Is it safe for me and my baby to continue cycling?
If you are healthy, and are not a high risk pregnancy, it is safe to continue cycling. In fact, there are many benefits to you and your baby. As an active woman you are probably very in tune with your body. You will need to continue this sacred connection as it’s very important. Your instincts are important to insure you are never pushing too hard. Stop anytime you feel pain or even feel ‘off.’ Always check with your doctor if you are unsure of any symptoms you are experiencing.
Is there a limit to the amount I should bike?
There is no specific magic number that is used as a general guideline. If you have been regularly logging 50 miles a week, your pregnant mileage will vary as compared to someone who has been biking a few miles per week. This is a time to maintain your fitness – not gain it. If you do not have morning sickness, you may find that you are able to continue your normal rides. Later, in the first trimester, fatigue and/or morning sickness may cut some rides short. The key is listening to your body and doing what you can without overdoing it.
Is there a limit to intensity/intervals?
As with distance, the intensity you bike will vary upon many factors that are specific to your body. You will also notice your intensity changing during the course of the pregnancy. Energy levels may slow you now, but next trimester you may feel good enough to pick it up again. By the 3rd trimester you will probably need/want to slow down again. The intensity may change but the effort you expend may be the same. The most important thing here is to gauge your efforts. You should always be able to carry on a conversation. You do not want to be trying to break any QOM Strava records!
Can I start cycling while I am pregnant?
It is generally suggested you don’t start anything new when pregnant. And cycling in particular does involves balance and some basic level of skill. But, if pregnancy has made you decide to get on the bike, there are things that you can do to stay healthy and safe. Rather than jumping straight into mountain biking on a trail or road biking from scratch, think about riding a town bike or mountain bike on bike paths or less congested streets. After you have done this for a few weeks and feel comfortable with the mileage and your position on the bike you can continue as is or try to add more time or slightly more difficult terrain. Make sure you listen to your body!
When will my bike feel uncomfortable?
Every woman will have a different experience here. I was able to mountain bike and feel comfortable up until around 37 weeks during my last pregnancy. Other women (or maybe even me this time around) may need to adjust their stems, bike seat or switch out their bike to a more upright model as their growing tummy gets in the way.
Do I need to eat or drink more while I ride?
You will need to eat more and drink more. How much more is a tricky question. There are many factors to consider, like activity level and miles, when you determine how many calories to eat and how much to drink. I always try to take water with an electrolyte and either a bar or chews on any ride…even if it’s short.
How do I deal with morning sickness?
See my previous post.
What are the benefits of biking ?
You will find people who think you are doing the worst thing ever for yourself and your baby because you decide to stay active and *gasp* ride a bike. Luckily, most attitudes are changing as more women ride while pregnant and as more studies show the benefits of exercising while pregnant. Our bodies are amazing and adapt well to changes and demands. A s a cyclist, you have already experienced the changes and benefits that occur while riding.
Looking for more? Check out Simply Bike and her experiences during the first trimester.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a medical expert. The information on this site is intended strictly for information purposes. If you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy, talk to your doctor or midwife.