Summoning all successfully pregnant riders...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Summoning all successfully pregnant riders...

    The bug has been in my ear, the plan has been in our future for a while, and I've been paying attention for a while about being pregnant and still riding. Then everything I've read and everythign I'm now reading seem to smash head on at high speeds. I would like to hear more specific information, from personal experiences.

    The doc and the books say four criteria:

    Tempurature kept under 102*
    Heart rate under 60% of max, approx 140
    Don't go for the burn
    Can carry on a conversation.

    The tempurature outside is finally less than 102* in itself, so I'm a little more confident that body tempurature won't be a big deal. Heart rate of 140 or less, I break that walking up a hill at my usual pace. I'm not sure I can recognize burn vs. the passion of riding. And, can carry on a conversation.. ...my husband and Moonbeam both can vouch that I can carry on a conversation on trails with a heartrate well above 140.

    I'm 5 weeks along, known about it for a week, and just road my mtb bike on sidewalks across town to drop my car off in the shop. I wore my HRM for curiosity, and the darn thing beeped practically the whole way home (less than 5 miles) because I was above my "max". And I probably looked stupid because I kept talking to myself making sure I could carry on a conversation...if someone were there to have talked to.

    So please define "riding while pregnant" as you were able to experience it. I live in east tennessee and bunny hills are mainly what my local ride park is like. Short, steep, and single speedable. I'm making the assumption that I should probably hang up the SS and get out the geared bike. I can seek maintaining a lower HR in betweenhills, but it's pretty easy to spike the HR up to 185, 190, or even a modest 170 on each hill. Does riding while pregnant mean that I must walk these now? And how about crashing? I generally believe the more you know you can't crash, the more likely you are to crash. Our trails aren't super technical, but the inevitable crash happens, they aren't smooth, they were challenging when I was a beginner, and some parts are still challenging. To be able to mountian bike while pregnant, should i assume that i should seek trails that resemble fire roads?

    Do I really need to keep it under 1 hour? I assume that hydration is as big a deal as they say. Fatigue and morning sickness were two huge symptoms I've had in the past two weeks, but have subsided, coming and going as they please. And I assume that if nausea hinders me from keeping up with the calories I burn on the trail, that's a problem too. I don't want to be off the bike for 9+ months, I prefer mountain biking over the road, and I don't want to feel like I contributed by being "wild and crazy" if I miscarry. I know it's not in my hands necessarily whether or not this one is successful, but it seems like there are known boundaries where it can be provoked. Oh yea, and I'm a healthy 26 year old without any high risk conserns.

    Thanks for your help, sorry for the long description.

  2. #2
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    I"n going to have to search around, I KNOW I've posted it before but there are some excellent artivles out there, geared towards atheletic mommies, about training when you are already fit and what that really means as compared to the old school guidelines. I'll try and get to that today.

  3. #3
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    I am really bummed the article I was looking for is no longer online. It was a really good medical assesment of the old school >140 guidelines, versus real world guidelines for women who have a base level of fitness. Sorry!!!

  4. #4

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    Then personal experience?

    I can google around for information on heart rate and such. What about personal experience with mountain biking (since most books specifically state downhill skiing and mountain biking as two sports to avoid). Are minor crashes not a big deal up to a certain point, did you still ride as technical of trails as ever, or did you seek trails that were easier? Did you make a bigger point to ride with someone all the time? Walk hills that would spike your heart rate?

  5. #5
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    I'm a rider and mother of 2 boys 3 & 4 years old. I ride very technical trails and frequently meet the earth in a not to friendly way, I also play volleyball ( high level ), tennis ( 4.5), and basketball. I had both kids while I was in my late twenties. I decided that I was too agreessive especially in the first trimester to remeber that I was pregnant and not dive on the volleyball court and ride faster then I should. I continued to play tennis until I was 34 weeks but did not do anything riding or sports. It was very helpful to remain active and it shape however risks are risks. Falling from a moving bike is a risk. I decided that not riding for 9 months was a small sacrifice to make for my sons. I took water boxing classes using HR monitors and keep my heart rate under 144. Here are the reccommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

    The (ACOG) published revised guidelines for prescribing exercise programs for pregnant women which allow for greater exercise intensity than previously recommended. ACOG eliminated a heart rate and duration restriction. I have provided a summary of the ACOG guidelines below. I hope this information will help you so you can continue an exercise routine to promote a healthy pregnancy.

    1. During pregnancy, you can continue your mild-to-moderate exercise routines. According to ACOG, you can safely engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week.

    2. Don't exercise in the supine position (flat on your back) after the first trimester. This position can make you dizzy and decrease the blood flow to the uterus. (Editor's note: Not all experts consider this a hard and fast rule. Many women are comfortable lying on their backs well into their pregnancies.) Also, don't stand motionless for long periods.

    3. You'll have less oxygen available for aerobic exercise during pregnancy, so modify the intensity of your routine accordingly. Stop exercising when fatigued, and don't exercise to exhaustion. You might be able to continue doing weight-bearing exercises at close to your usual intensity throughout pregnancy, but nonweight-bearing exercise such as swimming is easier to continue and carries less risk of injury.

    4. Don't do exercises in which you could lose your balance, especially in the third trimester. Avoid any exercise that risks even mild abdominal trauma.

    5. You need an additional 300 calories a day during pregnancy, so if you're exercising, be particularly careful to eat a good diet.

    6. During the first trimester, be sure that you stay cool when exercising. Drink enough water, wear cool clothing, and don't work out in an environment that's too warm.

    7. After you give birth, resume your prepregnancy exercise routine gradually.


    I know alot of the recommendations are vague but only you know what moderate exercise feels like to you. Notice there is no longer a HR level indicated so I think you can monitor yourself on that front. I hope this info helps you and you should speak with your doctor. For me personally and did not feel comfortable riding or diving on the volleyabll court so I chose to take a break and resume after the boys were born. Side note if you are going to be nursing your baby and need help or recommendation for bras and timimng your exercise let me know. I have helped several friends with nursing issues and I am a physical therapist that speicalizes in women's health. WHat ever you decide to do you should talk with your doctor and good luck with the baby.
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  6. #6

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    Your reply confirms my intuition I think. I will probably lay off the technical riding, as it is a very small sacrafice to make for 9 months. It's one thing to go to the ER and sheepishly explain that I "crashed on my bike" and another to say "and I'm pregnant" I was comfortable riding yesterday on the roads solo and will likely encourage my husband to ride more road tandem miles with me. (after all, I think a subtle reason for getting a triple geared road bike two years ago when I don't need one, had something to do with having a bike to ride for just this reason).

    Of course, a cyclist was hit and killed on the side of a road that was near the house we used to live in yesterday, two-lane highway, Dodge truck was passing ON THE SHOULDER, hit a cyclist, and tried to keep going until an on-coming good semaratin choose to cause an accident with the truck at fault to make him stop. ...thus choose roads to ride on wisely I suppose.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    As you might be able to see from the archives, I rode up until 10 days before the due date and was walking (waddling) a couple miles the day before they called and asked if I wanted to induce... I was I think 8 days overdue, so I would have gladly walked (waddles) all 30 MILES to the hospital to get that kid out!!!

    Frankly, I think the best thing that happened to me was that my bike 'puter broke right after I found out I was pregnant. I simply kept riding safe streets and paths and listened to what my body told me rather than all the hubbub... went as fast and as far as I felt like, slowed down or stopped when I felt like, avoided heat when it felt too hot, etc. FWIW my doc was 100% with this plan, my pregnancy quite uncomplicated, we both survived the birth (I won't scare you with that story), and she's now a cute little 10 month old with a rapidly expanding talent for expressing her opinion and eating spicy food.

    Other than that, my advice is to drink about twice as much water as what you think you need, and try to follow a rational diet that includes plenty of protien and fiber and low on sugar/simple carbs... I found water intake directly correlated w/ how tired I felt, and preggo blood sugar gets a little strange.

    Good luck, and be sure to post your experiences- we're all learning as we go!
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  9. #9
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    I only rode 5 months ~ a little TMI

    I think you will have to make the decisions as your pregnancy goes. I told my OB that I wanted to keep riding and he said that was fine ~ just be careful. I asked about the HR thing also and he said to listen to how my body told me I felt. I had lots of dizziness in my 1st trimester so I only rode on days I felt good. (TMI part) 2nd trimester was fine for riding until I started getting varicose veins in my crotch. There is no way I could have been in a saddle after that.
    Good luck!

  10. #10

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    I'm still middle of my first trimester and I became light headed and faint from a 40 minute casual walk the other day. I'm ambitious about riding in the morning and by afternoon, nap or not, I'm pretty much worn out from sitting at my desk all day. No kidding about blood sugar being a strange thing (caused the light headedness). I crave fruits, but not sweet junk food, fortunately. I hear the 2nd trimester should be easier to find the energy to go ride and to not be too concerned about what I deem as raw laziness in these first few weeks.

    Thanks for the archive links.

  11. #11

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    I also have to share, for laughs, the best response to the ever frequent question "what do you hope it's going to be". A friend of ours would answer "I hope it's white". Appropriate for he and his beautiful southern accent and pale skin.

    I stick to the "I hope it's healthy" response and will be delighted either way.

  12. #12
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    Oh yeah!

    Congratulations! I couldn't remember if I previously said that or not.
    My baby girl will be one month old tomorrow. She is a joy!

  13. #13
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheSpeeds
    I also have to share, for laughs, the best response to the ever frequent question "what do you hope it's going to be"...
    Apparently most folks aren't as thrilled about suprises as my husband is... he didn't want to know if we were having a boy or a girl ahead of time. Of course, people used to CONSTANTLY ask us "So what are you going to have?"

    Our usual response: "A baby."
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  14. #14
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    This reminds me of a really funny baby announcement we got one time. A good friend of ours does a lot of 3rd world traveling looking for minerals.

    Their baby announcement was a shot of him holding a little baby monkey all swaddled up. It was just hilarious, I think he took the photo in Thailand.

    "a human".


  15. #15

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    All the archive threads were helpful. The two pictures were inspiring as well. I guess I was concerned that if I couldn't ride during the first 12 weeks that beyond that I still wouldn't...and by your personal accounts, that's likely not the case.

    I also had a really positive ride yesterday around the neighborhood. It ended up being about 45 minutes and I felt great afterwards, was actually able to cook dinner without losing my appetite before it was done cooking. I also had a really good day eating yesterday, and probably the combination of some blood circulation and lots of nutrience made for a good rest of the day.

    I'm thinking of seeing an OB dietician for a visit or two. Many of the food sources that supported even my most disciplined cycling seasons are on the bad-list these early weeks. And I wonder if my diet ever was balanced and complete...now it matters extra that it is.

  16. #16

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    I hear you on that one. I had been a vegan for about 5 months when I got pregnant with our second child. Its one thing not to get enough protein, its another not to get enough protein when your pregnant. Needless to say...I had to stop. I wasn't good at eating balanced meals when I was vegan. And since my son is almost 2 years old and still doesn't want to quit nursing I haven't been able to go back to it yet. Thats OK though because my son is healthy and thriving!

  17. #17
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    I am a vegetarian but I like dairy too much to be a vegan! I've been breastfeeding for over a month and haven't had any issues so far. My daughter put on 2lbs 6oz by her four week check up.

    I took my bike into the shop yesterday for a tune up! I have a babysitter for the afternoon on September 2nd! I haven't been on my bike in six months so I am very excited
    Please don't rain that day!!!

  18. #18
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    Congratulations!

    You and me both (no. 2 for me). Looking at your posting you must be about as far along as me, 29 weeks. I just made a lengthy post on this topic elsewhere, including recovery:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=245819

    but I imagine you have answered all your questions by now.

    So how has your riding panned out? I am just commuting now and looking for a yoga class.

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