Golfing is undoubtedly an incredible sporting activity that a good number of people globally enjoy indulging in. However, the activity is not safe for everyone and this is the case for pregnant women. As a mother-to-be, you should know the potential risks that are associated with golfing.
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So, whether to play golf or not while pregnant is a common question that many female golfers ask whenever they get pregnant. Unfortunately, the answer is NO! Participating in this sport while pregnant have potential risks not only to you but also to your unborn baby. When your body swigs thus changing your ligaments, your chances of falling increase. Considering that some golfing fields are hilly and sloppy, this can be very disastrous.
In this well-researched article, we’ll enlighten you on the potential dangers that golfing while pregnant will bring to both you and your unborn baby. Kindly read on and get factual information about the whole issue of golfing while pregnant and the necessary precautions that you should take if you can’t avoid golfing while in this condition.
Why You Should Avoid Playing Golf While Pregnant
As an expectant mother, you should be very careful with the physical activities you indulge in. Doctors and experts advise that you should refrain from activities that endanger your health and that of your unborn baby. You should take it as a personal responsibility to prioritize your safety by regulating the food you take and any other activity that you indulge in.
Discussing golfing while pregnant, you should be aware of the numerous potential risks that the activity poses to both you and your child. So, whether you are a proficient golfer or not, you should take things a bit easy on your side. This means that you should refrain from sports activities and look for other simpler exercises to indulge in.
The greatest danger that playing golf poses to you as a mother-to-be is falling, having in mind that most of the golf fields are sloppy and hilly. This can be very dangerous as falling can bring about birth-related complications or even miscarriages. This is the worst thing that can ever happen to you. Miscarriages are very dangerous as they can even cost your life.
Playing golf is however not necessarily dangerous for expectant mothers if done with caution. There are many successful female golfers that continue with the sport and finally safely deliver healthy babies. The risks mostly revolve around the dangers of falling or getting hit while playing golf. The risk of mistakenly being hit by fellow golfers is unforeseen and can at times be fatal.
What to Expect If You Are Golfing While Pregnant
Although golfing has its challenges when you are pregnant, you can still do it cautiously and be safe as required. Depending on your stage of pregnancy, the activity will have a different impact on you. Below is what you should expect during each stage of your pregnancy:
Fatigue is the biggest challenge to overcome at this stage. You can use life hacks to overcome the energy suck. However, the main aspect you require here is relaxation as it will help you overcome the symptoms and might also improve your golf swing. Consider reducing the number of game holes or sharpen your skills if you are want to overcome the fatigue.
It is advisable that you consult an obstetrician before going golfing in each stage of your pregnancy. You should follow the instructions given by him/her as these people are experts and they understand matters to do with pregnancy better. This way, you will be able to have a safe golfing experience in your first trimester.
At this stage, your belly starts protruding and you are now recovering from the first trimester symptoms. The pregnancy here starts becoming serious and you have to be cautious when playing golf. Your unborn baby now occupies your thoughts as you can feel the movement of your baby.
You need to be careful at this stage as every movement you make impacts your womb. These changes will negatively affect your golf game. You will find this difficult in the beginning but you will adapt as the weight of your abdomen increases. Golf maternity wear will be of great help in this stage. This outfit will help you maintain the required swing and make you comfortable in your golf game.
This is the stage where your swig will have a great impact on your belly since it has already grown big. The huge weight will be accompanied by the fatigue that you experienced in the first trimester. You should start making birth plans at this stage as you abandon golfing completely. You should also cancel all your golfing trips.
Due to the huge weight, you will be carrying, you will find it necessary to reduce all the physical activities and movement. Consider being accompanied by a friend to help you collect the golf balls since bending will be difficult at this point. A golf cart will also be helpful at this point.
Tips To Keep You Comfortably Golfing While Pregnant
Despite the risks associated with golfing while pregnant, the sport can be a lot more fun if you do it cautiously. You should be able to enjoy the game while ensuring both your safety and that of your unborn baby because they are the ones that matter. You can do so by following these simple tips:
· Swing Easy
During pregnancy, hormones make your muscles and ligaments supple and due to this, you should ensure you watch how your swig your body. Slowing a bit and ensuring you slowly swig is the best way in your pregnancy safety journey. This will save you from severe aches and you will find yourself enjoying the game better than you expected.
· Focus on Your Balance
When you are swigging, make sure you observe your balance to avoid falling. You can maintain this by using a smooth tempo which will be very helpful in your golf game. Practicing this in your early pregnancy will be of great help as you will have adopted the art in your late pregnancy which is sometimes challenging.
· Drink Plenty of Water and Carry Snacks
Random sips of water and some bites of your snacks will not only boost your energy but also ensure you and your baby stay nourished. You can have nuts, granola, fruits, crackers, etc. as snacks and have at least a bottle of water. You however don’t have to carry a lot of these foodstuffs as they can make you feel dizzy if you overeat.
· Take Necessary Breaks
Breaks are very essential and you should take them to avoid fatigue which can have adverse effects on your overall health. You can decide to skip one hole and enjoy watching or directing the game. You can also accompany your gaming friends and enjoy just hitting a few shots here and there. You should not have the pressure of playing all the nine or eighteen holes. Just feel free to play few holes here and there as well.
· Have Some Fresh Air and Sunshine
You can enjoy playing golf better in an environment with fresh air and sunshine especially in the third trimester of a Midwest winter. As you are outside enjoying the game, you will be gaining vitamin D which is essential in your body. You can as well as take a trip to an environment with better weather if it is not available where you are.
· Avoid Playing In the Final Month
In the ninth month, the pregnancy is normally very delicate anything unexpected can happen during this period. So, as a mother-to-be, you are advised to stop golfing for the safety of yourself and your pregnancy. During this period, the belly has also protruded excessively and thus the chances of injuries are high. Even if you love the game so much, consider quitting for a while until you deliver.
Avid golfers who have played golf while pregnant have insisted on the need of consulting an obstetrician before golfing in each stage of their pregnancy. For example, Trillium Rose gave an account of her experience of golfing during pregnancy. She said she did not experience any physical changes in her body during the first trimester but her mind was very alert. She however felt so energized in the second trimester. Her bump slowed and bending became difficult in the third trimester.
Which Exercises Should I Do Instead Of Golfing?
If you are a golfer and get pregnant, you should not stop exercising, instead, you should go for low-impact exercises. The reason for not quitting exercises completely is to ensure you maintain your general health and you don’t gain excessive weight during pregnancy. Here are some of the safe exercises you can do while pregnant:
· Yoga – Yoga teachers or instructors will help you throughout your pregnancy journey. Avoid lying on your belly or flat on your back after the first trimester. Some gyms accommodate pregnant women and offer them, yoga classes.
· Low-impact aerobics – During low-impact aerobics you don’t put a lot of pressure on your body like golfing does. Inform your instructor of your condition and he/she will help you.
· Ride a stationary bike – Riding the bike is safer during pregnancy than using the regular bike which poses a high chance of you falling. It is very helpful even in your third trimester when your belly has grown big.
· Walking – This is the safest exercise you should be doing while pregnant as your joints and muscles don’t strain. Consider taking regular walks accompanied by your friend (s). Remember a bottle of water.
· Swimming – You will feel lighter while in the water as water helps in supporting the weight of your belly. Your heart rate is also up when you swim against the water. You can do this activity when you experience back pain during golfing.
How Soon Can You Play Golf after Giving Birth?
During pregnancy, there were many changes both in your muscles and joints which were brought about by hormonal changes, reduced physical activity, and body weight redistribution. Increased hormonal production and weight caused the stretch and weakening of your abdominal muscles. All these changes rectify themselves after some time.
So, how long should you take to get back to playing golf? This depends on the mode you gave birth through. If you underwent normal delivery, you should get back to the golf field after six weeks. However, if you deliver through a C-section, you should take at least twelve weeks or more. To restore your body muscles to their normal functioning, you should go back to playing golf.
You should try playing golf after birth even if you have never done it before. It is a great exercise and a very enjoyable one. You should also be careful since the potential danger of falling is still there and your safety should still come first. Remember to have your baby in a safe place if you decide to carry it to the field. Having your game with other golf moms will help you know how to take care of your baby while in the game.
Golfing may seem to be a simple sporting activity but the potential dangers it poses, are not worth being overlooked. As a pregnant woman, you should be very careful with the physical activities you indulge in since being careless in this condition can lead to regrettable results. If you must indulge in activities like playing golf, make sure you consult an obstetrician at each stage of your pregnancy. Make sure you take all the necessary precautions whenever you have to play golf while pregnant.
You should however never think of taking a step back or even quit playing golf because you have a new baby. Your love for your baby might be so intense at the beginning but with time you will need to link up with other golfer moms and re-attach yourself back to the game. With their help, you will share ideas and help each other grow as responsible golfer moms.