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Is It Safe To Ride a Motorcycle While Pregnant?

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The safety of motorcycles has always been a heated debate. There are those that accept that motorcycles have their own risks but with precautions can be safe, while others believe that they are death traps!

When you add to those safety concerns being pregnant, it becomes a different story.

Many riders swear that when wearing the correct gear and equipment that riding a motorcycle is no more dangerous than driving a car. But there are far more incidents of serious injury and deaths of motorcyclists than car drivers.

Is It Safe To Ride A Motorcycle While Pregnant?

While you are pregnant you have two lives to consider, yours and your unborn child. Many doctors advise against riding a motorcycle while you are pregnant as it is considered a high-risk activity. 

Riding a motorcycle puts a lot of strain on your body – your heart rate speeds up, the amount of adrenaline and cortisol in your system increases, and your muscles work to maintain your balance.

This means that you are putting further stress on a body that is already supporting the lives of two people. Motorcycles are dangerous and there are more fatal incidents that occur on motorcycles than in cars.

There has been a great deal of research carried out on this matter and a lot of them conclude that motorcycles provide much greater risks than cars – to all riders, not just those that are pregnant.

In the USA, motorcycles account for only 3% of registered vehicles, yet motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2014. And the number of deaths continues to rise.

Data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System showed that motorcycle-related deaths increased by 58% from 2000 to 2014.

You must remember that there are still the usual risks when riding a motorcycle, such as being hit by another vehicle and this could cause injury to yourself and your unborn child.

Again, with regard to safety, it will come down to whether you rode a motorcycle frequently before you were pregnant and how experienced you are.

Safety Equipment

If you do decide to continue to ride a motorcycle while you are pregnant, you need to ensure that you have all the correct safety equipment.

Wearing good quality and appropriate safety gear does greatly reduce the severity and number of injuries you could get in an accident. But they will not make you invincible! 

Helmets, jackets, boots, gloves, and pants will help you to feel as safe as they possibly can while riding.

Motorcycle safety equipment has certainly come a long way in the last few years and they will prevent you from getting bumps, scrapes, bruises, and possible broken bones.

But it will only protect you up to a certain point. If you hit a wall fast enough with enough power behind you no amount of high-end safety equipment is going to save you.

Should Pregnant Women Ride Motorcycles?

Look I’m not going to go and tell any woman what they can and can’t do. I have never ridden a motorcycle and in fact, they terrify me. But everyone is different, with different circumstances and experiences. 

If I was asked if a pregnant woman should ride a motorcycle, I would probably say no. But at the end of the day, it is the individual decision of each woman to make for themselves.

Is It Safe To Ride A Bike While Pregnant?

Riding a bike while you are pregnant is not considered a risk in itself. But you are far more vulnerable when you are pregnant than you are when you weren’t. 

For example. during the first trimester, nausea and dizziness are common symptoms. This could result in a loss of balance which could lead to a potential fall.

It is so important to listen to your body and if you feel lightheaded to stop immediately. There are precautions that you can take to prevent this, ensuring you are well hydrated and that you are not riding on an empty stomach.

Another thing to consider while you are pregnant is that your high progesterone levels can loosen your ligaments making them more prone to tears or strains.

Ensure that you stretch before and after a ride, that you do not push yourself too much, and that if you feel any sort of strain that you slow the intensity or stop.

In the third trimester, there are a few activities that become risky simply because your center of gravity has shifted which affect your balance and increases your risk of falls.

Depending on the type of bike you are riding, by the third trimester, your baby bump is going to make it uncomfortable for you to lean forward on a bike.

It is especially important to lower your risk of falls in this last trimester as any direct trauma to the abdomen could cause a placental bleed.

Going for a leisurely bike ride may seem like a pretty low-risk activity, especially early in your pregnancy. But the risk is going to very much depend on how fit and active you were before you became pregnant.

If you worked out regularly and rode a bike frequently then it is more than likely going to be safe for you to continue. If you didn’t work out regularly or ride a bike often then while you are pregnant is probably not the best time to start.

If you did want to continue cycling while you are pregnant then a  stationary exercise bike would be less risky as the potential of falling is lower.

woman riding an off road

Is It Safe To Go Off-Roading While Pregnant?

The quick answer would be no but there are plenty of women who have and not experienced any complications.

Off-roading would be considered a high-risk activity. It is also not recommended that you take part in any activity that has a lot of jerky or bouncy movements. 

If you drive slowly enough it is possible that you could avoid any complications from off-roading. However, even at low speeds, off-roading can pose risks to your pregnancy – which I am sure no woman wants to experience.

If you are still considering going off-road, it is best to check with your doctor first, just to be sure.

There are lots of factors to consider such as how far along you are, the health of your pregnancy, your own health, and any risks associated with your pregnancy.

Overall off-roading itself isn’t dangerous. But just because not everyone who has gone off-roading while pregnant did not experience any complications, doesn’t mean that you should put yourself and your baby at any risk.

Off-Roading Safety Tips While Pregnant

If you do decide to go off-roading while you are pregnant, there are a few precautions that you should take. These extra precautions can not guarantee the safety of you or your baby, they can help to keep you safe.

  • Take things slowly
  • Make sure that you have doors on your vehicle.
  • Open your windows or use A/C
  • Be sure that you are ready for anything.

Off-Roading To Avoid

There are a few types of off-roading that you should definitely avoid while you are pregnant.

  • Any off-roading race
  • Steep trails
  • Very bumpy or uneven roads.

Should You Ride a 4-Wheeler When Pregnant?

No, they should really be avoided – definitely avoid ATVs, four-wheelers, or dirt bikes. These kinds of vehicles are especially dangerous to drive off-road to anybody, no matter if you are pregnant or not.

This is because they have no doors, roof, or roll cage. Yet in a car, all these safety features exist in order to keep the occupants safe.

It would be advised to avoid these kinds of vehicles while you are pregnant in order to protect yourself and your unborn baby.

woman riding a 4 wheeler

FAQs

Can bumpy rides affect pregnancy?

There is no evidence to suggest that a bumpy car ride will harm your baby. Your baby is well cushioned and protected by your pelvis, tummy muscles, and the amniotic fluid that surrounds them.

Can traveling cause miscarriage?

Your baby is very safe inside the womb and is not affected by gravity. Simple jerks, travel, climbing stairs, driving, or exercising cannot cause a miscarriage.

The Final Thought

Even with all the recommendations and advice that is available to you, the decision to ride a motorcycle, go off-roading or ride a bicycle is yours to make.

And even if you are advised that you can do any of these things, should you really be doing them? What you need to remember is that you are now not only responsible for your own life but for that of your unborn child.

And if anything happened to them because you took an unnecessary risk would you be able to forgive yourself.

Hi, I'm Emma and I'm a mother to 5 beautiful children aged from 1 to 21 years old- life is hectic! I have learned so much along the way, not only from my own children but also through my professional life. In my positions as a Childminder and Teaching Assistant, I have studied Child Development and The Early Years Developing Practice. I wish to share all of this knowledge and help you with your own parenting journey!