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Can You Bowl While Pregnant? 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Trimester?

Lady bowling is not visibly pregnant but as her pregnancy progresses, she'll take precautions.

Can you bowl while pregnant? That’s the question on a lot of expectant moms’ minds. Pregnant women are advised not to partake in certain physical activities, but is bowling one of them?

In this article, you will find out if bowling is safe for pregnant women and learn some tips to make it even safer.

Let’s get right into it! 

Can You Bowl While Pregnant

You’ll be glad to know that you can, indeed, bowl while pregnant. But you shouldn’t go all out like you would pre-baby. You’ll need to take a few precautions, which we’ll highlight in the next section. 

Note: Before starting a new bowling routine, consult your midwife or OBGYN. Pregnant women need to be careful about the types of exercises they do – there may be some bowling moves that are off-limits for you. A medical professional can help you develop a safe bowling plan to keep you healthy and safe. Bowling typically doesn’t cause harm in a healthy pregnancy.

A lady in a white and red striped sweater is bowling in her first trimester.

How to Bowl Safely While Pregnant

You’re doing everything to ensure the well-being of your unborn child, and we’d like to help you do just that while out on the lanes. Bowling while pregnant can be nerve-wracking if you don’t know how to do it safely.

Fortunately, there are many ways that you can reduce the chances of things going South. 

Never Be Alone

Always bowl with a partner who can help out if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Your body is unpredictable, so having someone with you is a good idea. This is especially important if you’re in your third trimester. 

Wear Comfort Insoles

Have you ever had your ankles buckle when you wear uncomfortable shoes? That can happen with bowling shoes when you’re pregnant. So, it’s imperative to wear comfortable shoes that provide good support for your feet and ankles. 

The bowling shoes you rent at the bowling alley may not be sufficient right now – even your own bowling shoes may feel uncomfortable. So, consider getting some comfort insoles.

You can put them inside your bowling shoes to up their level of comfort. The more comfortable you are, the less likely you’ll be put in harm’s way. 

Pay Attention to How You Feel

Listen to your body. Take a break if you start to feel “off,” and don’t push yourself too hard. Doing so can be dangerous for you and your baby.

Choose Your Ball Wisely

All bowling balls are not created equally. So, avoid using a ball that is too heavy. The general guideline during pregnancy is not to lift more than 20 pounds; the heaviest bowling ball you can get is 16 pounds. So, you can use any bowling ball you’d like, preferably the lightest ball possible.

But we recommend choosing a bowling ball that you feel comfortable with. If it’s several pounds lighter than your normal bowling ball, so be it.

Take Your Time

You should bowl slowly and carefully while pregnant. Don’t try to bowl too quickly or with too much force. Pregnancy is not the time to try to improve your bowling score! If you plan to bowl during your pregnancy, take pregnancy week-by-week notes for your doctor.

Stay Hydrated

Another important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Pregnant women need to drink plenty of fluids, so keep a bottle of water on hand and take a sip every now and again. 

Don’t Skip Out on Food

Don’t go bowling on an empty stomach. Pregnant women should eat small, frequent meals throughout the day to keep their energy up. So, make sure you have a snack before you head to the bowling alley.

And while you’re there, take advantage of the concession stand. A slice of pizza or hot dog can give you a quick energy boost as needed.

It can also be helpful to check with the bowling alley ahead of time to ensure that the kitchen will be open. If not, you can always bring your own snacks and drinks to keep yourself fueled.

By following these guidelines, you can bowl while pregnant without any worries. Remember to take it easy, listen to your body, and stay hydrated.

Bowling Pregnant (WOW)

The Benefits of Bowling for Pregnant Women

If you avoid bowling while pregnant, you could be missing out on some serious benefits. Keep reading to find out what they are! 

It Helps Improve Flexibility and Stamina

Bowling while pregnant is a great way to stay active and improve your flexibility and stamina. It can also help relieve some pregnancy symptoms, such as back pain and joint stiffness, as it requires minimal physical activity.

It Helps Relieve Stress

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for many women. Between the hormones and the changes to your body, it’s no wonder some women feel overwhelmed. Exercise is a great way to help relieve stress, and bowling is a fun way to get in some exercise and uses upper body strength. 

It Lifts Your Mood

When you’re pregnant, it’s common to feel down or even depressed. Immersing yourself in bowling could be just what you need to improve your mood, improve your mental health and lift your spirits. After rolling a few, you may find that you’re feeling more positive and energized.  

Lady in a pink sweater, picking up the yellow ball, spoke with her doctor first, because she planned on bowling during pregnancy.

How to Make Bowling More Comfortable for Pregnant Women

Though bowling is generally considered a low-impact activity, it can be uncomfortable for pregnant women. To help you alleviate discomfort as you bowl, use the below tips:

  • Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement. When you are pregnant, what you wear can make all the difference. You want to be comfortable while also being able to move around freely. Stretchy pants and a tank top or t-shirt are usually the best options.
  • Wear a pregnancy belt. This is a type of support belt that helps take some of the pressure off your back and stomach. You’ll want to ensure that the belt is tight enough to support your belly but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. Always consult your midwife or OB before using compression gear.
  • Use a ball ramp. This device helps you deliver the ball without bending over too much. It can be a lifesaver for a pregnant person who is struggling with back pain.
  • Use wrist support. This can help take some of the strain off of the joints in your wrists and arms, which tend to loosen when you’re pregnant.
  • Bend your knees while throwing the ball. This will take some of the strain off of your back.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Doing so will help you maintain your balance while also giving you a more stable base.
  • Take frequent sitting breaks. If you start to feel uncomfortable or tired, take a seat. Pushing yourself too hard is never a good idea.
  • Choose a lane close to the bathroom if possible. Many pregnant women can’t go longer than a few minutes without having to go to the bathroom. So, getting a lane close to the bathroom prevents you from having to walk too far if you need to use the restroom.
  • Stay warm (or cool). Bowling alleys are usually air-conditioned, and this can make you chilly. So, when you go to a bowling alley, dress in layers so you can take them off if you get too warm. It is also a good idea to bring a jacket or sweater to throw on if you start to feel cold.

Signs You Should Stop Bowling for Your Safety

If you’re expecting, there are a few signs you should look out for while bowling. If you notice any of the symptoms below, stop what you’re doing and reach out to your OB or midwife:

Pain in Your Pelvic Area

  • Vaginal bleeding or a sudden increase in discharge
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Calf pain 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swelling in your legs
The lady in jeans chose the lighter ball so she is safe while bowling.

Can Bowling Cause Miscarriage?

Personally, when I was pregnant with my pre-teen and now teenager and bowling with 14lb bowling balls, my OBGYN told me, “As long as it’s comfortable for you, you can bowl. When it’s no longer comfortable or gets painful, stop bowling and let me know.” So, that’s what I did. I knew the basic mechanics of bowling, and keeping my babies safe was the priority. I bowled into my 2nd trimester.

The truth of the matter is, although there is no definitive proof, playing sports on any level is doable. Here are some names for example: Serena Williams (won the tennis Australian open for the 7th time), Kerri W. Jennings (won the gold medal in Olympic volleyball for the 3rd time) and Alysia Montano (ran in the US track and field in champion at 8 months).

What the common denominator? These women, including myself, participated in the sport prior to pregnancy and our bodies were familiar with the motions of the sport. Of course, every pregnancy is different, even for the same woman, and some women may ‌ bowl safely without any problems. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to pregnancy, preceed with caution and always consult with your doctor.

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When in doubt, call your midwife or OBGYN. They will be able to give you the best advice for your individual situation.

There you have it – everything you need to know about bowling while pregnant. We hope this article has helped to put your mind at ease and given you the information you need to bowl safely and with confidence. Have a ball!