The joy of watching the ball move and hit all the pins is unsurpassed when bowling. Eventually, you would want to repeat playing this game almost every weekend if you could. Should you, however, take a break from bowling, or can you continue to have fun bowling while pregnant?
You might worry if bowling is safe during pregnancy because it demands lifting the weight of a bowling ball and leaning down. This post provides an answer to your query and more information on playing this wonderful game while pregnant.
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.
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.
What Are The Benefits Of Bowling (And Other Low-Impact Activities) During Pregnancy?
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Bowling is a fun game loved and enjoyed by children and adults alike. Pregnant women may be concerned about its safety. The bowling game involves lifting the heavy ball and bending down, running, and throwing the ball. A bowling game may be safe if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, provided you take all safety measures and take it easy. Listen to your body, and do not over-exert. Stop if you feel unusual or uncomfortable. For women with high-risk pregnancies, placenta previa, multiple babies, heart diseases, etc., it is recommended to avoid bowling while pregnant or seek your doctor’s permission before trying your hands on this sport.
- Vesma Grinfelds & Bonnie Hultstrand; Right Down Your Alley: The Complete Book of Bowling; page 105
- Exercise During Pregnancy; The Sensible Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy (2011)