Obviously no one can prevent you from continuing your favourite activity, but here’s a round-up of sports, activities and exercise it’s recommended you avoid in pregnancy, so you can make an informed decision.


Contact sports

Any sport where you risk a knock to your abdomen should be avoided. It’s time to hang up the rugby and football boots, ladies.


Both water skiing and regular skiing carry a high risk of falls, and at speed. Neither is recommended during your pregnancy. The exception is cross-country skiing, which should be ok in early-to-mid pregnancy if you’re experienced.

Off-road cycling and cycling in wet conditions

While cycling is generally considered reasonably safe until later on in your pregnancy, you should avoid cycling in the wet because the risk of an accident is higher.

Off-road cycling on all but the flattest, tamest of tracks is not recommended due to the higher risk of falling.

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Climbing, ice-skating, rollerblading, boarding

Along with other sports carrying a high risk of falling, most doctors recommend against climbing, ice-skating, rollerblading and boarding during your pregnancy.

Scuba diving

Because of the need for decompression, and how this may affect your developing unborn baby, scuba diving is unsafe.


Doctors have mixed views on surfing. It’s not officially a contact sport, but the ocean environment is unpredictable, and the risk of being hit by either your, or someone else's, surfboard can be high.

If you do want to surf, it makes sense to only do so if you feel very comfortable, and in calm, mellow conditions on quiet days.

Mum’s story

"I had to give up footie"

“I used to play in a women’s football team and I did so until I found out I was pregnant, at 10 weeks! I was a bit worried when I found out, but my first scan suggested all was well and luckily I was never a big tackler so I think that helped!

"However, I had begun to notice that playing was really draining my energy and perhaps I should have read my body’s messages before I found out I was expecting.

"I switched to swimming to keep my energy levels up during pregnancy, and I took my time returning to the pitch after the birth. A whole year, in fact!”


Belinda, 26, mum to Josh, 2