By Erin Irish
A common misconception is that participating in sports or exercising while pregnant is unsafe for a woman and her unborn child. While it can be unsafe, it isn’t necessarily true that women should stop playing sports just because they are pregnant. Exercise and participation in sports is recommended, when prescribed by the physician, because it will keep the woman physically healthy. There are many factors that go into determining whether a woman should take a break on the sidelines or to continue to play.
Certain sports should be avoided, but others are not only harmless but beneficial for women during pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid contact sports because of the danger of impact on the stomach. Sports such as soccer and hockey should be postponed until after the pregnancy. Weightlifting should be strictly regulated because of the danger of lifting weights that are too heavy. This puts too much strain on the body and could lead to miscarriage. However, non-contact sports and exercise are entirely safe to partake in if the woman is cleared by her doctor. A woman should always communicate and follow the instructions of her doctor by attending regular check-ups. A woman should not participate until her physician clears her. Though she may have regularly participated before the pregnancy, unforeseen or unknown issues or complications that can only be determined by a doctor may arise and could significantly impact an unborn child. Therefore, a woman must consult with medical professionals before making any decisions about exercise and sports.