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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Freshwater, Australia

    Question Trying to conceive...Is it ok to continue commuting by bike?

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    Hi all,

    My husband and I are ready to start a family. Ready as we'll ever be!

    We are both fit & healthy and approaching our mid-30s. My commute is 200km/week (125 miles/week) and pretty intense in terms of hill climbs but it's extremely satisfying and I'd like to continue while we are trying to conceive. Also, I'm conscious that it could +12 months to fall pregnant so I'd like to keep things normal by sticking to my current routine.

    My concern is:

    Will I cause myself to miscarry if I continue cycling (a) before I realize I am pregnant and (b) after I fall pregnant?

    The two issues that concern me are monitoring my heart rate and maintaining my body temperature because both would be impossible to achhieve on my commute (and there are no alternative routes).

    Also, I have read that you & the baby will be fine if you *maintain* your current fitness practice i.e. so long as you have been doing it for at least 3 months prior to conception (which I definitely have).

    There seems to be a lot of conflicting information - and a lot of misinformation - so I'd be grateful for a healthy dose of practical & sensible advice


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Hi Nic

    I am not a medical professional, simply a mother who maintained a decent level of activity while trying to fall pregnant, while having a miscarriage and throughout my subsequent successful pregnancy.

    I was certainly not cycling at the level that I do now, but was swimming quite heavily, walking/jogging a fair bit, and tap dancing in preparation for an exam. I have always been somebody who likes to exercise hard and didn't back it off because I wanted to get pregnant. Similarly, I have a friend who runs keenly and ran up to and through her pregnancy with full blessing of her doctor.

    It is my understanding that, unless you have some underlying medical condition, and unless you are exercising to the point where you are not healthy (ie. seriously underweight and hormonally unstable - not having your periods etc) then it is unlikely to affect your chances of falling pregnant and unlikely to stop you maintaining a viable pregnancy.

    In my case, the pregnancy I miscarried was never going to be viable and a change in my exercise patterns was not going to change that. And the successful pregnancy went swimmingly with me completing my tap dancing exams at 12weeks pregnant, continuing tapping, walking and swimming up until the week I had her.

    I tapped in 2 groups in our annual concert (including one with the teens I did the exam with) when I was 6months pregnant, four weeks after my emergency caesar delivery I danced in demonstration event and then did the next exam when the DD was 16weeks old. The doctors were very happy with my level of activity throughout and believe it helped me recover so well from the caesar that I was not very amused about having!

    I think people like to scaremonger and make you feel guilty about your choices. While you want to give yourself the best possible chances of falling pregnant, exercise at a level that is normal for you and not making you unhealthy is not likely to be a real problem. Once you are pregnant (good luck with that btw) you will end up slowing up a bit and you will need to be guided in your individual circumstances by your doctor who knows you. I must admit that I don't find 200km/week to be excessive, especially when rationed out through the week nice and consistently as a commute (seems like about 20km each way, 5 days a week?) I would be much more worried if you sat on the couch all week and then ran out and did your 200km in one ride each weekend!

    Now, I wouldn't take my word for it - these are simply my circumstances which would suggest you'll be fine! If I were you, I would have a nice long talk to your trusted family doctor - or if you don't yet have one, you better develop a relationship with one because you'll visit them often enough when you have kids! They should be able to assess your current health and prospects and give you sound advice on "how much is too much?"

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Boston, MA

    I am not a medical professional either

    You sound like you are in good health which is very important, so you would be continuing your active lifestyle instead of drastically increasing your exercise level at this point of your life.

    I would definitely discuss this with your medical health professional about this to determine an appropriate evaluation for you and your lifestyle. Miscarriages are also very common (about 25% of all women experience at least one but that statistic depends on which trimester and age group you are considering) and sometimes the cause is unknown. The body cannot sustain a pregnancy without adequate body fat and sometimes will reject the implanted fetus if severe abnormalities exist.

    Good luck and let us know what your medical professional advises!
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Best wishes and good luck!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Montreal, Quebec

    It seems

    that when it comes to conceiving, the least you obsess about it, the better the odds of it happening. Good luck, and I think that staying active for sure will keep you top shape for that delivery!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Freshwater, Australia

    Thanks for the sanity check!

    To Pinkbikes and Ana, thank you both for your thoughtful replies. To Malkin and Fontinalis, thank you for your best wishes. I had an appointment with my GP this morning and she echoed your wise words.

    Her advice is to:
    • Stop reading articles on the internet

    • RELAX! Let it happen!
    • Continue being healthy
    • Continue cycling commute & surfing
    • Heart rate isn't a concern (FWIW, my stats are: Average HR = 150, Max HR = +195).

    • Body temperature isn't a concern (She said I'd need to raise my body temp +2 degrees to be in the danger zone. To achieve this I would be doing something like running a marathon in the midday sun in the Australian summer)

    • Take folate (ideally three months before conception)

    The best advice she gave me was to listen to what my body is telling me.





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