Why You Should Play, When You shouldn’t, and Advice From Those Who’ve Gone Through It…
Let’s face it; one main reason that more women don’t play disc golf is because life’s priorities take the reigns. Pregnancy is a prime example of what takes women away the disc golf course, but ladies; this doesn’t have to be the case! I reached out to the women on the DiscGolf4Women.com Facebook page for some answers to “Disc Golfing while Pregnant Questions” and found some very inspiring stories.
There are plenty of ladies who have played disc golf, and disc golf tournaments months into their pregnancy up until labor. The consensus from all of the ladies is to consult with a doctor before playing. If at any point you feel strained or uncomfortable (swelling, extreme tiredness, etc), stop playing! The baby’s health is always the most important factor. If you are able to play; carry a lighter bag, drink plenty of water, and to take rests periodically to give those poor feet a break.
Some important factors to think about being active while pregnant include weight bearing, abdomen trauma, and maintaining a normal heart rate, says Mindy Robertson # 33618 and a high-risk OB GYN sonographer. She also states “Pregnant women should always try to avoid any potential trauma to the abdomen while pregnant. (Which you’d think was a given, but you’d be surprised…) It’s also important to avoid excess weight bearing during pregnancy, which might limit bowling and weight lifting to an extent. There has been some thought that women should work to keep their own heart rate (the maternal heart rate) down under 140bpm, though this is currently being challenged in the obstetric community and most doctors feel as though people who were active prior to pregnancy should have no problem carrying on activity during the pregnancy as long as their bodies tolerate such activity. Special consideration would be given in high risk situations, such as mothers with preterm labor, who are often asked specifically to maintain bed rest and such, though these are the rare cases.”
Lindsay Lugo #20573, says “[My Nurse Midwives] suggested I keep doing those activities I was comfortable doing before I was pregnant as long as I felt well. Walking was encouraged so a walk around the park while playing disc was my favorite.”
Kathy Betcher-Sprague #15869 says, “The doctor told me I shouldn’t do any forceful or jerky motions. I could and should continue to be active. When I talked to the doctor and midwife about disc golf, the concern was the drives, too much of a power motion; No issues with putting however.” And don’t feel too bummed if you can’t get out to play. Kathy says, “I putted throughout my pregnancy. I found it hard to be out [on the course] and not be able to play though, so I didn’t head out [there] as often as I would have had I been able to really throw!”
As we know, Disc Golf is a great way to get some light exercise (even if you’re not throwing). Carly Shintaku #43020 says she regrets not playing much while she was pregnant. “I stopped playing when I was about 5 months and gained way too much weight! I should have kept on going and I wouldn’t have had to work so hard to lose the baby weight and get back in the game.”
It’s inevitable that some ladies will have to stop playing, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely leave the sport. Amber Senft #27331 suggests “it is a great time to get involved with help out during a local tournament.” No matter how long you’ve been playing, help is always appreciated in this volunteer-run sport.
Mindy concludes, “Disc golf offers a fantastic low impact activity which is well suited to expecting mothers. There are just a few things to keep in mind. Weight bearing can be an issue, so a pregnant woman might put some thought towards using a smaller selection of discs, or finding a caddy. Additionally, if we’re avoiding trauma to the belly, we need to be conscious of other players on the course to avoid becoming a target of a disc in flight. Keeping those thoughts in mind, our doctors at Women’s Care of Wisconsin/perinatology consulting group (www.womenscareofwi.com) would encourage patients to keep active and disc golf would fit the bill as a way to do so.”