Cycling during pregnancy is possible

Even during pregnancy cycling is recommended as a physical activity. It is easy on the joints, relieves the pelvic floor and does not stress the baby. Towards the end of pregnancy, cycling is often more comfortable than walking. Numerous studies have shown that moderate physical activity during pregnancy is healthy for both mother and child. Expecting mothers who are more physically active suffer from less bodily discomfort throughout the pregnancy and complications are less likely to occur during childbirth. So, if you enjoy cycling and are experiencing a normal pregnancy, there is no reason to give up on it, as long as you feel comfortable.

Adjustment options of the bicycle

When the belly grows, an upright sitting position is often more comfortable. Therefore, either the saddle has to be set to a lower or the handlebars to a higher position. The handlebar stem also plays an important role: most of the times it is adjustable, if not, you should replace it.
Consult your local bike shop! A lower crossbar (ladies’ bicycle) makes it easier to get on and off the bike. Sometimes it is useful to vary the seating position a little. Make use of this as the belly grows and the strain on your hands, posterior and back changes. A saddle suspension can be retrofitted to absorb unpleasant bounces to belly and back.

Health information

The sense of balance might change throughout the course of pregnancy. If you notice this, you should adjust your cycling behaviour accordingly. Due to a higher risk of falling, cycling without suitable equipment (spiked tyres) is not recommendable on hard-packed snow or black ice. Crashes can cause pregnancy complications – please do not take that risk. When planning a longer ride think of your circulation and do not overdo it. Avoid too much sun exposure, make use of sunscreen and drink enough. It is important for you to listen to your body and allow yourself a break if necessary.

This medical information comes from the German Sport University Cologne, Council for Sport and Pregnancy.

Learn more about exercising during pregnancy.(German website)