Is It Safe To Go Bowling While Pregnant?

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The thrill you get to see the ball roll and hit all the pins is unmatchable. You would want to have that experience again and again almost every weekend. But when you are pregnant, should you give bowling a break or can you continue having fun?

Is bowling safe during pregnancy? MomJunction answers that question and tells you more about playing this lovely game during pregnancy.

Is Bowling Safe When You Are Pregnant?

Yes, it is safe to go bowling provided you follow a few precautions (1), the ball is not heavy, and if you do not have issues such as:

  • placenta previa
  • a history of preterm labor
  • heart diseases
  • carrying multiples
  • Diastasis recti
  • Previous knee or back injuries

However, you need to understand your body and talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, contractions or vaginal bleeding.

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When Can Bowling Be Uncomfortable?

With progressing pregnancy, bowling might become uncomfortable due to several reasons:

  • As the tummy grows, there is an excess pressure on your back to support the body.
  • The shift in the center of gravity makes it difficult to keep your balance while bowling through the alley.
  • Your joints and ligaments begin to lose the strength both in the upper and lower body, and bowling uses more of upper body strength.
  • Your joints and ligaments become loose and overextension, sprain, strain or dislocation become more likely.

[ Read: Swimming During Pregnancy ]

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What Are The Benefits Of Bowling (And Other Low-Impact Activities) During Pregnancy?

Experts suggest pregnant women take up low-impact exercises such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and prenatal yoga. You may consider including them in your everyday routine because (2):

  • They are known to lower the risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • They exert minimum stress on your joints and are hence better than high-intensity activities such as swimming.
  • Recreational activities such as bowling will boost your mood, and lower the risk of depression.
  • They also improve your heart rate and stamina just as aerobic exercises do.
  • They can improve your mental health and benefit your postpartum recovery.

Remember that you can start any exercise during pregnancy only after consulting your doctor. Also, you should not overdo them.

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Safety Tips For Bowling During Pregnancy

Bowling balls might put pressure on your shoulders, joints, and back. You might also slip in the alley. Therefore, take some safety measures to prevent falls and injuries.

  • Choose lighter balls to avoid unnecessary pressure on the back. The ligaments and joints turn supple during pregnancy, and therefore the chances of straining or injuring your back are high.
  • Go for duckpin bowling as the balls are easy to handle because of their small size.
  • Be careful while bowling as the lanes are smoothened with oils for the balls to move easily.
  • If you feel that the movement is having a disturbing effect on your joints, stop doing it.
  • Keep your back straight and bend your knees while lifting the ball. This helps remove the strain from your back and prevents injury to your spinal and fetal tissues.

Most importantly, stop playing it if you are not feeling comfortable.

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Can Bowling Cause Miscarriage?

Bowling is not known to cause miscarriage as long as you do it with caution. If your back starts to ache or you feel fatigued, refrain from the activity.

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Is It Safe To Go Bowling In The First Trimester Of Your Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to go bowling in the first trimester. But do not exhaust yourself, and choose a ball that is comfortable to lift.

Discuss all sporting activities with your doctor. It helps you take the right decision based on your health condition. Remember, your level of comfort should be your guide. The moment you start feeling uncomfortable, you should refrain from the activity.

[ Read: Is Jumping Safe For Pregnant Women? ]

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Have you played bowling in your pregnancy? Share your story in the comments section below.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Vesma Grinfelds & Bonnie Hultstrand; Right Down Your Alley: The Complete Book of Bowling; page 105
  2. Exercise During Pregnancy; The Sensible Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy (2011)

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