Does riding in pregnancy make you more likely to have an easy labour?

(15 Posts)
Smartieaddict Tue 09-Jul-13 14:16:55

This is a thread inspired by a thread, which I hope is OK? I noticed on the thread about how long to keep riding while pregnant, a couple of people had mentioned they rode while pregnant, and went on to have an easy labour.

That got me thinking, as I considered my labour to be on the easy side, despite being induced. Mine was 5 hours from having my waters broken, to DS making an appearance. I rode regularly until I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant.

So my question is, if you rode regularly while pregnant, how was your labour?

cephalicdream Tue 09-Jul-13 14:19:05

Sorry I genuinely thought riding was not recommended during pregnancy

Kizzit Tue 09-Jul-13 15:21:34

With DC1 I rode a quiet cob up to the day before she was born. On the actual day I mucked out and did all the other chores in the yard,left at 1.30,decided to pop past local maternity hospital to get checked out as I hadn't felt that many movements over the last 12 hrs. I was told to get my bag as I was 3cm dilated .
I checked in at 3pm,she was born at 5.30pm.....

With DC2 I rode a thoroughbred who was being used as a nanny horse for friend's hunter. I vividly remember galloping through the country side whilst 6 month's pregnant and all of a sudden I realising what I was doing......

I asked friend to go back to walk and decided there and then I would not ride again until after her birth.

I simply hadn't considered the dangers as horse was very reliable,but all it takes is a tumble or a rabbit hole....

You are very right about the mental health aspect though. I found it such a brilliant way to relax I'm sure it helped me stay sane.My second was also an easy birth,woke up at 4.30am with some twinges,sorted DC1,left home at 5.30am,got to hospital at 6am,baby born 1 push later at 6.05am. Not sure if that had anything to do with riding though.

I copied above from the other thread.

I think riding/any general sport that keeps you fit and strong during your pregnancy,might help you cope in labour.On the other hand though
I have do also have horse riding friends who have had a prolonged/complicated labour so there really is no evidence to suggest either way.

I remember being warned by the midwife to stop riding long before baby was due as "I was only making it more difficult for myself by developing a strong pelvic floor....."

Littlebigbum Tue 09-Jul-13 16:34:29

I sort of started about 11 at night after an active day, went to sleep went to hospital about 4 am had dear son at 11.05 on the day that he was due.
So I can't say... it was easy enough, still painfu,l midwife said it was a text book birth.
But I recovered fast 2 day digging mums garden 'bored' and figure back 2 wks.

Not sure about the birth but was up and about quick.

Also due to riding my stomach muscles are very toned so midwife had trouble feeling baby. But on the plus my stomach went flat straight after birth.

Pixel Tue 09-Jul-13 21:26:12

I have heard that it can be more difficult due to the perineum becoming tougher if you have done a lot of riding. From my own experience I would say there could be some truth in that (ventouse and loads of stitches). Second time around I thought I'd try and 'soften up' the area and used copious amounts of almond oil throughout the pregnancy and it was definitely easier (no stitches yay!). I know the second should be easier but there was over four years gap so I reckon everything would have gone back to normal by then!

jemstipp Tue 09-Jul-13 21:29:41

I heard that about the perineum too from a mid wife.

Littlebigbum Wed 10-Jul-13 09:15:21

I guess the point is if riding is your job you can not give up your job for a full 9 months

Smartieaddict Wed 10-Jul-13 10:21:14

Hmm, I had ventouse and loads of stitches as well, at the end of my quick labour, horrendous bruising as well, so maybe you are right Pixel. I hadn't heard that before though.

cephalicdream, I was told it was fine to keep doing any activities your body is already used to in pregnancy, just not start anything new. There are obviously risks involved in riding, but there are risks in most things in life, and it is down to the individual what risks they are happy with I guess.

horseylady Wed 10-Jul-13 15:14:11

Baby stuck, forceps delivery. He came early, I stopped riding two weeks before, recovered fairly quickly. Was very shell shocked though!!

Backinthebox Thu 11-Jul-13 00:39:48

I've been told there are possible outcomes - the pelvic floor is so strong it won't let the baby out at all, or the stomach muscles are so strong the baby comes flying out like a ping-pong ball! I've had one of each grin

Backinthebox Thu 11-Jul-13 00:49:15

^^ 'TWO possible outcomes....' hmm

cephalicdream LOTS of things are not recommended in pregnancy - don't eat this, don't do that. I think blanket bans on stuff like smoking are sensible, as there is real evidence that it does harm babies. But then there is the stuff that only harms babies if it goes wrong. You have to decide for yourself which risks you are prepared to take, and which ones you aren't.

I'm fairly certain it would not be a sensible idea to take up riding whilst pregnant. But if you are experienced it IS possible to take part in lower risk riding, eg plodding along on bridleways on an easy horse you know well.

Many women wouldn't dream of riding, whilst pregnantly sitting there with their judgey pants hoicked up and quaffing a glass of wine. Others wouldn't dream of drinking whilst pregnant, but are happy to have a half hour hack through a hayfield. Horses for courses, I suppose!

Smartieaddict Thu 11-Jul-13 09:33:19

Backinthebox, I think I had both at once! grin

laurenamium Mon 15-Jul-13 20:43:14

I had strong tummy muscles. 4 hours very start to finish. 30 minutes at the pushing stage! I rode til I was 6
Months pregnant and then did yard work for another 2. I recovered very quickly

PogoBob Mon 15-Jul-13 20:56:46

With DD I rode until I was 7 1/2 months gone and had an easy pregnancy and a quick, easy and practically pain free birth, also recovered very quickly.

DS I rode twice between discovering I was pregnant at 4 weeks and 6 weeks when the most awful morning sickness kicked in. Had problem with back ache and exhaustion through the pregnancy. His birth was horrid, back to back, painful and only just avoided instruments. Am still struggling with back and pelvis ache now and he is 6 months old!

Completely anecdotal I know but it did seem to keep me fit the first time around.

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