Rowing and Pregnancy

Guidance from the British Rowing Medical Panel

Exercise generally, and rowing in particular, does not predispose to miscarriage in the first trimester (three months). After 12 weeks the uterus (womb) rises out of the protection of the pelvis and is then vulnerable to trauma (a direct blow). This is possible in many sports and there is also a small risk in rowing if the oar is caught in the water and the blade handle driven hard into the stomach (catching a crab). There are no reports of such an injury resulting in any damage to a pregnant woman.

When pregnant, continue with exercise which has been previously well tolerated, reducing the intensity and duration so that it remains comfortable.

Any exercise should be stopped if it results in pain. Extra care must be taken while weight training due to the apparent increase in back pain during pregnancy.

Some rowers, particularly lightweights, stop having periods when training hard. It is still possible to become pregnant and not know it.

Coxes and lightweight rowers should never attempt to make weight while pregnant.

– British Rowing Medical Panel, September 2015

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