I was a little too late in submitting my story to make it into the Simply Bike: Cycling While Pregnant series before the blog took a hiatus, but I loved reading all the stories and am currently enjoying the trimester-by-trimester Common Pregnancy Questions on Velo Mom. My “babies” are now 7 and 4.75 (with no more planned) so my cycling while pregnant days are long behind me, but it was such a special stage so I’m happy to belatedly share some thoughts. These are my answers to the questions of the Simply Bike: Cycling While Pregnant series.
Favorite part about cycling:
Noticing so many little things about the city as I pass through—this is even more special with my toddler along for the ride.
Bike you ride:
Bianchi Milano city bike with Bobike mini baby seat.
What three words sum up your cycling experience while being pregnant:
Easier than walking!
How did being pregnant affect your approach to cycling or your daily commute:
I cycle primarily for transportation and am pregnant with my second so my “commute” is ferrying a two-year old around town which is very conducive to short trips that keep us close enough to home for midday nap breaks.
What (if anything) surprised you about cycling while pregnant?
Walking upstairs is much too tiring and I avoid stairs as much as possible, but bicycling is a breeze. I ride slowly on a fairly upright bike to begin with so sportier cyclists may notice more of a difference.
How did your family and friends react to you cycling while pregnant?
It certainly helps that half my family is in the Netherlands where cycling is such a normal part of all stages of life. No one seems especially concerned nor impressed with it.
What (if any) special accommodations did you require to continue cycling throughout your pregnancy?
Nothing! I was happy to discover my belly fits behind the Bobike mini front kid seat even past my guess date. During practice surges (that’s the HypnoBirthing term for Braxton Hicks contractions) I just coast or slow my pedaling.
I hoped the baby wouldn’t make his arrival on time so I could attend one last Kidical Mass ride and he obliged so I was able to keep riding to 40+ weeks.
What would you say to another woman interested in cycling while pregnant? What have you taken away from the experience?
You’ll love it! It’s a wonderful and easy way to feel normal and energetic during pregnancy. It’s too easy to become sedentary when expecting and treat pregnancy as a delicate condition.
In addition to cycling, what other activities helped you stay fit and active during your pregnancy?
I love swimming and loved how buoyant I felt in the water. It was a lot harder to find time to go swimming alone than it was to go biking with my toddler, though, so I’m not able to make it a regular habit. This photo is from 37 weeks pregnant, having just completed a one-mile open water swim. It almost felt like cheating, swimming while so buoyant.
p.s. TBT stands for Throwback Thursday