Gynecologists told whether pregnant women can ride a bike


Spoiler alert: You can ride a bike during pregnancy if you follow certain rules, gynecologists say.

Does anyone even decide to ride a bike while pregnant?

The Minsk Cycling Society presented the research "Bicycle and Children".

Belarusian public activists decided to raise the topic of cycling during pregnancy following the example of a bicycle activist Anna Atamanchuk - a young mother from Krivoy Rog presented a similar study during a cycling forum in Ukraine. She allowed to use the Ukrainian questionnaire in Belarus. Team Minsk Cycling Society adapted the questions to the Belarusian traffic rules and launched a survey.

In total, 110 women from all over Belarus took part in the study. The distribution of the questionnaire took place through social networks of cycling communities, so that the majority of those surveyed are active cyclists. 27.3% female respondents said they cycled during pregnancy. Most until the 5-6th month, but there are those who continued to ride until the 9th month


Slide from the presentation of the Minsk Cycling Society

The majority of women who answered that they did not ride a two-wheeled vehicle during pregnancy cited the absence of a bicycle at the time as the main reason (53.8%). The second most popular answer was “I was afraid to harm the child” (26,3%). 7,5% respondents said that they stopped traveling due to contraindications of the doctor.

во время беременности

Slide from the presentation of the Minsk Cycling Society

Almost half (45.6%) of the respondents said they would not avoid cycling in the event of a future pregnancy. However, many women (31.6%) admitted that they would suffer nine months without their favorite transport. There are two main reasons - poor cycling infrastructure (45.2%) and fear of hurting the child (40.5%).


Slide from the presentation of the Minsk Cycling Society

You can ride, but according to the rules

In Belarus, cycling is still so young that a pregnant woman on a bicycle will cause at least a feeling of surprise.

We asked obstetricians-gynecologists from different clinics about the specifics of driving during pregnancy.



- In many books you can read that cycling is prohibited for pregnant women. One of the reasons is a possible fall with subsequent injuries, explains the obstetrician-gynecologist Victoria Matvienko, head of the school for pregnant women "First Lastochka". But, you must admit, we all have the likelihood of stumbling, slipping, stumbling in everyday life. Women during pregnancy may not deprive themselves of their favorite hobby, subject to simple recommendations:

  1. You know how to ride a bike. Because getting on a bike for the first time during pregnancy is really dangerous.
  2. Try to keep your pace at a calm pace.
  3. Choose secluded, level paths for cycling to avoid shaking.
  4. Check with your health. If after the trip you do not have a stomach ache, there is no strong weakness, dizziness, then the walk was only good for you.
  5. You can not ride a bike for women with a threat of miscarriage, premature birth, an installed pessary and a suture on the cervix; with bloody discharge; with low, marginal or central placenta presentation.
  6. Observe an adequate drinking regime.
  7. Do not put too much stress on yourself, a quiet bike ride during pregnancy is the best option.
  8. If you have any questions or concerns, consult your doctor.


“Pregnant women can ride a bike during a short period of pregnancy, but it should be a walk without intense physical activity,” says the obstetrician-gynecologist of the Lode Medical Center Maria Vorobyova... - Or in cases where the bike is the only means of transportation, but you need to remember about safety. Cycling is contraindicated in the presence of perineal varicose veins.

As the doctor explained, during this period, more blood flows to the pelvic organs with any load on the legs and abdomen, which increases the volume of circulating blood in the pelvic area, and this can lead to a threat of miscarriage, detachment of the ovum, at a later date - placental abruption.

“Pregnancy in itself is an indication for dosing physical activity, regardless of whether a woman has previously been involved in sports or not,” the doctor said. At the same time, physical education for pregnant women is not only not contraindicated, but also useful. However, the lessons should be supervised by an experienced instructor. Still, during this period, a woman is responsible not only for herself, but also for a small life.

The specialist also touched on the topic of rapid weight gain, which worries many pregnant women:

“Weight gain is a natural process during pregnancy, but at the same time, you shouldn't worry that a woman who suddenly quit physical activity will immediately gain dozens of extra pounds,” explained the obstetrician-gynecologist of the LODE Medical Center. - It's still better to correct your shape with proper nutrition and fasting days - eat less sweet and carbohydrate foods, do not abuse large portions, drink moderate amounts of fluids, especially sugary juices and carbonated drinks.

Watch out, we are not the Netherlands yet

Natalia Maksimova, obstetrician-gynecologist of the women's clinic "Eva" recommends refraining from cycling if you live in Belarus, and using an exercise bike.

In safe conditions (good comfortable bike, good road surface), the bike is useful, like any exercise within reasonable limits. Cycling increases leg strength, develops your pelvic and hip muscles, trains your abs, and engages in moderate cardiovascular exercise. All this contributes to easier childbirth. But in Belarus the conditions for cyclists are far from ideal:

- When the topic of a bicycle comes up, we often compare ourselves with countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, where everyone rides bicycles for any period of time and absolutely does not deny themselves this, - the doctor notes. “But these countries have a good infrastructure and a bicycle is a very convenient form of transport, unlike Belarus, where there are practically no convenient and safe roads for cyclists.

In our country, according to Natalia Maksimova, the bicycle is more often used as a means of recreation or sports. Driving in a city, especially one as densely populated as Minsk, requires a lot of concentration to avoid collisions with pedestrians and other cyclists. By the way, a pregnant woman's concentration of attention is physiologically reduced and absent-mindedness appears, so for cycling it is better to choose separate bike roads, where there is no risk of a sudden appearance of a car or a pedestrian.

Also, the doctor recommended refraining from cycling for a short period of time, up to 12 weeks, since during this period the pregnancy has not yet "taken root" and the risk of miscarriage is most likely. You should not take risks in the late period - after 30 weeks.

But the obstetrician-gynecologist included active cyclists and athletes in a special group of pregnant women:

- Physical activity during pregnancy is needed rather to maintain a certain level of fitness. It is wrong to start a new sport during pregnancy, since you cannot strain and stretch new muscle groups, the doctor explained. - If a girl went in for sports or traveled regularly, 10-20 km a day, then she can continue, but, again, you need to carefully monitor your condition and check with your personal doctor about contraindications.

The survey "Bicycle and Children" was presented for the first time at an international forum "PraRovar" in Brest. The forum was organized by the Minsk Cycling Society and the Center for Environmental Solutions within the framework of the Urban Cycling in Belarus project with financial support from the European Union. The full version of the presentation "Bicycle and Children" is available link.

Text: Tatiana Zharnosek

Source: Tomorrow is your country

2019, February 12th

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