Does Pregnancy Pose A Risk When Riding A Bike?

We all know that during pregnancy women experience a lot of tremendous changes. If you are a woman, I am damn sure you know it, no? 

Maybe you are a bike-riding freak or someone who has to ride a bike every day, but now what? There is a positive sign on the pregnancy strip. You must be worried about whether you can ride a bike while pregnant. Or, do you have to say GOODBYE to it for nine months? What’s the scene? 

Well, being a bike rider, I always wanted to ride it every single day no matter what. At the time, when I got pregnant, I had to consult my doctor and go through multiple pieces of research just to dig out the answer—can I? Or, cannot? 

Now, it’s time to share all of that legit information with you. Check out and read till the end!

The Benefits Of Exercising During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman workout.

The importance of being physically active cannot be overstated during pregnancy. Some of the benefits can be gotten by riding a bike. Generally speaking yes, you can ride a bike while pregnant and you can do it throughout the whole nine months.

However, as we know every pregnancy is different, so it is better to consult your gynecologist regarding the intensity of bike riding undergo a pregnancy scan, and until which week you can continue it.

As per NHS, you shouldn’t ride during pregnancy if you don’t know how to do it or if you are not a biker. As I told you, I am a biking freak, I have been doing it for 7 years and that’s why I continued my riding during pregnancy also.  

I rode until delivery, however, I didn’t do any serious mountain biking. I never felt unstable. You need to avoid bumpy roads and if you do so, you can experience the following benefits of exercise during pregnancy:

 

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    1. Get Better Sleep

    I am sharing this from my experience and from speaking with my doctor. The number one reason for exercising or bike riding is that it helps you sleep so much better. Insomnia or lack of sleep is a common complaint during pregnancy. If you are experiencing insomnia, the best non-pharmacological way to deal with it is by exercising.

    Exercising has been shown to reduce the 4sleep-onset time which is the time we take to fall asleep. In addition, it helps you sleep for a longer duration and with more time in the deep sleep state. Thus, if you are struggling with disturbed sleep patterns during pregnancy, taking up mild-intensity aerobic exercise like low-impact cycling may be worth a try.

    2. Improves Well-Being

    Depression or feeling sad is not an uncommon complaint during pregnancy. You can correct this by following an exercise regime. This is because exercise or even bike riding while pregnant boosts your mood by releasing feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. All while improving your coordination and stability of the body.  

    3. Eases Pelvic And Back Pain

    It is no surprise that your expanding baby bump exerts additional strain on your bottom half, causing low back pain and pain in the lower pelvis. Yet, strengthening your core through exercise throughout late pregnancy may result in lesser lower back pain and pelvic pain.

    4. Speeds Up Post Delivery Recovery

    The more you work on your pregnancy fitness, the sooner you’ll recover physically post childbirth and the better you’ll feel afterward.

    Understanding Your Pelvic Floor

    Because pregnancy affects both us and our baby’s health, addressing our physical requirements is essential. Chronic strain on our pelvic floor nerves and muscles can create muscular tension, nerve irritation, and pelvic discomfort.

    The pelvic floor is essentially a sheet of muscles that works as a trampoline and supports the weight of the abdomen and growing baby with it in pregnancy. Just like a trampoline, the pelvic floor stretches, gives, and bounces back, however it can become weak and damaged due to impact and too much weight. 

    Therefore, it is essential that you do bike riding in a way that has the least impact on your abdomen and pelvic floor. Below is the correct way how you should do bike riding during pregnancy.

    Our bottom should be somewhat back in the seat, allowing us to push the pedals with ease. Maintain a forward head position, stiff shoulders, and neck to avoid any back pain. 

    Moreover, if you have weak buttock muscles or tight IT bands, your knees will naturally bend toward the midline and the bike. When riding keep your eyes down and your knees straight forward. Maintain ideal posture by keeping the resistance low and focusing on stimulating your pelvic floor and transverse abdominals. 

    Stationary Vs. Outdoor Biking

    Couple running and biking together

    If your doctor has cleared you for stationary cycling, you must take it.

    If given the choice between stationary vs outdoor biking in early pregnancy, your preference should be for a stationary bike. This is understandable as a stationary bike will save you from the jumps and bumps of the road. Thus, essentially, a stationary bike gives customized low-impact exercise. Moreover, you have complete control over the length and intensity of your ride.

    While on the other hand, you can go for outdoor biking in mid-pregnancy as the only risk associated with outdoor biking is falling, so avoid it in the first trimester. 

    When Riding A Bike Protect Your Bump

    As my baby bump became noticeable, I only had to be cautious because my joints would be less sturdy and my center of gravity would shift. As your bump grows in size, you may discover that shifting to an upright riding position or altering your saddle and handlebars makes you comfier. You can also find comfortable bike seats.

     As my belly became ballooned in the second trimester, I felt more at ease sitting upright on my mountain bike, which had fat tires and flat handlebars. If you’re going on a longer bike trip, consider renting an e-bike. They might provide an extra lift.

    When Biking While Pregnant, Watch Out For These Red Flags

    pregnant-woman

    There are some following red flags we should watch out for while riding a bike during pregnancy:

    • If you have concerns about preterm labor or placenta previa, always consult your doctor before bike riding
    • As per Dr. King, if you notice any bleeding, contraction, cramping, or shortness of breath, stop bike riding and consult your healthcare immediately.
    • If preterm labor starts, stop doing any exercise. It is not safe as per Dr. King.
    • While riding, avoid any bumpy roads. Go for a smooth road and make sure the streets are not busy and full of traffic.

    Key Takeaways

    So, now you got the answer to can you ride a bike while pregnant? Riding a bike is an excellent way to get some exercise while pregnant, but you may be concerned about the risk of falling. DO NOT GO EXTREME!

    Don’t undervalue your energy requirements. Always have food, fluid, money, and a cell phone when riding a bike during pregnancy. 

    Stop riding your bike when it gets uncomfortable or painful, either psychologically or physically. There are so many different methods to stay healthy when pregnant that you don’t need to rely solely on your bike. The most essential thing is to prioritize your wellness and health.

    About the author
    Does Pregnancy Pose A Risk When Riding A Bike? — Bike Hacks