Can you skateboard while pregnant? When female skateboarders fall pregnant, many take a break from the sport for the entire duration of their pregnancy while some continue for a couple of weeks or months. Those who are visibly pregnant and decide to continue skating raise a lot of eyebrows as people have their own two cents to give about the safety of the mother and her growing baby.
If you think of women who skated while pregnant, Jessica Starkweather is the name that comes to mind. Remember the viral photograph of the nine-month pregnant lady who was skating? That is her and when she was asked about it she said that she felt enough confidence in her skills and could not imagine not skating at all. Her action raised a lot of eyebrows and to date, people have a lot of negative things to say about it while to some hardcore skaters, she is a legend.
In this article, I will try to address all of your growing concerns and keep you informed of the benefits, disadvantages, and myths surrounding skateboarding while being pregnant. However, as a quick disclaimer, I am no doctor so it is best to consult with your obstetrician on which activities are best suited for you while being pregnant.
Reasons Why You Should Not Skateboard While Pregnant
To begin with, here are a couple of reasons why you should not skate while pregnant.
You Have A Higher Risk Of Falling On Your Stomach
Skateboarding is a fall prone activity. This makes it one of the exercises pregnant women should not embark on. It requires balance and this is a major reason why skating shoes were specifically designed for skaters because it helps them have a maximum feel of the board. Due to pregnancy hormones, the joints get loosened making you clumsy and susceptible to slips and slides.
Pregnancy also adds a couple of extra pounds and this is not distributed equally. Instead, it is focused on one area, your belly which keeps expanding as the day goes by. This throws off your centre of gravity. In the event of a fall, you would most likely land on your stomach which could result in premature labour, a fetal injury, and in the worst-case scenario, a miscarriage.
You Could Lose Your Baby
Skateboarding involves jumping which is a very rigorous activity. In the first trimester, skateboarding may not have much of an effect on you and your baby but further, along the line, it could lead to a miscarriage, bleeding, trigger contractions, preterm labour, and fracture ligaments and joints. It is also highly possible that the uterus pounds against the cervix and other pregnancy complications could arise.
You Could Affect The Growth Of Your Baby
Skateboarding is a very vigorous sport and studies have shown that participating in it while being pregnant could reduce the birth weight of your baby. However, the effect is not adverse at all.
Here is one myth surrounding skateboarding during pregnancy. Many people assume that the motions during skateboarding could bounce the fetus in your womb. This is not only impossible but absolutely ridiculous. Babies actually find this soothing. The only danger you are in when skating is being hurt. This does not mean that you are allowed to skateboard as skateboarding while pregnant is a very risky affair that does much more harm than good. However, if you do intend on skateboarding while pregnant, there are a few things you must know.
You Should Only Skateboard If You Are Highly Experienced and Confident You Can Handle It
If you have been a pro skateboarder long before you became pregnant, then you may be able to skateboard for the beginning months of your pregnancy. However, you must not forget that you may fall. As a pro, you would have an idea of what is acceptable and what is not.
Engage In Very Low-Risk Tricks
Low-risk tricks prevent the likeliness of you and your baby getting injured while practising your beloved sport. A few adjustments to your skateboarding style is a must. Also, you must make sure you skate in places with no obstacles whatsoever.
Always Wear Protective Gear
This is necessary regardless of you being pregnant or not. Your helmet has to be on, your knee and elbow pads, your wrist guards, and lastly your shatterproof glasses. Also, ensure that your board and helmet are in perfect condition.
You Should Consult Your Doctor Immediately These Symptoms Appear
The following symptoms could occur whether you’re a pro or a beginner: headaches, muscle weakness, dizziness, chest pains, bleeding or calf swelling. These serve as warning signs to desist from whichever activity you were doing.
If you do intend on quitting skateboarding, you should know that there are other exercises you could do instead. There are several low-risk exercises suited for pregnant women which helps them along the way. They include stationary bicycling, walking, swimming, modified Pilates, and modified yoga. Listed below are some benefits of exercising during your pregnancy.
You Stand a Lower Chance of Developing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is an intolerance to glucose that most pregnant women develop in the early stages of their pregnancy. Exercising trains large muscle groups which help normalize your blood sugar levels. This means that your insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization will be improved. Women who suffer from this condition tend to have severe injuries when giving birth.
Exercising Helps Reduce Back Pain in Pregnant Women
Exercise tends to strengthen the back, buttock, abdominal, thigh, and pelvic muscles which helps relieve back pain.
You May Reduce Your Risk of Giving Birth via Caesarian Section
Women who exercise during their pregnancy will most likely not suffer any complications during childbirth. This makes birth by caesarian delivery an unlikely option to consider.
It Ensures Healthy Weight Gain during Pregnancy
Adding weight while being pregnant is normal. A lot of women get finicky about this and while it is possible to become obese during pregnancy it is best to stay within the healthy limit. Discuss with your doctor about the optimal weight you should be at and how you could achieve it and maintain it at no risk to your baby.
You Will Have a Lower Risk of Developing Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a severe condition or complication some pregnant women suffer from. It involves blood pressure spikes and severe damages to body organs, usually the kidneys and the liver. Women who exercise often during pregnancy stand a lower chance of having this complication.
Skateboarding is much too risky if you are pregnant. Pregnancy has the highest amount of risk during the first and third trimesters and taking a harsh fall while skating further increases the level of risk. Put it on the back burner for a couple of months and try alternate exercises to improve yours and your baby’s health.