Cycling During Pregnancy – Benefits, Risks, Safety Guidelines
April 28, 2024
Cycling During Pregnancy – Benefits, Risks, Safety Guidelines


Cycling is an exciting way to work out, and many people enjoy it because of its health benefits and the freedom it brings.
However, most women, including pregnant women who love cycling, have one question: can I cycle while pregnant.
One thing is for sure: cycling while pregnant is a fantastic way to stay active and feel good. But more importantly, safety should be the priority.
This matter can be complicated. In this article, we will explore whether pregnant women can cycle. We will look at the upsides and downsides and give safety tips. These will help mothers-to-be make informed choices.

Can Expectant Mothers Ride Bicycles?

Biking while pregnant's safety depends on many things. These include your health, stage of pregnancy, and past cycling.
Suppose you cycled often before getting pregnant. You stayed healthy during your pregnancy. Just follow your doctor's guidance. This is especially true in the early stages of conceiving.
Still, as pregnancy progresses, these body changes may raise the risks of bike riding.

Advantages of Cycling Exercise during Pregnancy

Below are some advantages of cycling when expecting a baby

Enhances Cardiovascular Health

Cycling is an effective aerobic exercise that improves heart function and blood circulation. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant people should maintain their cardiovascular fitness. You can do this by doing moderate aerobic exercises for 150 minutes weekly.

Control Weight Gain

It is critical for both mothers' body development during pregnancy. Regular bicycling helps burn calories, which contributes to controlling weight gain. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that modest weight control can lower risks like gestational diabetes and hypertension.

Reduce Discomfort During Pregnancy

Decreases symptoms like backache, swelling legs etc during pregnancies. Cycling builds leg muscles. It also boosts blood supply to the lower legs. This helps reduce swelling and discomfort there. Some studies suggest that ordinary aerobic exercises might help reduce back aches during pregnancies.

Increases Mood As Well As Sleep

Exercise makes the body release endorphins. They are natural "feel good" hormones. They improve moods and reduce anxiety. They also lessen depression in pregnant women. Furthermore, regular physical activities improve the quality of sleep.

Preparation for Birth

Regular aerobic exercise, like cycling, can build the strength needed for labor endurance. According to some studies, moderate exercise can shorten labor time and reduce the risk of cesarean section.

Risks While Biking When Pregnant

The possibility of danger related to pedaling varies according to trimester due to body transformation.

First Three Months

  • Difficulty with balance: As hormones change, they affect your balance and coordination, increasing the risk of falls.
  • Fatigue: More progesterone makes you tired. This makes exercise harder.

Second Trimester

  • Change in weight distribution: As your belly grows, your weight shifts, affecting riding position and balance.
Joint laxity:
  • Relaxin is a hormone: It makes ligaments and joints loose. This makes falling injuries more likely.

Late Pregnancy

  • Increased fall risks: Further growth in the abdomen begins to affect cycling performance. Because abnormal weight can change your balance on the bike.
  • Comfort Issues: The cycling position may be uncomfortable due to a ballooning midsection.

Safety Precautions When Riding Bicycles While Pregnant

Consult your doctor before cycling. They can give personalized advice based on your health and pregnancy.

Choose The Right Bike

Particularly later in pregnancy, one could opt for stationary bikes. Stationary bikes offer more stability and fewer chances of falling. For outdoor riding, stepped frames would ease installation and removal.

Wear Proper Gear

This means a well-fitting helmet and clothes. The clothes should not restrict your movement or blood flow. Extra comfort can be obtained by having padded shorts that allows room for growth during this period.

Stay Hydrated And Well-Fed

Pregnant women need more water. Drink lots before, during, and after the ride. Do not forget about the calorie intake required by your body during pregnancy. It is therefore important to carry water with you while riding so that you do not get dehydrated when riding.

Listen To Your Body

If you feel dizzy, short of breath, or have abdominal pain, stop riding. Don't push too hard.

Choose The Right Maternity Cycling Clothes

Choosing the Right Maternity Cycling Clothes Can Improve Comfort And Safety:
  • Fabric: Look for breathable, stretchy fabrics to accommodate your expanding belly.
  • Fit: Your sweatshirt mustn't be too tight in order not to restrict movements and blood flow.
  • Support: There are jerseys designed with built-in support for the abdomen and back, which is very useful as a woman experiences body changes.


  1. Can I ride a bike indoors or outdoors during pregnancy?
Cycling, indoor or outdoor, can be done safely during pregnancy, though it is advisable to always ride stationary at home. This is because indoors are safer than outdoors. There are fewer falls and other risks outside.
  1. What postures should you consider when riding a bicycle during pregnancy?
You should be in a comfy sitting position. Your handlebars and seat should be adjusted. They keep you from leaning too far forward and support your back.
  1. Do I need special cycling clothing?
Pregnant women are advised to choose special maternity clothing suitable for cycling. It's not required, but special maternity cycling jerseys can add comfort and support. They make the ride safer and more comfy.
  1. What are the benefits of cycling for pregnant women and their babies?
These include better heart health, easier labor, less pregnancy discomfort, better mood, and more energy.
  1. When should I stop cycling?
It varies by person. But, it's usually advised to stop cycling if there are signs of discomfort or balance problems. This is especially true in the end (third trimester), as your healthcare provider advises.
In conclusion, cycling can be beneficial during pregnancy if done safely and with the proper precautions. Remember that safety comes first.

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