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life is a barrel o'fun
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Don't worry, I don't mean *me*! One of my dearest friends is due in September. She lives in London, so I haven't seen how big she's become, but she e-mailed me today confirming that she's indeed quite big!

She and her hubby are avid skiiers, but she was not at all a fan of biking- fell once during childhood, and never wanted to get back on, or something like that. However, in her e-mail, she mentioned doing some light biking on paved paths, and that it's not easy keeping her balance!

I'll never be pregnant myself, but I've often wondered what I would do if I were expecting at this stage in my life. I'd most likely be riding the easy trails, and ignoring the protests of husband/doctor/aunts. But I wouldn't be trying to set any speed records.

Among the women here who have kids, did you have to give up biking altogether? If not, how did it work trying to keep your balance? I suppose if you bike consistently, the weight gain is gradual and this isn't a factor. Besides the possibility of falling, is mtn biking bad for the baby?

I've heard of pregnant women running right up to the due date, but don't hear much about biking.
 

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Don't worry, be happy!
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Christine said:
Among the women here who have kids, did you have to give up biking altogether? If not, how did it work trying to keep your balance? I suppose if you bike consistently, the weight gain is gradual and this isn't a factor. Besides the possibility of falling, is mtn biking bad for the baby?

I've heard of pregnant women running right up to the due date, but don't hear much about biking.
I have two, now teens. Your body is wonderful, it tells you when to do and not do things. I rode on easy (paved, pre mtb) on a mountain bike until my knees hit my belly. I swam until delivery. I skied up to my 4th month, and then it didn't feel right *to me* after than.
Fetuses are very well protected from your falls, but you don't want to be stupid, either. Your center orf gravity changes, your ligaments loosen, your oxygen carrying capacity changes, plus you can lose lung capacity as the baby grows... BUT.... it's all graducal, and modern thinking supports an active mother, within guidelines. If your doctor doesnt' support your activiitywithout good reasons, one of those old shcool guys, get a new one.

Once they are born, the whole time/energy/family equation takes shape. It's all about the priorities that you and partner will choose for your particlular vision of how the family functions.

formica
 

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Christine said:
Don't worry, I don't mean *me*! One of my dearest friends is due in September. She lives in London, so I haven't seen how big she's become, but she e-mailed me today confirming that she's indeed quite big!

She and her hubby are avid skiiers, but she was not at all a fan of biking- fell once during childhood, and never wanted to get back on, or something like that. However, in her e-mail, she mentioned doing some light biking on paved paths, and that it's not easy keeping her balance!

I'll never be pregnant myself, but I've often wondered what I would do if I were expecting at this stage in my life. I'd most likely be riding the easy trails, and ignoring the protests of husband/doctor/aunts. But I wouldn't be trying to set any speed records.

Among the women here who have kids, did you have to give up biking altogether? If not, how did it work trying to keep your balance? I suppose if you bike consistently, the weight gain is gradual and this isn't a factor. Besides the possibility of falling, is mtn biking bad for the baby?

I've heard of pregnant women running right up to the due date, but don't hear much about biking.
I don't have any experience with this, but a co-worker of mine rode her bike to work 3 miles each way up til late November. She gave birth in January. She only stopped because it was "getting cold" she said. She was huge and even rode in dresses/skirts! I have read that Demi Moore rode a 21 mile bike ride and gave birth that same day. But I hear Demi is a bit of a super human too. So I guess it's not unheard of, but you don't want to be doing anything hardcore that would injure you or the baby.
 

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She should continue to *listen* to her body to judge how she feels. She could also strap on the HR monitor and ride in zones 1 and 2. I wouldn't suggest riding at anything greater than 75% of her max.
 

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life is a barrel o'fun
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm sure there's no danger of her going too fast, as she's a newbie to biking. I hope she keeps at it *after* the baby's born- it'll seem easier when her knees aren't hitting her stomach. :p

As for Demi, I can imagine it's better to be riding during labor than to be laying there, feeling every contraction and waiting, waiting, waiting.......I mean, if you're in pain anyway, might as well be biking!
 

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Hmmmm

Christine said:
However, in her e-mail, she mentioned doing some light biking on paved paths, and that it's not easy keeping her balance!

Among the women here who have kids, did you have to give up biking altogether? If not, how did it work trying to keep your balance? I suppose if you bike consistently, the weight gain is gradual and this isn't a factor. Besides the possibility of falling, is mtn biking bad for the baby?
I don't understand why she would continue to bike if she is having trouble keeping her balance. That just doesn't make sense to me.

My doctor said biking was safe, as long as I still had my sense of balance. So no, mtb biking isn't bad for the baby, but falling can be! Let me qualify that, mtn biking, like any exercise, if overdone could be bad for a baby, according to the medical community anyway. I've read in a lot of places that you shouldn't exercise at too high of a level (heart-rate-wise) but they seldom explain why not. I finally found one place that said oxygen is diverted from the baby to your muscles, and over-heating is bad for a baby.

Spike
 

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there are so many things that happen to your body when you are pregnant. In your mind, too; it's not just physical thing. Even for the best athelete, sometimes you may just go out one day and things feel different and not OK, anymore, whether it's a bike ride, a run, or any thing else. There may be a generic "voice" that may say, you know dear, time mellow out until the baby comes... or your body may tell you this thorugh discomfort. Or that day may never come.

One can be as theorectical as you want about pregancy, but it goes the way it goes. You may have twins, or complications and be put on bed rest whether you like it or not; you can have severe morning sickness for months and puke everyday, or you could be as healthy as the proverbial horse and be glowing... but you never know until you are there what it's going to be. Just because Demi can do it doesn't mean it's going to work for you.

having a practicioner that will work with you is a wonderful thing, but there may be factors our of your control.

Here's an interesting thing. My Bradley ( a birthing method ) instructor could predict within 80% which women would have complications and who would have easy deliveries, based on personality type, how uptight and controllling people were, and their general acceptance of the whole pregnancy process.

Been there done that twice, with two midwife assisted deliveries.

formica
 

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It all depends

Spike said:
I finally found one place that said oxygen is diverted from the baby to your muscles, and over-heating is bad for a baby.

Spike
There are still a lot of Old Doctor's Tales out there in the OB/Gyn/Midwife community, so you always have to be your own advocate and find the most recent advice and research. All the formulaic advice like: keep your heart rate below 140, etc., just didn't do it for me with no explanation of why. Spike's info above was exactly the kind of common sense explanation that I wanted when I was pregnant and when I finally tracked it down myself on-line, I made a copy of the article for my midwife's office.
I rode outside until I was 5.5 months pregnant and my poor husband begged me to stop because his nerves couldn't handle it. I found that I was easily tired while riding and couldn't go far (or fast) anyway. Some women feel very energetic while pregnant because of the increased blood volume (jealous!). Balance seems like it wouldn't be an issue for an athletic woman - pregnancy lowers your c.g. which generally gives you better balance. Most pregnant skiers I've spoken with said they felt more stable.
It is hard to keep from overheating in the summer. Early morning or late evening rides might help, or, sigh, sticking to an air conditioned gym. I did a lot of spin class while pregnant, sitting smack in front of the fan.
 

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MidAtlanticXCer said:
There are still a lot of Old Doctor's Tales out there in the OB/Gyn/Midwife community, so you always have to be your own advocate and find the most recent advice and research. All the formulaic advice like: keep your heart rate below 140, etc., just didn't do it for me with no explanation of why. Spike's info above was exactly the kind of common sense explanation that I wanted when I was pregnant and when I finally tracked it down myself on-line, I made a copy of the article for my midwife's office.
No kidding, I had my first in '86 and it was just then getting acceptable for a pregnant women to maintain a normal exercise program. I still remember the looks I got in the wieght room and on the ski hill. But I didn't feel better balanced skiing, I quit when I began to show....everyone is different. I knew a gal who's old school MD wouldn't let her swim in a public pool... I would have fired a guy like that in 10 seconds flat.

heh, let's hear it for midwives.

formica
 

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Christine said:
I'm sure there's no danger of her going too fast, as she's a newbie to biking. I hope she keeps at it *after* the baby's born- it'll seem easier when her knees aren't hitting her stomach. :p

As for Demi, I can imagine it's better to be riding during labor than to be laying there, feeling every contraction and waiting, waiting, waiting.......I mean, if you're in pain anyway, might as well be biking!
If she is a newbie to biking that would be even more reason for her to monitor her HR. It can creep up very quickly for someone with a limited aerobic capacity. Just my 2 cents.
 

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MidAtlanticXCer said:
.... All the formulaic advice like: keep your heart rate below 140, etc., just didn't do it for me with no explanation of why. Spike's info above was exactly the kind of common sense explanation that I wanted when I was pregnant and when I finally tracked it down myself on-line, I made a copy of the article for my midwife's office.....
OH, I forgot- there was this link too.... not to say that everyone can be like THESE gals, but I found the HR info interesting in particular:
http://www.velonews.com/train/articles/3767.0.html
 
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