Is Biking While Pregnant OK?

Is Biking While Pregnant OK?

How Staying in the Bike Saddle Can Improve Your Life During and After Pregnancy

Kaden Apparel - Pregnant Cyclist Wearing the Florence Jersey and Primo Maternity Padded Bike Shorts

**Before diving into this topic, you must know that this article is not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or medical professional before undertaking any physical activity during pregnancy.**

For any athletic person, deciding which activities you can continue while pregnant can be confusing. Not only do you have to consider your changing physical state, but then there’s also the mental and emotional side of determining what is safe and healthy for both you and your growing babe. How do you retain your physical autonomy and active lifestyle while literally sharing your body with another person!? 

The answer is, stay in the mountain bike saddle, girl! 

As long as you feel up for it, enjoy the freedom of your bike before the arrival of your baby which will likely usher in more sleepless nights and new responsibilities. We’ve put together a short guide to help keep you in the saddle as long as you can. We’ll give you the benefits, tips to make it more enjoyable, as well as some precautions to keep in mind. 

As always, consult with your doctor and, most of all, listen to your body when undertaking any activities during your pregnancy. Every pregnancy is unique; it is important to speak with your doctor about your own situation and gauge your activity accordingly.

Kaden Apparel - Gravel Biking While Pregnant

Staying on the Bike

It has become more widely known that staying active during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Activity will boost your mental state and keep your body in shape for the labor ahead; bringing life into the world is no walk in the park! 

Need a little motivation to get back in the saddle?

Here are 10 benefits biking can have on you during pregnancy.

10 Benefits of Biking Through Pregnancy 

  1. Biking is low impact, making it easier on your joints than some other activities, such as running
  2. Getting fresh air helps boost your mood and energy levels
  3. Studies have shown that it could shorten your labor 
  4. It can reduce bloating and swelling
  5. Staying active during pregnancy tends to result in faster postpartum recovery
  6. Keeping your body moving with this low-impact activity can reduce body aches (especially lower back pain)
  7. Some studies show it can lower your risk of gestational diabetes 
  8. Biking is an aerobic exercise so it will reduce stress and promote good circulation
  9. It can help you maintain your strength and reduce overall pregnancy weight gain
  10. Staying on your bike helps you maintain bonds with the sport and community you love, and you should never underestimate the importance of community during this phase of your life! 

Many physical activities can offer similar benefits, but biking is also unique in many ways. There are many reasons why staying in the saddle is good for you and your growing babe, and this list should give you ample reason to stay on your bike throughout pregnancy.

Kaden Apparel - Gravel Biking During Pregnancy

While it is an excellent way to stay in shape and retain your sense of self during the 9 months you are growing another human, there are also some things to keep in mind. Each trimester brings with it different challenges as your body adapts. Below are 5 things to keep in mind as your pregnancy progresses. 

5 Ways to Make Biking More Enjoyable While Pregnant

1. Be kind to yourself. You are growing another human, your athletic capabilities will likely be different than you are used to.

2. Don’t be afraid to adapt your bike or switch things up. 

  • Help out your sit bones and throw on a wide and cushy seat
  • Using wider and more upright handlebars later in pregnancy will make a world of difference when you need more room for your growing belly
  • Switch to flat pedals (as opposed to clipless pedals) if your balance is feeling a little off

3. Ride with friends that understand and support your new pace.

4. Find a doctor that understands your active lifestyle and desire to continue biking.

5. Stay comfortable and invest in maternity-specific bike clothing, you won’t regret it! (Check out our Primo Padded Maternity Bike Shorts)

Kaden Apparel - Primo Maternity Cycling Shorts


Before Biking, Know Your Body and Seek Medical Advice

Pregnancy is not an illness, and shouldn’t be treated like one. Some days you will be more tired than others and deserve to rest. But if you feel up for it, get in the saddle and spend some time in the forest, desert, or on the bike path. 

Where you take your bike during your pregnancy will depend on your personal comfort level and assessment of risk. Compromised balance is a common symptom of pregnancy as your center of gravity changes, so keep this in mind when deciding what kind of terrain you want to tackle.  Drops and big rock rollers will most likely be out of the question.

To be honest, it's difficult to give universal advice for pregnancies. The most important thing is that you listen to your body and the medical professionals that are caring for you throughout this journey. Pregnancy causes our entire bodies to change and with it needs to come patience and the understanding that some days you won’t feel great and that is ok, taking days off will be necessary. 

Medical Risks

Everything comes with its risks during pregnancy and riding your bike is no exception. Here are a few things to keep in mind. 

  1. Balance may be challenging so choose terrain accordingly (a stationary bike can sometimes be the best answer).
  2. Dehydration. Always carry and drink plenty of water (even more than you normally would).
  3. Hunger and crashing energy levels. Keep an ample supply of healthy and salty snacks in your bag to make sure you don’t have any bonks out on the trail. 
  4. Higher than ideal heart rate. Talk with your doctor about what level you should try to stay in.
  5. Overheating. Try and keep rides to cooler hours of the day or ride inside on a stationary bike if the temps are soaring. 

Kaden Apparel - Cycling Apparel for Women - Pregnancy Bike Shorts and More!

Ride it Out

At the end of the day, you want to enjoy your pregnancy, and treasure this special time in your life while also keeping up with the activities you love. As long as you consult with your doctor and listen to your body, you will do great. 

If you feel up for it, hit the trails with a buddy and enjoy the wind in your hair. Getting out there doesn’t have to be an all-day affair, even 30 minutes on the bike can have massive physical and mental benefits. Fuel yourself all pregnancy long with sunshine, plenty of salty snacks, and fresh air.

Just think, within the next few months you will be back out on the trails with a little lighter load. After that, it won’t be too long before you’ll have a new biking buddy following along on your trail adventures!

Kaden Apparel Gravel Biking During Pregnancy



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