Golf can be a relaxing and beneficial way to get exercise and fresh outdoor air, but is it possible and safe to continue golfing when you are pregnant? Certain types of exercise can be dangerous for expectant mothers, and we will find out if golf is one of the activities you should avoid.
Golf can be played while pregnant as long as you have the go-ahead from your doctor and you tone your game down according to your comfort level at each stage of pregnancy. Golf is a good way to get healthy, beneficial exercise while pregnant if you stick to some sensible guidelines.
Pregnancy is a special time for a woman, but being in this condition places some restrictions on the activities you can enjoy while keeping you and your baby safe. Generally, it is safe to play golf while pregnant, but some details should be considered before you hit the links!
Can You Play Golf While Pregnant?
Exercise is recommended for most women during pregnancy, but each person has a different pregnancy experience. When you find out that you are pregnant, your first step should be to consult your doctor before exercising to ensure that the exercise is safe for you and your baby.
Golf generally falls under the safe sports category for pregnant women, but there are some aspects to consider about the game and your body before going golfing.
Can You Start Playing Golf While Pregnant?
If you have never played golf before, can you start playing golf when you are pregnant? If your pregnancy is still early, you can start learning to play golf without any issues.
Remember that you will be using muscles and movements that your body is not accustomed to, which can cause muscle stiffness and joint pain, even for people that are not pregnant.
Once you have started to show or are further along in your pregnancy, you may find it more difficult and painful to start learning golf. The twisting movements in a golf swing can injure your back muscles if they are not used to the motion.
The last thing you want is an injured back when your body needs to carry the additional weight of your baby and womb fluids.
Women who are golfers before they fall pregnant can safely continue to play golf, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. Their bodies and muscles are used to the golfing movements and are unlikely to pick up an injury.
Can You Play Golf In Your First Trimester Of Pregnancy?
It is safe to play golf in your first trimester of pregnancy, but you may not want to or feel like playing golf.
The first trimester is generally when morning sickness is at its worst, and associated nausea, fatigue, and listlessness may cause you to lose interest in going out for a game of golf.
The small belly size at this stage will not likely cause any problems in your stance or swing. If you are one of the lucky ones to have limited morning sickness, playing golf is an acceptable form of exercise during this pregnancy stage.
Can You Play Golf In Your Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?
The second trimester of pregnancy is when the fatigue and morning sickness subsides, and energy levels are back to normal. You will probably feel like you can manage a golf game at this stage.
Your baby bump will not feel big enough to get in the way, and the change in the center of gravity may improve your balance, setup, and swing, improving your overall golf game!
Your ligaments and joints begin to loosen up during this time of pregnancy, so you may find your movements easier during your swing and follow through, but it is important to begin exercising some restraint in your golf.
Play golf for pleasure rather than going all out in a competitive game. While professional golfers sometimes play well into their pregnancies and even win competitions, it is advisable to tone down your golf swing a little, especially the tee-off drive.
Playing too aggressively can result in staining or injuring important muscles for birth and increase discomfort. It is still safe to play golf, but you must be more aware of your movements, listen to your body, and hold back a little to continue getting the exercise while preventing injury.
Can You Play Golf in Your Third Trimester of Pregnancy?
You can play golf during your third trimester of pregnancy, but the changes in your body may make it more uncomfortable, and you will need to make some adjustments.
For most women, the fatigue returns during the final trimester, mostly due to discomfort at night preventing a good night’s sleep.
The growing belly is not without its challenges either! Bending down to pick up a golf ball off the green or, even further, out of the hole becomes challenging!
Bending at the waist when approaching the ball for your swing is another aspect that poses a challenge to your game but does not pose a risk for you or your baby.
Most women golfing at this stage of their pregnancy find it easier to bend the knees a little in a semi-squat rather than bending at the waist. This adaptation in your posture is often not enough to detract from your game, and you can continue to play as long as you feel comfortable.
As you begin to feel your baby move inside, you will become more aware of the little one growing inside you and naturally become more cautious with your movements. This is a good thing, so don’t try to maintain your game at the level you were playing before pregnancy.
Take it easy and enjoy your golf as a game or an outing rather than a sport, and you will get more pleasure out of the game in your third trimester.
What Are The Risks Of Playing Golf While Pregnant?
There are always risks with pregnancy; even getting out of bed has some risks attached to it. These risks should not prevent you from playing golf, but an awareness of them will give you wisdom when golfing pregnant.
- Falling. This is probably the biggest risk the further you are in your pregnancy. Your balance changes as your center of gravity changes, and you become less secure on your feet. Be careful of rough or uneven ground on the golf course that could cause you to fall.
- Muscle injury. Hold back a little on your gove swings, especially later into your pregnancy. A pulled muscle will not be a fun experience.
- Dehydration. Pregnant women need a lot higher water intake than usual, up to 12 glasses of water a day. Don’t neglect to take in enough fluids while out on the golf course.
- Heat exhaustion. Your baby is like a little furnace in your belly, generating heat on the inside. Combine that with the scorching midday sun, and you can easily suffer from heat exhaustion on the golf course. Keep your golfing while pregnant to the cooler parts of the day.
What Are The Benefits Of Playing Golf While Pregnant?
Remaining active is a recommendation for most pregnant women, and golf is a good way to exercise while doing something you enjoy.
Golf can benefit you during pregnancy in the following ways.
- Control weight gain. Weight gain is normal during pregnancy, but the exercise golfing offers can help to keep weight gain to a healthy minimum.
- Help improve balance. Shifting your balance while playing golf will help you to adjust to your pregnancy balance changes much easier and increase your balance level throughout the pregnancy.
- Strengthen core muscles. Your core muscles are central to your pregnancy and birth. Golf helps keep these muscles toned and in shape, helping you carry your baby easier and providing more strength for the birthing process.
- Help resolve constipation. The movement of the abdomen in golf can help ease constipation, a common pregnancy ailment.
Golf is a good form of exercise to continue during your pregnancy, but never push yourself beyond your limits. Listen to your body and consult your doctor before you head out to the golf course to get assurance that it is safe for your pregnancy.
Playing golf when pregnant can be less competitive and allow you to slow down, enjoy the game and work on some of the techniques you have been meaning to practice!