This is a common question for female golfers who end up pregnant. This is a question I asked myself. I am now 28 weeks pregnant and still golf regularly, as I did before. My OB says that since I was a golfer before, there is no reason I cannot continue, provided I make a few adjustments and that I follow proper safety precautions.
Pregnancy.org’s fitness expert, Alex says to a husband asking if his pregnant wife can play golf, “Yes, she can play golf, but with a few conditions.”
One of those conditions is that you first talk to your doctor, just like I did. No one else can tell you for certain if golfing during pregnancy is safe for you because no one else will know your personal medical history or potential risks or complications with your current pregnancy. So first you need to talk with your OB and make sure they approve of you golfing during pregnancy.
If the doctor says you are good, here are some additional tips to help you:
Stay hydrated- Proper hydration is essential in golf anyway but when you’re pregnant, you are more susceptible to heat-related illness. You will probably need more fluids than you did before. Drink plenty of water before, during and after golfing. If you have any symptoms of dehydration, stop golfing and tend to yourself immediately.
Grab a cart- Even if you were a walking golfer before, you want to opt for the cart now. You will probably find the farther along you get in your pregnancy that you no longer have the stamina to walk 18 holes. You might not even have the stamina to walk nine. Even if you think you can do it, you don’t want to get stuck out on the middle of the course and start feeling tired and sick, or worse, have an emergency and cannot get back to the clubhouse. If you’re going to golf in pregnancy, especially past your first trimester, go ahead and opt for the cart.
Recognize fatigue-Finally, it’s also important to recognize the signs of fatigue and not push yourself if you start feeling tired. You can pull a muscle or cause other complications when you try to push on after your body becomes fatigued. Remember that you are already in the midst of the full-time job of growing a new human life. If you’re feeling fatigue, it’s OK to say “when”.
Relaxin loosens you up- Relaxin is a hormone produced by pregnant women that causes the joints to relax. The purpose of it is to relax the joints in the pelvis and allow for childbirth, however, it also has an effect on other joints in the body. It can come on stronger and earlier with each subsequent pregnancy, too so. While Relaxin is a good thing for the pregnant body, it can also make it easier for you to overstretch or pull something in your swing. Be aware that you are more “loose” than usual and be careful.
When golfing while pregnant, you will notice that as your belly grows bigger, it will be harder to bend over to pick up your ball and it may also affect your swing. You can use a ball-fetcher to help you get your ball easier and avoid bending over a lot. You should be careful of over-correcting your swing for your newly changing body and consult a golf coach if possible. Sometimes pregnant women try to compensate for their changing body and end up with a stance or swing that contributed to back problems.