As a mother to be, staying safe is your top priority.
But this doesn’t mean that you should avoid physical activity.
According to pregnancy experts from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), certain activities such as pickleball are both safe and beneficial for pregnant women.
Is Pickleball Safe for Pregnant Women?
Although racquet sports like pickleball are generally safe to play during pregnancy, it is important to take safety precautions.
Remember to speak to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine during pregnancy.
Once you’re on the court, pay attention to your body.
If you feel dizzy or tired, don’t keep going!
Don’t push yourself too hard, and remember to stay hydrated – drink plenty of water during each game.
You should also bear in mind that your pickleball game may be slightly different when you’re pregnant.
As a pregnant woman, you may not be able to pivot or hit low balls as easily.
So, you can still have fun on the court, but you may not win as often as you did before falling pregnant!
Benefits of Playing Pickleball When Pregnant
Pickleball is not only safe, it is actually beneficial for expectant mothers who want to play sports.
Playing pickleball while pregnant can raise your stamina and endurance.
It can also help you improve your balance and coordination.
Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many women.
Pickleball is a great way to reduce that stress and anxiety, and improve both your mental and physical health.
Pickleball doesn’t involve a high chance of injury.
It won’t cause strain on your joints and ligaments, which are already working overtime during pregnancy.
Pickleball also doesn’t require as much endurance as other hobbies, as the strenuous activity comes in short spurts.
This makes it ideal for women who want to keep playing sports during pregnancy.
Precautions to Take When Playing Pickleball During Pregnancy
In order to stay as healthy and safe as possible as your pregnancy progresses, there are some activities you should avoid.
Thankfully, pickleball is much gentler than activities you need to avoid playing, like contact sports.
The chance of being injured during a game of pickleball is relatively small, although you should take care to avoid too many bouncing or jerking movements.
You should also avoid over-reaching for the ball in a way that is likely to make you trip or fall. This could cause harm to your unborn baby, so try to stay on two feet!
Excessive heat is also not safe for your unborn baby, and pregnant women are likely to feel the heat more than others.
So, make sure you stay in the shade if you’re playing on a hot summer day.
Take plenty of breaks and drink lots of cool water to avoid heat exhaustion, too. If in doubt, try playing indoors to be on the safe side.
Some women have reported being able to play pickleball even in their third trimester.
This is different to playing tennis, which women in their third trimester are not advised to play.
As the pregnancy progresses, tennis becomes potentially harmful.
Although it’s vital to stay active, it’s better to have a gentler exercise regimen of activities like pickleball, brisk walking and table tennis at this stage in your pregnancy.
To Play Or Not To Play?
So, is pickleball safe during pregnancy?
The answer is a little more nuanced than a simple “yes” or “no.”
Pickleball is generally considered safe during pregnancy, as it is low-impact, low-endurance, and is unlikely to cause an injury.
Racquet sports such as pickleball are also great ways for expectant mothers to stay fit.
For soon-to-be moms, it’s important to include physical activities in your usual routine to support your mental and physical wellbeing.
But when you’re expecting, it’s not the time to exert yourself too much.
The activities you do should not make you tired or put a strain on your muscles.
You also shouldn’t do anything that would potentially cause harm to you and your baby. While pickleball is unlikely to cause harm to mother and baby, every woman is different.
So, before you grab your racquet and head to the court, do consult with your doctor first.
And always listen to your body.
If pickleball does make you feel light-headed, dizzy or exhausted, stop and take care of yourself.