If you’re pregnant and enjoy playing golf, you might be wondering whether it’s safe to continue playing. The good news is that, in most cases, it’s safe to do so as long as you take precautions and talk to your doctor first.
As your pregnancy progresses, you may find it harder to play at the same level as before, but don’t worry – you can still get some exercise and enjoy a local golf outing.
This article contains useful information and tips for pregnant golfers of all levels, so keep reading to learn more!
Stages of Pregnancy
If you played golf before getting pregnant, you could still golf during your pregnancy. However, each trimester brings different challenges, so it’s important to know what to expect. Ideally, you want to consult your obstetrician at each stage of your pregnancy if you wish to continue playing golf while pregnant.
Here’s a general breakdown of each stage of pregnancy and how it can affect your experience on the golf course.
Pregnancy is different for every woman — however, many share similar experiences and symptoms. One example is morning sickness. Despite its name, morning sickness is a type of nausea that can occur anytime. Therefore, if you want to play golf during your first trimester, expect to feel sick and tired while on the golf course.
Moreover, the sick and tired feeling caused by nausea may affect your interest in golf. On the other hand, if you can handle your morning sickness or don’t experience this symptom, you can still golf during your first trimester.
During the second trimester, your belly will show clear signs of pregnancy, and you’ll now recover from the effects of your first trimester. It’s also during this stage of pregnancy when you may feel conscious about any physical changes you have, and you may feel anxious about the idea of labor.
Most importantly, playing golf during this stage can be difficult, as you’ll be concerned about how every movement you make may affect your baby. For instance, you may not generate powerful swings because you’re concerned with your belly. This will significantly affect your golfing experience or possibly discourage you from playing golf while pregnant.
However, it’s still safe to play golf during your second trimester. All you have to do is to get used to carrying additional weight, particularly in your abdomen. You can even invest in some golf maternity wear to be more comfortable on the golf course.
In your third trimester, your belly will be much bigger, impacting how you swing a golf club. Additionally, your baby’s small movements and wiggles will become more apparent. During this stage, most women also re-experience the fatigue they had in their first trimester.
All of these factors will affect your golf experience. So, it’s best to store your golf equipment for a couple of months once you’re in your third trimester. Besides, your doctor will highly recommend making a birth plan and focusing on your labor.
Additional Tips To Keep Your Baby Safe While Golfing
Even in your second trimester, when most women feel great, there are still things to consider before playing golf. After all, you now have a tiny human growing inside of you that needs extra protection.
To help keep both you and your baby safe while playing golf, consider these tips:
1. Use A Putter Suction Cup
Though it is commonly associated with older men, the putter suction cup can be helpful for those going through pregnancies. To use it, attach the cup to the top of your putter grip and press onto the ball until it sucks up. Then, you have to lift the cup and grab the ball from your hand.
2. Always Remember to Stretch
It’s essential to warm up your body before playing any sport. Stretching can help prevent injuries, such as back pain, which is common in pregnancy. Warming up the muscles also prevents fatigue and further injury.
If you’re in the first trimester of pregnancy, you might want to do some light stretching before going out on the golf course. However, in the second trimester, it’s recommended that you avoid stretching altogether. This is because stretching can actually cause more harm than good when pregnant.
3. Swing Carefully
While pregnant, you should take it easy and swing slowly. Your muscles and ligaments are more relaxed due to hormones, so you must control your body and your swing carefully. Maintaining a smooth tempo in your golf swing will help prevent discomfort and enable you to continue playing for longer into pregnancy.
4. Check Weather Conditions
When playing golf while pregnant, it is important to consider the temperature. Pregnancy can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion, hence it is advisable to consume ample amounts of water before heading out. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should aim to drink eight to twelve glasses of water per day.
Additionally, if you experience dizziness or nausea while walking towards the first tee, take frequent breaks to allow your body to cool down.
5. Wear The Appropriate Attire
It’s important to be mindful of what you wear while playing golf. Go for snug but not tight clothing made from natural fibers like cotton, which will allow your skin to breathe. Steer clear of artificial materials, such as nylon or spandex, as they don’t invite the free flow of air and can cause you to feel overheated.
Protecting yourself from the sun is essential even when it doesn’t seem that bright outside. Wear sunscreen and a hat to shield yourself from UV rays.
6. Slow It Down
Trust your instincts and take a break whenever your body feels tired! For example, you can sit out a hole or two in the golf cart and rest or hit just a few balls here and there while riding along with your playing partners.
Don’t worry about playing all 9 or 18 holes. Playing fewer holes is still beneficial for you and the baby during pregnancy. Also, eliminating the need to constantly bend over to pick golf balls will protect your health and your child’s.
7. Pack Snacks
Engaging in the sport of golf can place a significant amount of physical strain on the body, and being pregnant can intensify feelings of fatigue and hunger. To combat these effects, consuming snacks periodically during the game can assist in sustaining energy levels and warding off sensations of nausea or dizziness.
Opt for portable and convenient snack options, such as granola bars, fruit, nuts, or crackers. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain proper hydration by drinking ample amounts of water throughout the duration of the game.
Final Words: Consult Your Doctor Before Teeing Off While Pregnant
While playing golf can be a great way for pregnant women to stay active and enjoy time with loved ones, it’s important to prioritize your health and safety.
Before hitting the links, make sure to consult with your doctor to ensure that it’s safe for you to engage in physical activity. Remember, this article is not medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Always prioritize your health and the health of your growing baby.