When you become pregnant, one of the first things that you question is whether exercising is safe for you and your baby. Cycling while pregnant can be a controversial subject. As an experienced rider, you know your overall safety of falling and being hit by another vehicle on the road. However, you now must consider the safety of your growing fetus. If you decide to continue bicycling during your pregnancy, it is important to consider the risks and how to keep yourself safe as possible.
Cycling While Pregnant-First Trimester
During the first trimester, your body is going through a lot of changes to grow an extra human being. Not to mention, your risk of miscarriage is highest at this time even without a high impact exercise routine such as cycling included. During the first trimester, you will find yourself more fatigued, so you may want to ride earlier in the day when you are fresh and focused. In addition, it is also important to avoid overheating as this could result in abnormalities in your unborn child. Don’t cycle in extreme heat and humidity as you can overheat, dehydrate, or become faint which puts you at risk of falling.
Cycling While Pregnant-Second Trimester
The second trimester has a less potential for miscarriage than the first trimester. As a result, you may find this time to be the most pleasurable to ride. However, as your baby grows, you will find more pressure in your stomach, ribs, and hips. This is probably a good time to raise the handlebars of your bicycle so that you are less leaned over.
Cycling While Pregnant-Third Trimester
During the third trimester, the potential for miscarriage or developing birth defects has reduced substantially. Unfortunately, by this time, your body is getting very big and you may find bicycling uncomfortable. Not to mention, you may get out of breath quickly, so a leisurely ride might be in order. You can also become unbalanced during this time, so pay attention to how your body feels as you ride. During this trimester, you may want to purchase a larger saddle with a gel insert to have a more comfortable ride.
Getting exercise while pregnant is good for you and your baby. With exercise, you reduce stress and swelling and increase stamina and strength. If you choose to continue cycling while pregnant, listen to your body. When you are too nauseous or fatigued to ride, don’t. Try to find a comfortable position for your body and you may want to adjust from a high impact ride to a leisurely, relaxing ride.