By Victoria Hazael
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Laura Moss organises the Cycle Touring Festival with her husband Tim, and thoughout her pregnancy she was regularly cycling. Laura explains the benefits of cycling during pregnancy and how she’s been cycling longer distances while expecting a baby.
Brisk walking, gentle yoga and swimming. When I first found out I was pregnant, these were the exercises that were recommended by the various apps and websites I consulted. Most articles I found on cycling during pregnancy cautioned against cycling outside, with the NHS, NCT and Babycentre all recommending stationary bikes instead.
The occasional article (including Victoria Hazael’s blog on this website) showed me that some women did keep riding throughout pregnancy, but authoritative sources recommending it were few and far between.
This panicked me. I rely on cycling to get around, and more importantly to maintain good mental health. I need to get outside on a bike, to keep stress levels down and keep both my mind and body strong. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends exercise as a key factor in maintaining mental wellbeing during pregnancy and I knew that this would be crucial for me.
I was particularly keen to know how far I could push myself. Could I still complete long days on the bike? Was it safe to get out of breath? Would I harm the baby if I cycled on bumpy tracks? I didn’t want to treat my pregnancy as a training opportunity, but it was important to me that I could continue riding for as long as I could.
I am a director of The Adventure Syndicate (TAS), a Cycling UK-affiliated group which aims to get more women and girls cycling. A few of us have fallen pregnant over the last couple of years and we all agree that cycling when pregnant is something of a taboo subject. We all experienced comments from people thinking we were mad, or worse, than we were putting our baby in danger by risking falling off and hurting the bump.