Connie L. Agnew, M.D., answers your questions about pregnancy.
Go Easy, Gidget
I'm an avid surfer and just found out I'm pregnant. Is it safe to hit the waves any time during the next nine months?
As is the case with many activities, such as horseback riding and skiing, the concern with surfing is the risk of blunt abdominal trauma and injury to the fetus. Most obstetricians--myself included--therefore consider the sport to be safe only through the first trimester, when the uterus is confined to the lower pelvic region. Once the uterus expands into the upper abdomen, it becomes more vulnerable to a blow to the belly, as might be caused by a surfboard.
If you do choose to go surfing early on and sustain such a blow, tell your doctor. You and your baby will most likely be fine, but he may want to examine you just to be safe.
Even if you're an experienced surfer, your smartest course of action is to be patient--the waves will be waiting for you after the baby is born.