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Cycling through the city when pg?

(34 Posts)
herewegoagain4749 Mon 03-Oct-16 14:08:51

Hi all.

I'm 10 wks with my second pg, and 2 wks into a new job in a busy part of the city. Absolutely hating the commute, which is either a 1 to 1.5hrs horrid bus ride or train, then subway. Both are massively busy (rarely get a seat), smelly, and make me retch - not to mention expensive and time-consuming! I used to cycle to work and I miss it, would love to do it now to avoid the crowds, but hubby is not keen given the pg.

The cycle would only take about 30mins, I'd go slow (I'm a slow cyclist anyway), and be off road where possible (which isn't much). Is it too risky?? I'd be happier doing it on a daily basis (not to mention fitter), but would feel beyond guilty if anything happened.....what do you think? Anyone in a similar situation?

puddock Mon 03-Oct-16 14:20:34

I kept up with my cycle commute (in west London) through most of my first pregnancy. I found it a good way to get some gentle exercise in and a lot less hard going than the equivalent public transport journey.
IIRC the advice from bodies like the NCT, NHS etc is that you should 'exercise caution' because of risk of falling, but it's not a no-no.

puddock Mon 03-Oct-16 14:22:29
This might help smile

sianihedgehog Mon 03-Oct-16 14:26:57

I cycled to work in pregnancy, but I suffered from really bad anaemia and terrible exhaustion and had to stop. I also had a really nasty cycling accident that had me in A&E early on, and in retrospect think the exhaustion was partly the cause. If you feel up to it, I'd go for it, but if you start to feel wrong please don't try to power through!

choccybiscuit Mon 03-Oct-16 18:55:07

Love that article! It's help me think more positively about carrying on cycling in pregnancy. I'm 13 weeks now and today for the first time I could feel my bump with my legs when cycling. I'm determined to carry on I ride 10 miles a day commute to work and back in West London, but I try and take as many back roads as possible.

frenchknitting Tue 04-Oct-16 07:10:34

I always thought I would cycle during pregnancy, but a few months before I fell pregnant the first time a woman in a 4x4 drove into the back of me at lights. There was no damage, but it really changed my attitude. I'd been doing everything right - taking an assertive position in the road, paying attention to my surroundings, etc. But it just took one woman who was looking at her kid in the back rather than the road to not notice that the lights had changed.

So I've only cycled off road during pregnancy.

That is a personal choice though, there are real benefits to keeping active, so it is a balance. Also, I wouldn't cycle in London at the best of times, you people are made of hardier stuff!

Bella1985 Tue 04-Oct-16 07:38:26

I was going o say something similar to frenchknitting I've only cycled off road and stopped at around 10 weeks due to tiredeness which was making me less aware of my surroundigs and didn't feel safe. 3 months ago my father was knocked off his bike (in a village so slow speed impact) by a car that simply didn't see him (despite high vis clothing etc) and let's just say he's not able to go back to work until 2017. His helmet saved him (head hit the pavement and fractured his skull) so make sure you wear all the safety gear. He loved cycling and took safety measures, but realised the hard way that you can't take into account other drivers' actions.

Good luck to you if you continue cycling, stay safe and hope you have an injury free pregnancy x

Ebbenmeowgi Tue 04-Oct-16 08:09:16

I stopped at 20 weeks but that's cos I'm a bit clumsy anyway, my balance has been a bit off and I had a little fall (slow, undramatic, right outside my home!). Luckily I can walk to work instead. But I know some women continuing to cycle into their third trimester in this city and they're doing just fine. As long as you feel safe and comfortable go for it. Maybe raise your handle bars if bump is getting in the way?

Squtternutbosch Tue 04-Oct-16 08:50:28

I'm still cycling through a city to get around, am 36+1. But I live outside the UK, in a very cycle-friendly city. I don't know if I'd still be cycling in London to be honest.

Take it easy, be careful, wear a helmet and stop if you feel it's too much!

TeaPleaseLouise Tue 04-Oct-16 08:57:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LordPeterWimsey Tue 04-Oct-16 11:24:06

I biked to work throughout (stopped work at 38 weeks and was cycling till then), doing a 5-mile commute. I was really glad I did as I developed SPD at about 25 weeks: walking was painful, and standing up on the Tube would have been agony, but cycling was just fine. Definitely go for it if you feel up to it.

Me2017 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:34:48

I cycled outer London just from tube to house - only a short journey. I even did it when I went into mild early labour at work and left to come home. It was very early stages. I think I pushed the bike most of the way that day.
Do what feels right to you.

aginghippy Tue 04-Oct-16 11:52:29

Do what feels right to you.


People who do not cycle tend to over-estimate the risks of cycling. I am a regular commuter cyclist in London and cycled up until about week 35. After that my bump was very big and my balance didn't feel right. It was only a couple of weeks before I went on mat leave, anyway.

SueTrinder Tue 04-Oct-16 12:02:14

I worked with a woman who cycled into work on her due date (Oxford academic about 20 years ago). She was quite happy to keep working until she went into labour, but got fed up of being questioned as to why she was in work on her due date so went on maternity leave the next day. Baby didn't arrive for a week.

foxyfemke Tue 04-Oct-16 12:05:26

I cycled until the day before my son was evicted, so until 38+5. I live in Holland though, where it's just much more geared up for cyclists than the UK. If you feel you have a safe route and feel your body is OK with it, keep cycling. I found cycling easier than walking towards the end. I had to dismount and push the bike over steep bridges where I live, as I lacked the strength to get me and the bike up them, and I lowered my speed so I was comfortable.

mrsamerican Tue 04-Oct-16 13:44:34

Today is my due date, and I cycled this morning to a yoga class! If you are used to cycling and have no complications, there is no reason to stop. That said, my bike it an upright dutch-style bike. About 25ish weeks, it was nearly impossible to bend over a non-upright bike.

I echo the people that found walking harder than cycling! I get bad pelvic pain and contractions while walking, so cycling is actually loads easier. And while I'm not 100% sure about this, I think that the motion and movement of going up gentle hills and things really helps the pelvic floor as well as Kegels which they tell you to do all the time.

herewegoagain4749 Tue 04-Oct-16 14:05:13

Thanks for all the positive advice!

TeaPleaseLouise the commute IS horrid. I cycled in for the first time this morning and loved it. The route is from the South of Glasgow to the West End, and involves plenty of busy roads, but I'm going to vary it to find the least busy route, and use cycle paths/pavements where I can. So far so good, but I use a road bike with skinny tires, so when the weather turns I'll need to reconsider :-(. Felt so much less nausea cycling than I did on the bus/train/subway, and not tired at all..

I guess it depends on your general attitude to risk, as a few of you have said. I'm happy taking the risk when not pg, so as long as the pg isn't negatively affecting me, I feel it's ok to continue.

Have already faced some judgemental raised eyebrows though!

Really great to know I'm not alone in this, thanks :-)

TeaPleaseLouise Tue 04-Oct-16 15:18:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

herewegoagain4749 Tue 04-Oct-16 15:31:50

TeaPleaseLouise - agreed, except for when you live in a tiny flat with a husband who has a FLEET of bikes, and no outdoor storage! lol

TeaPleaseLouise Tue 04-Oct-16 16:23:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AGenie Tue 04-Oct-16 18:08:09

I think just do what feels right for you. If it's better for you then you could consider switching to a three wheeler for more stability and slower cycling.

I cycled to all my midwife appointments, except when we were snowed in and I had to walk for 45 minutes each way in the snow. The sunshine and exercise made me feel great and getting to tell people that I'd done it made me feel even better.

I'd say just do what you feel able to do and don't be swayed by other people.

bairnsangs Tue 04-Oct-16 18:57:09

Here I live in Glasgow too! DP and I are TTC right now and I fully intend to keep cycling when pregnant - as long as I feel ok of course.

Does your work do the Cycle to Work Scheme or is there a NextBike near you? Maybe with NextBike you could benefit from the upright style without buying another bike. Or if your work do CtW then you could get a bike but save some money and avoid a bigger outlay.

Would you like to be able to cycle once baby arrives? Perhaps you could tell DH that you need a bike that would be more suitable for a baby seat so that you and the wee one can get out and about when you're on Mat Leave?

Just to add to the support you're getting here, you're doing a really great thing for your own fitness and wellbeing which is super important and other people's ill-informed opinions shouldn't stop you! There are loads of things that are risky in daily life (especially driving in cars!) but we can't avoid all of them anyway grin

parentsvsPIL Tue 04-Oct-16 20:37:44

I agree with all the positive advice on here, with the caveats about safety. Being fit is brilliant.

PGP/SPD is something to consider though. It can mainly affect the sacroiliac joints (at the back) or mainly affect the pubic symphysis (at the front), or affect all three. in either of the latter cases you might suddenly find that the straddling/pushing down alternate legs suddenly becomes painful - if that happens, seriously, stop and see a physio. They will probably tell you to stop cycling.

I was cycling until about week 18, pushed through the (symphysis pubis) pain a few times before seeing a physio and being told to stop, and can now hardly walk at 32 weeks - am hobbling around on crutches and walking up hills is excruciating. Obviously that's just anecdata and everyone is different, but it's very much worth keeping in mind.

SomePig Tue 04-Oct-16 23:34:34

I cycled all the way through both pregnancies, and found it so much better than those days when logistics meant I had to take the tube. Exercised, felt the wind through my hair, arrived at work feeling happy and full of endorphins. Told the patronising git in the next office who kept expressing concern that I was cycling when pregnant what to do with his opinion grin. I was fortunate though that I didn't suffer any major back pain or joint pain. I asked my GP and midwife about it and they both said, 'Do you enjoy it? Is it causing you any problems or pain? No? Then you should listen to your body and keep on cycling for as long as you want.'

The littlest has just started cycling to nursery on his own two-wheeler, and I did a happy dance when I realised that we can now go away on cycling holidays together.

Galdos Wed 05-Oct-16 08:39:28

Why ever not? I often see very visibly pregnant women running. Someone I knew who was a keen swimmer kept swimming almost up to delivery (the nipper was a week late, but even so, swimming in a public pool on the due date seemed a bit risky, and potentially very messy!).

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