As an expectant mother, you may worry if you should play golf, thinking it may impact the child somehow. This is a common question among pregnant female golfers.
Can you golf while pregnant? Golfing won’t be dangerous to pregnant mothers, but more intense exercise is usually best avoided. While playing you’ll want to stay hydrated, avoid hazardous terrains to reduce the risk of falling, and modify your stance to accommodate your growing belly.
If you’re an expectant mother, you can read on to learn everything about golfing and pregnancy.
What to Know About Golfing While Pregnant
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The average pregnant golfer won’t experience issues while golfing, but we would like to emphasize that you should coordinate this with your doctor. For most women, physical activity could prove beneficial, but every case is unique.
While playing, you will want to be conscious of hip and shoulder rotation risks or throwing out your back. More than 60 percent of women already experience lower back pain due to the growing uterus and hormonal changes.
The biggest risk to golfing pregnant mothers could be the risk of falling, so stick to the fairways and more gentle courses.
Bring extra water bottles when out on the course because you lose a lot of water while golfing from sweating. Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers to pregnant women who golf, and you should beware of sunburn while pregnant in your third trimester and at all times because it can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration can lead to serious pregnancy complications like:
- Low amniotic fluid
- Neural tube defects
- Low breast milk production
- Premature labor
You may want to book a tee time in the early mornings before the heat peaks or avoid golfing on hot days altogether. Even just being out in the heat can cause fatigue.
Riding in a Golf Cart While Pregnant
Doing too much walking could put you into labor, so riding in a golf cart is ideal, but also must be done carefully. Later, into your pregnancy, such as eight months in, you may want to avoid golf carts altogether to prevent complications. You should always exercise caution of the terrain in a golf cart.
Beware of the golf cart during the early stages of pregnancy as well since the rough ride could be dangerous. A bumpy ride will rarely prove a problem, but in some cases, it can cause a heart pattern issue for unborn children.
Also Read: Which President Played Golf the Most?
Take Extra Precautions While Golfing Pregnant
Can you golf while pregnant? Ultimately, you can play golf while pregnant, and we have even seen some women in the LPGA who played while pregnant.
Some examples of LPGA Tour players who were pregnant while they played golf include Sophia Popov, Inbee Park, and Kelly Okun. Catriona Matthew even won a five-shot victory at the HSBC LPGA Brazil Cup in 2009. She was five months pregnant.
You can play golf while pregnant, but you must take precautions. Get clearance from your doctor before you play.
Playing Golf and the Trimester
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Trillium Rose offers us an insight into playing golf while pregnant because she wrote about her experience while doing it.
During her first trimester, she had a minimal amount of energy, and she spent most of her time sleeping. This made it so that she played golf less during that time—which is okay—don’t force yourself to play. Listen to your body.
When Trillium did play, she said that she exercised caution with how she would swing the club.
During the second trimester of her pregnancy, Trillium said that she felt like she had more energy to play. However, she noticed a difference in her body when she played. For example, she felt her center of mass was lower. The extra weight did have a benefit in that it helped her to keep her posture during the swing.
In the third trimester, Trillium said she realized she had to slow down with most intense exercises. Because of the weight gain during this time, she struggled more with hip rotation. Bending down to place the tee in the ground also became a problem.
Listen to Your Body
The biggest lesson from the above story is listening to your body. Don’t push it. Slow down when needed and take extra care because you won’t be helping yourself but the child that is to help you. You may want to pack extra snacks while out on the golf course to ensure your energy.
Also, don’t go if you don’t feel like it, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You might use a putter suction cup to help golf. It’s common with older male golfers who can’t bend down in one movement to collect the ball. Eliminating the need to bend over will ensure the safety of yourself and your child. It doesn’t take much to use. You just attach the cup to the top of your putter grip and press it onto the ball to suck it up.
Is it Safe to Golf While Pregnant?
Can pregnant women golf? Due to the low risk of collision or injury, golf is one of the safer sports you could take on while pregnant. All of this assumes that the pregnant golfer has normal health and can walk the distance of the golf course. You can expect back pain if you choose to play while golfing.
You might opt for a 9-hole course rather than the full 18 holes to lower some risks and negatives. Do it lightly. Stop whenever you start to feel pain. You don’t need to finish the full 18 holes, and I’ve heard of some women who stopped at the 13th hole when it became too much.
Also Read: The Best Golf App for Apple Watch for 2023
Tips and Precautions to Keep Your Baby Safe
Tip #1 Your Swing will Change: Pregnant female golfers should prepare for the fact that their swing will change while pregnant. As your belly gets bigger, your chest often increases as well. Due to those changes, your swing change as well. Many female golfers say they lost a ton of distance when pregnant. This may stem from the fact that they also don’t engage their abs.
Tip #2 Don’t Force Distance: Many pregnant female golfers reported losing distance during their golf game. Unfortunately, you can’t do much about it if you do lose distance while pregnant. Instead, focus on your accuracy since this can make a big difference. Focus instead on keeping the ball on the fairway.
Tip #3 The Risk of Fall Increase: When golfing, you need to be aware of the danger of falling because your sense of balance decreases while pregnant. Beware especially of hills, valleys, and gouges in the ground that pose a trip hazard. An estimated 27 percent of all pregnant women suffer a fall while pregnant. Luckily, falls won’t hurt the baby for the most part, but you should still call the doctor, even with minor falls.
Tip #4: Playing While Pregnant and What They Don’t Tell You: Get in your golf game while pregnant because you may not be able to play as much after the baby comes. Pregnancy and golfing are usually no problem, but you will feel more exhausted after you give birth. A lot comes up after, making hitting the golf courses harder. When you play golf after pregnancy, you may want to bring your breast pump to use in the locker room after a round.
What Sports Should I Avoid While Pregnant?
Beware of any sport with jerky or bouncy movements since it could cause you to fall. Examples of sports you’d be better off avoiding include horseback riding, gymnastics, downhill skiing, and offroad cycling. Avoid all sports where you risk getting hit in the belly, like boxing, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball.
How Long Can I Play Golf When Pregnant?
You should particularly beware of golfing in your earlier stages of pregnancy since it poses the greatest risk at that point. Later on, such as in your eighth month of pregnancy, you may also want to refrain.
Answering the question, “Can you golf while pregnant?” Playing golf usually won’t be a problem, but you should take extra precautions for golfing while pregnant. You may wonder, “Can you golf 9 months when pregnant?” I have heard of women who golfed for up to 8 months, but I would speak with my doctor to ensure.