Sound Off! What Activities Aren't Safe for Pregnant Women?

10/21/2008 at 09:00 AM ET
INF; Ramey

We’ve all heard the horror stories about women falling while pregnant — it’s every expectant mother’s worst nightmare. But how far do you need to go to protect yourself during pregnancy? You want what’s best for your baby, but you also want to live your life, too. Katie Holmes and Naomi Watts both drew raised eyebrows for participating in activities like ice skating and scootering while expecting. In fact, 57% of readers think Naomi’s decision to take a Vespa ride was risky. So what are the limits?

Which activities did you avoid during pregnancy?


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Showing 51 comments

tan on

Skating thats for sure.My daughter wanted me to roller and ice skate while shopping in Oregon and I’m like look at the belly,lol.Oh yeah riding down a water slide.

Laurie on

Im horrible at ice skating, so skating is just out of the question, espeically if i was heavily pregnant.

I stayed away from high heels thats for sure. I didnt pick up heavy objects anymore or do strenuous activites.

I dont see anything wrong with riding a moped while pregnant (but i wouldnt ride if i was 6+ months into it) because you just dont know.

Other than that i did my everyday activities, being pregnant encouraged me to eat healthy and work out!

Kelly on


Sara on

You just have to be aware of your center of gravity, it’s way out there! I think that’s why so many activities like these are questionable because it’s hard to judge, I had a few spills, bumped into many things, misjudged my balance… it happens so you just need to use caution.
Although, I will also say that by the time I’m as far along as Naomi, I just want to be laying still, not out riding a scooter!🙂

Sarita on

Riding a moped, bicyle, motorcycle etc is all safe. As long as you drive safely. Ice skating depends on your balance. I guess with a huge belly I just wouldn’t be able to ice skate!

jacqui on

Not a lot, actually. I walked everywhere up until the very end, body-surfed,did lots of yoga. Snowboarding – for reasons that should be obvious – was the one thing I didn’t do.
We are trying for our second baby and I have to say I will be a wee bit bummed if it happens soon and I miss another whole snowboarding season.

sigh on

I don’t know why the vespa is a big deal. People are killed in car accidents all the time; should pregnant women never get in cars or near streets? Silly.

phoebe on

I do not remember Katie Holmes ice skating, but OMG!!!! There is no way I would’ve seen that as an acceptable activity while I was pregnant, I would’ve been scared out of my wits that I would fall and hurt my daughter! I probably wouldn’t have got on the back of a scooter either, it just seems a little too risky. I also had the water ride problem. I was on holiday with the rest of my family, and my cousins child decided I was her favourite for the day and got all upset when I said I couldn’t go down the big slide with her! Other than that, I was just generally more aware than I had been before, which was quite important, considering I am a somewhat clumsy person unless I pay attention!

Jennifer on

Okay-the ice skating thing is a bit off but over here in Europe, almost everyone has a scooter!! I see preg women on them all the time. It’s normal. Should women not drive in small vehicles like the SMART either, just in case? Yeesh. Poor Naomi for taking the flack!

MB on

My doctor told me to stay away from riding a bicycle later in pregnancy because of my center of balance shifting and the increased possibility of falling. However, that’s a bike and not a moped; I don’t think I would have a problem being a passenger on one like Naomi is. I tend to not pay attention to what other women do while pregnant then. Every woman is different and every pregnancy is different, so activity restrictions are diff. for each woman too. I have a disability to so there are a lot more things I can’t do on a regular basis, let alone while pregnant, for me to have an accurate idea of what is “safe.”

angie on

When I was 5 month pregnant my dr told me to stop driving my car, she said as the baby´s head was in the position where the sit bell rest on the belly it could hurt him if suddenly slow. She said I could do it later when baby got head down, but I didn´t drive anymore on my pregnancy, I was all pampered, just resting, I mean you are only pregnant for 9 months, you can do all risky stuff later if you want, and OMG!!! Ice skating, what was she thinking, poor Suri in there.

Gina on

Look how happy Katie looks. What a shame.

brooke on

Yea I would stay away from skating, riding bikes, motorcylces, etc. And even though I’m a health nut and work out a lot, when pregnant I think it’s safe to work out but very moderate and not overdo it. The way I see it, your only pregnant for 9 months, so you can give up a few activities for that short amount of time, because I would feel guilty if something happens on account of me . I also think carrying a 1-2 yr old child that weighs around 20 something pounds is fine, but I wouldn’t do like angelina did carry pax who looks to be at least 40lbs while pregnant with twins though, but everybody is different.

Carrie on

When I was pregnant there wasn’t much I didn’t do, my friend was preg just after me, and went on one of those pirate ships that goes upside down!! I must add her son was born 6 wks later perfectly healthy!!🙂

Sadaf on

I avoided wearing stiletto heels while in my last trimester in both my pregnancies. That, and lifting any heavy object while bending down is also a big no-no.

I think when Heidi Klum wore that apple outfit for Halloween during her third pregnancy, with those huge high heels, it was a bit dangerous. But there’s nothing wrong with riding on a motorbike, is there?

I took a nasty fall in my 7th month when I was carrying a tray load of stuff to my car and my foot got stuck in a pipe on the pavement (which I did not see because of the tray). I fell but landed flat on the ground in a sitting position, and thankfully there was no injury to the baby!

Sheri on

The most risky thing about Naomi riding the moped was that she was doing so in a skirt.

Pogue Mahone on

While prego I did still fly, and swim, but I avoided diving, skiing, skating, horseback riding , or any “risky” activity that may cause me to fall or get hit in the stomach and harm the baby. Giving up certain things for 9 months is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of the baby! Baby’s well-being always comes first!🙂

Nancy on

I’m not pregnant yet but I definitely wouldn’t ice skate. I probabaly also wouldn’t ride a bike (at least when the belly gets in my way) ;o) I like climbing up trees so that would also be an activity I could no longer do… hmm… can’t think of anything else right now.

Kaylee on

I’m going to go with people need to mind their own business for 1200 Alex. I’m sorry but that has to be one of the most upsetting things about being pregnant. People thinking they know what’s best. And they throw opinions at you like they know it all. Don’t eat this don’t drink that. Sometimes I think if a pregnant woman does something not to the liking of a person or people. They act like the pregnant woman doesn’t love her baby.

JB on

Under the advice of my midwife, my husband and I kept our small sailboat on dry land the summer I was pregnant. I also sat out for the ski season. Ultimately, you know your body better than anyone else. If you’re comfortable on ice skates, a slow spin around the rink isn’t scandolous. It’s not like Katie was smoking while skating pregnant! And as for the scootering, again, it’s not like Naomi was drunk on the scooter! How many babies are born addicted to crack every day, and people are upset about ice skating and scootering..?

Anna on

I figured skated as a kid, and every single one of our coaches continued coaching (meaning skating after students) when they were pregnant. With the exception of the one who continued to demonstrate spins until the day before she gave birth, no one batted an eye. These women hadn’t fallen skating forward since they were toddlers, so skating wasn’t any more dangerous than walking to them. You can’t judge Katie until you know how proficient she is. If she’s unsteady just going forward, then yes, it’s an unnecessary risk. If she’s skated long enough that she’s more likely to trip walking, then I don’t see why she should stop.

Kerri on

Riding a scooter doesn’t really seem too much more dangerous than riding in a car while pregnant, so that seems OK. Ice skating doesn’t seem like the best…people take spills ice skating all the time. It also doesn’t seem like it would be very stable with your center of gravity being off from normal. However, Katie isn’t really very far along in that pic, is she?

Kelley on

here’s a thought….how about you do or don’t do what you want when it’s your own pregnancy and never mind about other peoples, because really it’s none of your business?

phoebe on

Kelley, this is a sound off, it’s the one place on this site you’re allowed to express opinions like this. I get what you’re saying, but this post asked for opinions.

Huh?! on

I don’t think that some people understand that the whole point of this thread (and all the Sound Off! threads) was asking “what activiites did you avoid while pregnant?” so the whole Point of this thread is to discuss what you did and did not do while pregnant…so this is where you can give your different opinions and it’s not about minding your own business…Vespas are scary enough to me not pregnant let alone with a huge belly!

lilith on

Lol, Kelley, that’s exactly what I’m thinking when one of the “Sound off!” threads is coming up.

erica on

whatever happened to common sense? if you don’t feel safe, then don’t do it. the beauty of pregnancy is that you don’t just wake up one morning with 7lbs attached to your midsection. the shift in center of gravity is gradual, and i don’t doubt there will be a day (22 weeks now) when i will no longer feel comfortable doing certain things like bicycling. but every woman is different, so there’s no need for blanket alarmist statements or judgments?

unless you’re seriously engaging in reckless activity (smoking a cigar while riding a moped at breakneck speed with a martini in the other hand), you’re probably adult-enough to decide what’s safe for you and the baby.

Shan on

I never had any problems occur while doing anything “risky”. I went on a kids waterslide with my daughter when I was expecting my son. Went on a float trip with my family at 8 months. I rollerskated around our driveway for a few minutes to show my daughter how to do it. Went on a brief motorcycle ride. And rode a bike. Nothing happened during any of these activities, since they’re all something I’ve done for years and I was very careful to pay attention to my balance and make sure someone was there just in case. Now walking on the other hand, that was a danger! I fell down a set of 5 concrete steps at 7.5 months wearing a pair of flipflops in dry summer weather. That landed me in the hospital for montioring for 5 hours, but none of the other things caused an issue! I gues I’m just kind of backwards!! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with continuing regular activites. Obviously taking it easier with them, but I see no reason to cut things out completely if you’re careful!

Sherri on

There were only two things that I avoided during my pregnancies… Snow skiing and playing Softball, on the advice of my Doc.

Everything else was as normal.

As for Katie & Naomi… I think as individuals we know our bodies (and therefore our balance & flexibility) better than anyone else. If they felt okay doing what they were doing, so be it.

MamaVeronique on

I lived in france when I was pregnant with my 1st and I decided that just because I was pregnant didn’t mean I wasn’t going to look nice or drive unless my doctor told me not to. I wore high heels until the day I delivered, I drove the whole time, and I went figure skating, but I used to train in figure skating so being in skates isn’t new to me. I rode a moped and I carried grocerys. And you know what? My Genevieve was born at 9 pounds and perfectly healthy. Most people would put me in the careless or risky category, but I wasn’t. I made sure I knew what I was doing. I never carried anything over 25 pounds, I didn’t fall on the ice, I made sure to be extra careful while driving my moped. And when I had my daughter, I didn’t have time to ride a moped or buy and wear high heels or even grocery shop for a few weeks. After the first 5 weeks I was back to my normal self. HOWEVER. With my daughter only 13 months old when I had my second , Madeleine, I was okay carrying her, but not in heels, I traded in the moped for a car, and I put the grocerys in the stroller. With my third, Nicolette, I couldn’t carry my 2 year old, too heavy. I could barely push the double stroller. Everything has to be adjusted. Depending on what pregnancy you’re in, how old your other children are, and what your day consists of, thing change. I am pregnant with my fourth child, 2 days overdue, and I look 7 months. With this pregnancy, my baby, Olivier, is very active, but I have been able to do everything except carry my older children around for extended periods of time. I cannot wait in line with 2 babies in my arms, too heavy. I can still wear high heels, I am right now. I went ice skating last week! My pregnancy photos were taken 2 weeks ago on the beach, in the ocean sometimes, with my other children and my husband. I bump into things once in awhile, but not hard, and I am careful not to trip and fall. I make sure I am secure doing what I do but I don’t put myself in a plastic bubble when I’m pregnant!

melanie on

I rode on a Vespa when I was pregnant, but never did iceskating. I actually never considered the Vespa to be dangerous and didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t jump on the trampoline, though.

Aya on

LOL, my husband should read this post. He freaks out if I even think of carrying shopping bags, laundry baskets, etc. Haha, He even insists on tying my shoe laces.

Lilybett on

I went swimming with my best friend when she was about eight and a half months… besides scaring the hell out of some children in her bikini, she also kept losing her balance and getting swept out with the undercurrent.

The waves weren’t rough so we thought it’d be okay, but the current was still strong and if she’d been by herself she’d have been in trouble.

I think a lot of activities are still okay, but may require someone else to be there – just in case.

I would have thought riding on the back of a scooter would have been uncomfortable with a big belly, though. You’d have to stick your bum right out to be able to fit the bump between you and the person in front.

phoebe on

I do think this is a matter of judgement a lot of the time, and as I mentioned in my first post, I am naturally clumsy, so I had to restrict myself out of sheer knowledge of what the consequences could be if I wasn’t ultra careful. I wouldn’t do anything differently with a future pregnancy than I did with my first.

Veronique – good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy and your children have very beautiful names!

Gelareh on

I think ice skating is a big mistake, you can always fall while skating.
as for the vespa riding, I think since you’re big and can’t hold on to the driver’s waist you’re only leaning backwards putting your weight and reliance on your hands, thats pretty dangerous.

Well, you sure want your life but can skip a few things while pregnant. I think it’s best to avoid any risk.

Kim on

I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant with my second child, with my first I rode my scooter to work 5 days a week til I was probably about 22-25 weeks, after that my belly got in the way! This pregnancy I am planning the same but I would never ice skate, I think that ice is just a tad too unpredictable and as others have said, I’m not a good ice skater at the best of times!

Tiffany on

I agree with a lot of the other posts.. It all depends on what you are comfortable doing. I rode my ATV till I was about 6 months (i just didn’t do extreme trails or anything).. I also have a cousin that trains horses and she rode horses until she was about 7 months.. However she couldn’t ride with her second one cause it was a high risk pregnancy.. It all depends on the person..

CelebBabyLover on

brooke- To be fair, Angelina never actually carried Pax while she was pregnant with Knox and Viv (except maybe for a few times at the very beginning of her pregnancy, before public speculation had even begun!).

She did carry Zahara and Shiloh, though. Now, when she was pregnant with Shiloh, that was a different story. She carried Maddox a few times, and he was about the same age that Pax was now!

CelebBabyLover on

That Pax IS now, I mean!

Dawn on

I was very careful during my pregnancies. I didn’t do anything that I felt was the least bit risky. After being so careful for nine months, I ended up falling down the stairs in my house about a week before my son was born. Luckily I was the only one who got hurt.

maire on

i am not pregnant i’m only 17 but ive been ice skating since i was 3, and still go on a regular basis, so i think that i would be able to ice skate for a decent amount of time. kristine lilly, on the us soccer team recently gave birth, june or july, and she ran every day up until 7 months and then walked every day after that and she also lifted weights but she wanted to stay in shape as best as she could so she could return to play by april

in my opinion it depends on how active you are to begin with, how your pregnancy is and how comfortable you are doing the activity

mary on

For two out of four pregnancy’s I played soccer up to around the 5th – 6th months. Closer to the 6th month with the first one. I did not show and could have played longer, But the goalie hit me in the nose and I broke it. My husband said “no more playing” My doctor said as long as I did not lose my balance I could keep playing and until I was showing. (also your heart rate cannot go up to a certain point)Since this was a sport I had been playing for years and years it was ok. (I listend to my husband) I did not play for with the last two because we no longer had a team.

Susie on

I’ve taken some spills while ice skating before (when not pregnant) and the ice doesn’t forgive at ALL! I woudln’t go ice skating. I’d be terrified of falling on my tummy, and also of falling at all. Major bruising is not something I’d want to add to pregnancy.
I agree with previous posters that your center of gravity is off and hard to judge during pregnancy. I don’t jump on trampolines (because I often feel as though my uterus might just “spill” out!).

For my own peace of mind I stay away from stuff that might cause falls, no ladders, no leaning over edges of high stuff, and no crazy cartwheeling (I teach dance sometimes).

There’s such a risk for placenta abruption, why tempt fate?

*AJ* on

I was told to cut the rollerblades at 20 weeks with my first daughter. My doctor mentioned something about not having the same balance and coordination as you do before that time. It frustrated me because I really felt good doing that. I replaced it with swimming ALOT. It was the one sport I felt like I wasn’t doing anything wrong to my child with because I was in a pool and nothing was being strained or pulled while I swam around. I think I will try yoga with the last baby when we have it. I have heard that helps with the stretching especially during labour.

Elaine on

I didn’t avoid anything specifically, but due to having a lot of nausea early on and back pain later (due to my ligaments softening early apparently) I couldn’t do too much. I did have to stop carrying anything too heavy ( including 3 year old child) and anything other than a low heel was very uncomfortable. I would have carried on wearing heels if I could – women are not constantly fallng over because they wear them so I cannot see how they are particularly dangerous when preggo.

dawn on

OMG I was so lazy during pregnancy,it’s hard to say what is,and is not safe during pregnancy. My doctor always told me (with all 4 pregnancies) to resume normal activities except,vigorous excercise,and anything that could be a dannger to the mother/baby.

Jen on

I exercised while I was pregnant but nothing too strenuous. I did not wear high heels because even when I am not pregnant I still fall in those! I wouldn’t even think of trying to ice skate or rollerblade…those two activities seem extremely risky to me for a pregnant woman because unless you are a skating pro keeping your balance while ice skating and not being pregnant is pretty darn tricky. The scooter doesn’t seem as risky, but I doubt if I were pregnant I’d try to drive one. I didn’t even drive during my 9th month of pregnancy because I could not comfortably fit behind a wheel of a car because if I tried to adjust the seat my feet wouldn’t reach the pedals.

Lola on

Or, if you’re a clutz, maybe avoid everything! With my second pregnancy, I got up at night, forgot about the babygate in the hallway, and with my funny center of gravity, flipped right over it LOL – luckily my second one didn’t get smooshed. I think the waterfilled bubble protects them pretty well.

Sarah on

I pretty much avoided anything except just your normal walking, going up and down stairs & swimming in a pool. I have always had good coordination and balance, but when I was pregnant the 2x with my children, I felt very unbalanced. I am not the risky type anyway, so I just stayed true to my usual activities.

Megan on

I worked at an Ice Skating rink for four years, and while working there one of my coaches fell and lost her baby about 4-5 months long. It was so sad.

lindsay on

i still horse back ride and im pregnant i didnt in the 1st trimester but do ride now as long as i dont push myself or jump 4′ fences i see no prolem with it i think each person no’s there limit

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