhoids, so the original saddle should be replaced by a wide saddle with a gel seat cover.
Adjust Your Routes and Riding Style
Choose a safe, relatively smooth road if you don't want to meet any risks while whizzing down steep roads or off-road biking might be dangerous. Choose routes that there are not so many cars and pedestrians if possible. Make sure that drivers on the roads can spot you when you riding---even during the day.
Don't Overdo It
If you're getting out of breath, feel uncomfortable or, in severe cases when cycling, stop and take a breath. Although you should do some exercise during pregnancy, but it doesn't mean you should overdo it. Some research found it's important that you don't overheat when you're pregnant. However, over exercise makes you overheat, so keep your session and do not over biking. When to stop riding depends on the cyclists themselves, because different cyclists have different feeling for when to stop riding.
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
If you decide to bike while pregnant, listen to your body and watch for the workout signs. Don't compare yourself to others because not everyone has the same physical strength. You should cycle accordingly instead of keeping up with other pregnant cyclists, after all, it is time to keep fit, not training in a competition. Learn to set realistic expectations for cycle throughout the pregnancy. Towards the due date of your pregnancy, you can choose to stop cycling if you feel cycling become more difficult and tired.
Take it Easy and Be Cautious
Just take it easy when you are riding on a bike and do not think too much. Some pregnant women would afraid that they may fall or crash while riding a bike, and the thought will affect the bikers themselves. Just ride the bike with a common mindset. Don't assume you're dropped, or the possibility may increase. What you need to do when cycling is to be cautious, because a tumble would do great harm to a pregnant woman and her baby.
Tips for Pregnant Women
1. Take a cellphone with you when you go out to bike, in case that you need help.
2. Take some water and snack with you to even though it is a short distance ride.
3. Wear bright and cooler cycling clothing to make sure the drivers can spot you---even in the day time, such as the Day-glo kit. A cooler gear can help to avoid overheating.
Cycling when you are pregnant is of great benefit both to the pregnant women and fetus. Some organizations draw a conclusion that active women are less like to have insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression. Besides, cycling has much beneficial influence on the mother and fetus because it can help to maintain a healthy weight, blood sugar and blood pressure, and so on.
As for how to ride with safety when pregnant, do as the above and be cautious. With so many benefits, the active pregnant women can choose cycling to keep fit. Every exercise has its risk, and what we can do is to avoid dangers, so do not afraid to cycling in a proper way to keep fit throughout pregnancy.