Dear Fitness Expert,
Is it ok for my wife to play golf while she is pregnant?
Are there any specific concerns?
Yes, she can play golf, but with a few conditions.
First, whether she believes she needs to or not ... she must visit her doctor and explain that she intends to continue playing golf. This is important because I do not know her medical history -- which could include red flags from back injuries to chronic illnesses that could potentially cause problems with the pregnancy. But once she gets the medical "okay" to play through -- she should then take just a few lessons with a golf instructor.
Again, I have a lot of clients who sigh and say, "Oh, I already have good form ... I know how to play." But a trained professional will be able to assess her stance/swing while she is pregnant. What pregnant athletes tend to over look is how their bodies are changing as the baby grows. We all -- been there, done that -- simply make the physical adjustments so we can continue doing whatever sport or activity we were doing before. The problem is these adjustments aren't always good ones and without even realizing it, we can trigger (in the case of golf) back injuries and abdominal pulls.
Typically, I would also caution you about the heat but given the time of year, we won't worry about this. However, should she play in the heat, please contact me again. Because the baby is one degree Celsius higher than the temperature of your wife, it is always important that your wife not get too hot. And no, she won't be able to simply judge her inner core temperature by how much she is sweating or how hot she feels. There are some methods we can use to get an actual temperature reading of how hot she really is. FYI: Her inner core temperature should never exceed 101 degree F. Because your baby does not have the mechanisms to sweat/cool off -- your baby is truly a bun in the oven. We always want to be sure your wife's 'oven' isn't too hot.
And, finally, no matter the activity, I always advise to drink a lot of water. She will complain to you that all she seems to be doing is going to the bathroom. That's fine. In fact, that's good! It flushes out toxins -- keeping her healthier. Stay away from the caffeine and stay hydrated. This will help both baby and momma from overheating, stressing, and bloating. In fact, it's believed to relieve morning sickness as well (more sodium triggers morning sickness.)
Good luck and keep us posted.