Who doesn’t enjoy a fun day by the water.
Whether it’s a day on a boat or a relaxing swim in the ocean, spending a day by the water can help you relax, be at one with nature and take your mind off the stresses and strains of pregnancy.
And provided you don’t overdo it, exposure to the sun can also reduce any depression or anxiety you may be facing, as well as boost your immune system.
But when it comes to pastimes, you shouldn’t assume all your usual activities are as safe as they were pre-pregnancy – for example it’s still ok to snorkel, but it’s best to avoid scuba diving even during early pregnancy.
But what about riding a jet ski – is this fun activity safe for pregnant women?
Typically, pregnant women should exercise caution when deciding whether or not to jet ski, because riding one could potentially be dangerous for both mom and your unborn baby.
But why do some people say the opposite and claim jet skiing is fine during pregnancy?
Let’s look at the facts, so you can make a decision that you are completely comfortable with.
Can You Ride A Jet Ski While Pregnant?
According to exerts including the AAP, there are certain activities during pregnancy that you should avoid to help keep your baby safe.
Some hobbies like rock climbing, horseback riding, skiing and snowboarding are directly called out as things pregnant women should avoid because of the risk of falling.
The interesting thing about jet skiing is that it is not explicitly listed as an activity you should avoid, which leads to it being a grey area and the source of much debate.
To help you decide if jet skiing is safe or not – and more specifically if it’s something you want to do during your pregnancy – let’s take a look at the potential dangers.
Is Jet Skiing Dangerous? What To Consider
1. Other People
Jet skiing is a little bit like regular skiing or driving in so far as your safety doesn’t only come down to what you do, but it’s also impacted by the actions of others.
If you are riding one in a crowded area, where there are obstacles and inexperienced riders who are going quickly and acting recklessly, then even if you are the best and safest jet ski rider in the world, you might still face danger because of what other people are doing.
2. No Brakes
When to comes to the machinery itself, not all jet skis are equal.
It is important to realize that some jet skis do not have brakes, which can make them more dangerous if you need to suddenly stop to avoid a collision.
3. Falls & Crashes
Your pregnant body is well designed to protect your developing baby during pregnancy, which means that minor falls during early pregnancy are typically nothing to worry about.
However, more forceful falls, a fall in your second or third trimester or worse yet, a high impact collision, could all be harmful – or in extreme cases even fatal – to both mom and baby.
4. Excessive Heat & Sun Exposure
Jet skiing is typically enjoyed on a hot summer’s day or while on vacation, and when you are out on water with the air blowing on your face, it’s easy to forget how strong the sun is.
This can cause issues for everyone, but it’s a particular concern for moms-to-be because pregnant women are at an increased risk of overheating.
Dehydration can also be dangerous for your baby, and can lead to serious pregnancy complications, including neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid, inadequate breast milk production, and even premature labor.
5. Bouncing Around
The final thing worth mentioning is that riding a jet ski while pregnant can jolt your body and jostle your uterus, especially if you are going quickly of riding over waves.
Jerky, bouncy movements should be avoided during pregnancy, because if this motion is extreme, it could cause premature labor or even miscarriage.
How To Safely Jet Ski While Pregnant
If you are still thinking about riding a jet ski during your pregnancy, the first port of call would be to speak with your midwife or doctor.
This medical professional will know you and your pregnancy better than anyone, so seek out their advice first.
Some other things to consider which may reduce the risk involved include:
- Stick to a low speed – the slower the better.
- Avoid waves and any bad conditions which may cause bumpiness.
- Avoid jet skiing in crowded areas – it only takes one idiot to put you and your baby in danger.
- Wear a life jacket at all times.
- Don’t jet ski alone.
- Limit your time in the sun, cover your skin with protective clothing and sunscreen, and protect your eyes with high-quality sunglasses.
- Stay hydrated, especially on a hot or humid day.
Pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop doing all the things you love, but it’s important to know the potential risks so you can make an informed decision about what is safe for you and your baby.
Many people believe the risks of jet skiing while pregnant simply don’t outweigh the benefits, and therefore prefer to hold off until after their little one is born.
While there are certainly things you can do to reduce the risks, the dangers of riding a jet ski while pregnant can never completely be eliminated.
If you are considering riding one, it’s highly advisable to speak with a medical professional first, and to weigh up all the risks so you can make an informed decision that you are completely comfortable with.