At the beginning of the third trimester I felt great riding, sometimes even managing 20-25 miles a day. But at 34 weeks my mind and body gave me some subtle and not so subtle hints that I might be done. So… I’ve hung up the road and mountain bike until after birth. I’m still leaving the cruiser handy as it just seems silly to not bike to the post office or other errands under a mile. I’m sure that could also change in the next few weeks.
I was feeling so good last month, what’s up with my lack of energy?
Your second trimester may have brought an increase in energy, unfortunately that may come to an end now as you and your baby are getting bigger every week. Now is a good time to adjust your expectations and how you approach riding. Don’t try to maintain old paces, routes, or mileage. You may even need to abandon your road or mountain bike for something a little more upright.
Can I keep riding?
Yes! It probably won’t feel as enjoyable, but as long as your pregnancy is progressing along normally and you are being careful you can continue. The exercise benefits are still great for you and your baby. It’s also okay to stop riding altogether and do something else or just rest. The fact that you have kept on riding up to this point is wonderful!
What about my balance?
If your balance starts to be ‘off’ then stay off the bike. I know some women loose their balance almost immediately while others can go well into the third trimester with no issues. I feel that because I am tall my baby bump gets in the way a little less than if I were shorter but I have no scientific evidence to back that up.
I have leg cramps!
I have been getting some serious leg cramps during my third trimester. Although they mostly occur at night, trying to put on cycling shoes and clip in does sometimes trigger more cramps. You can try warming up the muscles that cramp prior to riding. Stretch the area whenever you get a chance during the day and rotate your foot when you are sitting. Drink extra water and add in an electrolyte drink to get in some extra calcium and potassium. I like Skratch Labs Daily Mix. You also can’t go wrong with a banana.
I’m having a hard time breathing!
With the baby growing so fast and taking up so much room, your lung’s space is getting cramped. If you ever find yourself struggling for air, stop what you are doing. Remember that if you can’t get in oxygen, neither can your baby.
It’s getting hot…
It’s important throughout your pregnancy to avoid becoming overheated. Always ride with a drink and at cooler times of the day. Or ride inside on a trainer. It seems like I’m always hots and sweating in my third trimester. You don’t want to raise your core temperature too much as it puts your baby at risk.
Remember, every pregnancy and every person is different. Listen to your mind and body to do what’s best for you and your baby!