Baseball and softball are very popular spring and summer sports. Many women have grown up playing the sport in high school or college and then gravitated toward neighborhood teams as adults. Some women enjoy the competitive aspect of the game while others revel in the regular camaraderie within the team. For this reason, many women find it quite difficult to quit their team when they find out they are pregnant, especially in the middle of a season.
Is Baseball/Softball Safe During Pregnancy?
You can get hit anytime by a baseball or softball, you can get hurt by falling down or getting hit by a baseball bat. This makes baseball and softball less safe to play during pregnancy.
Officially, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends:"Those activities with a high risk of falling or for abdominal trauma should be avoided during pregnancy." Some doctors view baseball/softball as a game that has a high tendency toward abdominal and other trauma. The risk does exist, and it is entirely possible to get hit with a ball or even a bat. Women who have been playing the sport for years are experienced in dodging balls but the potential for accidental injury does exist.
Some avid baseball/softball players stop playing the minute they find out they are pregnant, while others find some compromise and continue playing.
Tips For Playing Baseball/Softball During Pregnancy
Ask your doctor if it's safe for you to continue playing baseball and/or softball. If your doctor agrees and you do decide to play, you can make some modifications to your normal activity:
1. Request to play right or left field rather than the infield, which has a higher risk of being hit or colliding.
2. Play for your first trimester but take a seat in the dugout when you reach the second trimester and your growing belly starts getting in the way.
3. Let your coach know you will not be sliding or diving for the ball.
4. Pay attention to your body. If you don’t feel like you are up to it, refrain from future games.
5. Stay hydrated. Your body is experiencing so many changes and utilizing so much energy during pregnancy, so you must keep supplying it with enough liquids.
While there is some debate on when a woman should stop playing baseball/softball during her pregnancy, or if she should play at all, the choice is individual. The best course of action is to ask your doctor or midwife for advice regarding any exercise program or sport you would like to play during pregnancy.