With Emily Cavignaux, midwife
You’re pregnant and the call of the bike is still swarming in your legs… Before you start, one question torments you: Can I ride a bike when I’m pregnant? What precautions to take? We take stock with Emily Cavignaux, midwife.
Can a pregnant woman ride a bike?
Is cycling allowed during pregnancy? The answer is yes, as Emily Cavignaux explains:“As a rule, sport is highly recommended during pregnancy (exception: diving). Cycling can therefore be practiced by a pregnant woman without any problems. In fact, that’s a good thing, because cycling is a great way to keep fit. This activity makes it possible, for example, to relieve lumbar pain, increase blood circulation and also reduce water retention.”
Falls, climbs… What precautions for cyclists planning to ride a bike while pregnant?
Although cycling during pregnancy is an activity with many benefits and benefits, it is still important to take it up a number of precautionss, as Emily Cavignaux explains: “Of course it must be emphasized that every pregnancy is different and that some pregnant women may have contraindications for cycling. Before you begin, don’t hesitate to a Medical report at the doctor or gynecologist, who gives the green light”. Furthermore, in addition to the importance of asking the opinion of health professionals, it is of course necessary to be careful, especially because of the risk of falling: “Mountain biking or cycling around town is not recommended, especially if the mother-to-be is a beginner cyclist”. Of course, it is up to everyone to find the most suitable (and most pleasant) place, in the country or in the city. For greater comfort and safety, we will preferentially use bike lanes, which are increasingly present in cities and on the roads.
What position to take on the bike when pregnant?
From the beginning of pregnancy, the correct position on the bike is very important, especially to avoid back pain. To sit comfortably, your saddle must be perfectly level and not tilted forward. As your stomach begins to round, you naturally pedal with your legs wide apart and your knees slightly turned out.
Can I ride an exercise bike at home or indoors when I’m pregnant?
No time or desire to cycle the cycle paths of France? Use your pregnancy to test that training bike! At home or in the gym, it allows you to progress at your own pace: “When you start exercising, it’s important that you can do it at your own pace. Practicing the exercise bike therefore allows you to start slowly and not to overtax your body », advises the midwife. On the safety side, you also eliminate the risk of falls
Which bike during pregnancy?
If you’re planning to ride a bike while you’re pregnant, there are a few adjustments you can make to your bike to make it as comfortable as possible. First, it is recommended to use a “Dutch” type city bike with raised handlebars so you can keep your back straight. If this is your second pregnancy, you can also buy a cargo bike to transport your first child. Go for a wide and comfortable saddle that is easy to adjust to suit your needs. Remember to equip your bike with a mirror and a hazard spreader (to encourage motorists to dodge). Conveniently, you can attach a basket to the front or rear of the bike to store your bag or small purchases.
Labor, bleeding… Does cycling make sense at the beginning and end of pregnancy? When should you stop cycling during pregnancy?
Just as there are no general contraindications related to cycling, the beginning or end of pregnancy are not periods when cycling should be banned, but as Emily Cavignaux reminds us, it’s important to hear: “There may come a time when the bike becomes uncomfortable due to the development of pregnancy. In this case, there is no point in continuing. Ditch your bike and focus on hiking, swimming, or building muscle. It will be much more comfortable for an expectant mother, especially when your tummy starts to round. » In any case, stop the bike as soon as you feel that you are off balance: risking a fall is obviously dangerous.
And after pregnancy? What precautions for the dam?
Postpartum is often a stressful time. Should sporting activities and especially cycling be avoided for some time after childbirth? Not necessarily, Emily Cavignaux replies: “Again, it is quite possible to practice cycling after the birth. However, it is very important to listen to your body well. If you are extremely exhausted, it is important to take it easy and rest. » On the calendar side, avoid getting back on the bike too early: a delay of two to three weeks after birth is recommended.
Do bicycles and dams go together?
During pregnancy, avoid any physical activity that causes even slight bumps in the perineal area. The bicycle is no exception. Biking during pregnancy is a good perineal activity because, like other practices, cycling helps develop the deep abdominal muscles that protect the perineum. Physical activity also promotes good oxygen delivery capacity. On the other hand, it is necessary to avoid driving on a rough road that can affect the dam. No mountain biking during pregnancy, of course! When resuming cycling after childbirth (postpartum), it is important to have previously started perineal rehabilitation and to ask your doctor if resuming cycling is possible. Favor models with a straight back and low entry for easier entry. For the saddle, choose a wide model that allows good perineal discharge.