When temperatures rise, most pregnant women want some relief and there is nothing like splashing around in cool water to alleviate a sweltering day. Many women also enjoy outdoor recreation and regularly plan their vacations around camping, hiking and river activities. If you already have kids and will be taking them around amusement and water parks, or if you are heading out to vacation spots by the water, you may be wondering if water rapid rides are safe for you during pregnancy.
What Is Whitewater Rafting and Water Rapids?
Whitewater rafting involves getting on a raft and riding down a rapidly moving river of rapids, thus the name, whitewater rafting or water rapids. The ‘whitewater” forms when the river becomes turbulent and causes the water to become bubbly and appear white.
Many whitewater rapid participants have fallen into the river, been throw off the raft, and hurled into rocks.
Water Rapids During Pregnancy
Since there is no way to control how choppy a river will be and the entire activity only exists because the water is unstable, the possibility for falling is high. While most exercise is safe in moderation while you are trying to conceive and during pregnancy, white water rafting and water rapids pose their own risk of danger during pregnancy. According to the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, "Those activities with a high risk of falling or for abdominal trauma should be avoided during pregnancy."
Many whitewater rapid participants have fallen into the river, been throw off the raft, and hurled into rocks. In addition, slower reflexes and agility during pregnancy due to your growing belly make adjusting to sudden movements a little more difficult. If you’re in early pregnancy, the hectic pattern of the moving river may make nausea heightened and vomiting likely.
Alternatives To Water Rapids
If you really want to enjoy water rapids this summer but are not comfortable with the hectic pace of whitewater rafting, you might want to consider a water park where the rides are more controlled and the highs and lows are less chaotic. Keep in mind that these smaller rides can also stir up nausea, especially if you have been battling it already.
Ask Your Doctor
There is some debate on when a woman should stop participating in many sports and recreational activities during her pregnancy or if she should even participate at all. The best course of action is to always ask your doctor or midwife for advice regarding any exercise, sport, or activity you would like to play during pregnancy.
In the end, your best bet might be to find a quiet pool, grab a raft and enjoy the peace and tranquility. By next year, you’ll be back in shape and ready to tackle that white water again!