When you are pregnant, you have another life to consider besides your own. Because of this, you become extremely aware of everything you are doing and try to minimize all risks.
You may start to question doing things that would otherwise be fun for you.
While there are plenty of physical activities that are safe and recommended for pregnancy, there are several risky activities that should be avoided, or extremely modified, until after your baby has arrived.
1. I Went Down a Waterslide While Pregnant
Waterslides may seem harmless compared to roller coasters, but they are still unsafe for pregnancy.
The bumpy movements experienced while traveling at a high speed can pose a risk for your unborn baby and may cause pregnancy complications. This is especially true in the last trimester.
As well as the bumps and the speed, there is a risk that someone may come down behind you and accidentally kick or hit you in the stomach.
It is best to avoid waterslides altogether and save them for a time when you are not pregnant!
2. Horseback Riding While Pregnant
Pregnancy is not the time to pick up horseback riding if you have never done it before. If you are an experienced rider, however, you may be able to continue to ride (with approval from your doctor) through your first trimester.
After the first trimester, there are greater risks when riding horseback with a baby in tow, and most obstetricians recommend hitting the pause button.
Your body changes, it is harder for you to keep your balance in the saddle, and there is a high risk of falling and causing trauma to yourself or your baby.
3. Downhill Skiing While Pregnant
The act of skiing, in itself, while pregnant is not overly risky. The real risk comes from the people around you and the chances of colliding or falling.
This poses a risk of abdominal trauma that can be very dangerous for your growing little one. Most doctors recommend not skiing while pregnant due to the high fall and collision risk.
If you are an experienced skier, you may continue to ski while pregnant, but you should be cautious about where and when you ski, and be aware of the risks.
Skiing downhill may not be the best thing to do while pregnant. Stick to smaller slopes or flatter courses that are not heavily populated.
4. Water Skiing While Pregnant
Similar to snow skiing, water skiing poses a high risk of falling and/or abdominal trauma. For this reason, you are advised to avoid water skiing during pregnancy.
There is also a small risk of infection from contaminated water that could be harmful or fatal to your unborn baby.
5. Cross-Country Skiing While Pregnant
Pregnancy is not the time to learn how to cross-country ski. It is too great of a risk for a pregnant novice.
If you are an experienced skier, however, you may continue to ski at certain points of your pregnancy, but your activity should be adjusted to ensure the safety of you and your baby.
The second trimester is the best time to keep up with your fitness during pregnancy and would be the best time to hit the slopes, gently, if you know what you are doing.
Avoid skiing in crowded places, and avoid any unnecessary risks, such as big slopes, jumps, and extremely fast speeds.
6. Ice Skating While Pregnant
Keeping your balance while pregnant is hard enough on solid ground — let’s not try it on ice!
Ice skating is a lot of fun and can be a great form of exercise, but it is not the safest thing to do while pregnant.
Falling on ice can cause severe trauma and is a huge risk that you should not take while carrying a little one.
7. Roller Skating While Pregnant
Roller skating may be safe during the first trimester, however, as your belly begins to grow, it may be best to put the skates up for a while. Like skiing and ice skating, rollerblading poses a high fall risk and can cause abdominal trauma.
If you are an experienced skater, you may continue to skate during pregnancy, but you should be smart and safe about it.
Skating can be a great way to keep fit during pregnancy as long as you do it safely. Avoid skating in crowds, take it easy, and always wear your safety gear.
8. Rock Climbing While Pregnant
Rock climbing can actually be a great form of exercise while pregnant. Like other physical activities and pregnancy, it needs to be done safely.
You should not boulder or free climb while pregnant. Stick to rope climbing as it is the safest way to climb and protect your baby.
Like other activities, there are safety concerns and risks such as abdominal trauma. However, if you are experienced and careful, you should be able to continue climbing throughout your pregnancy.
9. Roller Coaster While Pregnant
This one is a big NO! Riding a roller coaster is not safe at any point in pregnancy.
Any rides with sudden drops, jerky turns, or lots of force on the body increase the risk of placental abruption. This can be life-threatening for your baby.
10. Bumper Cars While Pregnant
Riding bumper cars is another activity that should probably wait until after you have your baby. Any jerky movements or forceful blows on your body could be life-threatening for your unborn child, not to mention nausea they may cause!
11. Go-Karts While Pregnant
I’d say that riding go-karts while pregnant is an “At Your Own Risk” type of activity. It can be done safely, but it can also be very dangerous. Go-kart rides can be bumpy, which is not ideal for the little one in your belly.
12. Playing Volleyball While Pregnant
This is another example of a sport that you can do safely while pregnant, but you must be extremely cautious as you move further along in your pregnancy.
The biggest risks in playing volleyball are getting hit in the stomach by the ball, falling, or straining while jumping to hit the ball.
If you want to play volleyball with a group of your friends, you are probably fine as long as everyone agrees to play safely and not hit the ball too hard in your direction.
You should also take precautions by sticking to outside positions, not diving or jumping for the ball, and hitting the ball underhand to avoid strain. Play gently, and listen to your body.
13. Playing Softball While Pregnant
Softball may be a safe activity during the first trimester but not so much beyond that point.
Swinging the bat and jerky movements can cause harmful strain, and there is always a chance that a ball will hit your belly. The risk of colliding with another player is also high in this sport.
14. Jogging During Pregnancy
Jogging is a safe form of exercise for pregnant women, especially those who are used to running before pregnancy. It can be done at any point of pregnancy, although most women are too uncomfortable to run beyond the second trimester.
I was able to run up until I was 7 months pregnant with my twins. I know other women who went for a jog the morning of their delivery. It really depends on your body.
If you want to jog during pregnancy, it is important to listen to your body. Stop when it becomes uncomfortable, and never run if it is painful. Avoid getting your heart rate too high as this can be harmful to your baby.
As you progress in your pregnancy, jog slowly to avoid losing your balance and falling.
15. Skydiving While Pregnant
This would be number one on my list of things to not do while pregnant, with roller coasters right behind it. While it is technically okay to do during your first trimester, the risks are still too high, and I, personally, would avoid it.
Skydiving has heavy risks while not pregnant. Those same risks exist while pregnant in addition to the risk of harming your baby. There is a risk of injury, forceful impacts/blows, and head or abdominal trauma.
16. Cycling While Pregnant
Doing a spin class was my main form of exercise while pregnant. Cycling does not pose risk to your baby as long as you take the necessary precautions.
As with jogging or other physical activity, it is important to listen to your body. Take it easy, and keep your heart rate below 140 bpm.
As your belly grows, you may opt to ride a stationary bike rather than a real bike for balance purposes and to prevent falling.
If you are doing a spin class, it may become more difficult to stand and sit, so remain sitting if you get too uncomfortable or cannot stand safely.
17. Boxing While Pregnant
Boxing is a stress-relieving exercise that will help you remain active during pregnancy. With your doctor’s permission, there are ways to make boxing a safe activity to do while pregnant.
It is best to avoid hard kicks and punches after your second trimester. Avoid boxing with another person to avoid the risk of injury. Box with a punching bag instead.
It is also important to take frequent breaks to avoid overheating, which can be dangerous for the fetus. You should stop boxing if you experience extreme pain, vaginal bleeding, painful contractions, or leakage of fluid of any kind.
18. Bowling While Pregnant
Bowling is a safe and fun family activity that you can participate in while pregnant. There is always a risk of losing your balance, especially on the slippery floor, so be careful, and walk slowly, or have someone else walk with you.
It is also best to roll the ball slowly and not strain yourself while trying to throw the ball forcefully.
19. Hot Tub While Pregnant
Doctors recommend bypassing hot tubs during pregnancy as they can raise your body temperature too high. If you insist on going in a hot tub, experts advise limiting it to less than 10 minutes at a time.
20. Sauna While Pregnant
Like hot tubs, saunas can raise your body temperature too high, which can be dangerous for your baby. It is advised to avoid them altogether. If you do go in a sauna while pregnant, limit your time and avoid sitting next to the heat source.
While it may seem like there are a lot of things you can’t do while pregnant, remember that it is only temporary and worth the wait.
Pregnancy goes by really quickly, and you will be back doing the fun things you love before you even know it!
Charlynn is an educator and mom to fraternal boy/girl twins. She loves learning through the experiences she has with her littles and using her knowledge to help other moms as they embark on the journey of motherhood.