Is It Okay to Ride on ATV's during Pregnancy?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I'm currently 5 weeks pregnant. Is it okay for me to ride on ATV's? We'll be on 4-wheel drive roads that can get pretty bumpy. Will the bouncing cause me to have a miscarriage?

ANSWER

I would not recommend this activity during pregnancy.

The organs are developing, and it is not a good idea to severely jostle the fetus. Although the fetus is well-protected and it probably wouldn't hurt the baby to be bumped around a lot, I personally wouldn't risk it.

Some sports and activities aren't safe during pregnancy. Horseback riding, scuba, skiing, competitive mountain biking, ATVs are not recommended during pregnancy because there are always the risk factors you may not be able to control -- a spooked horse, faulty equipment, an inconsiderate or out-of-control rider.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.