Pickleball while Pregnant: Tips and Tricks for Safe and Fun Play

Can You Play Pickleball While Pregnant? Staying Active and Safe on the Court

Discover the secrets of playing pickleball while pregnant and safely enjoying the court with your baby bump! From expert tips to modified techniques, this ultimate guide empowers moms-to-be to bump, dink, and score like pros!
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The sun is shining, the court is calling, and your pickleball paddle is itching for some action. But wait – you're pregnant! Does that mean your days of dinking are over? Not necessarily!

Pickleball, with its blend of badminton, tennis, and table tennis, is a fantastic sport for staying active. But for expecting mothers, the question arises: is pickleball safe during pregnancy? 

Why Pickleball Can Be a Great Fit for Pregnancy

There's good news for pickleball enthusiasts who are expecting. Pickleball is generally considered a low-impact sport, making it a potentially great option for staying active throughout your pregnancy. Here's why:

  • Moderate Exercise: Pickleball provides a moderate level of exertion, which is ideal for pregnant women. It can help improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and increase your stamina – all crucial for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
  • Low Risk of Falls: Compared to high-impact sports like basketball or contact sports like soccer, pickleball offers a lower risk of falls. This is important because falls can be dangerous during pregnancy, potentially leading to injuries for both mother and baby.
  • Improved Balance and Coordination: Pregnancy can affect your center of gravity, making balance a challenge. Pickleball can help you maintain good balance and coordination, which are beneficial throughout pregnancy and even after childbirth.
  • Stress Relief: Let's face it, pregnancy can be stressful. Pickleball can be a fantastic way to relieve stress, boost your mood, and promote feelings of well-being – all essential for a healthy pregnancy.

Safety First: Precautions for Pickleball During Pregnancy

While pickleball offers many benefits for pregnant women, safety is paramount. Here are some key precautions to take before you hit the court:

  • Doctor's Approval: This is the golden rule. Always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program during pregnancy, including pickleball. They can assess your individual health and advise on whether pickleball is safe for you and your baby.
  • Listen to Your Body: This is especially important during pregnancy. Pay close attention to how you're feeling. If you experience any pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, or vaginal bleeding, stop playing immediately and consult your doctor.
  • Hydration is Key: Dehydration can be a serious concern during pregnancy. Make sure you stay well-hydrated before, during, and after playing pickleball. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and take frequent sips. Check out this crowd favorite on Amazon.

Modifying Your Game for a Healthy Pregnancy

To ensure a safe and enjoyable pickleball experience throughout your pregnancy, consider these adjustments:

  • Shorten Rallies and Take Breaks: Don't push yourself too hard. Shorten rallies, take more breaks, and focus on gentle movement over intense competition.
  • Comfortable, Supportive Clothing: Wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothes that allow for freedom of movement and will keep you cool. These maternity leggings were a lifesaver! These shorts were also great and super comfy!
  • Mind Your Center of Gravity: As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity will shift. Be extra cautious on the court and avoid sudden changes in direction or quick stops. For additional support, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, consider a maternity support belt like this one.
  • Play Doubles: Opting for doubles play is a great way to reduce exertion while still enjoying the social aspects of the game. It also allows you to take breaks without disrupting the flow of the game.
  • Beat the Heat: Playing pickleball in extreme heat can be dangerous for both you and your baby. If the weather is hot and humid, consider playing indoors or during cooler parts of the day. Apply sunscreen such as this one liberally and reapply often, especially if you're sweating. 

Pickleballing Through Your Trimesters

How you approach pickleball during pregnancy may differ depending on which trimester you're in:

  • First Trimester: This is usually the time when most women experience morning sickness and fatigue. If you're feeling up to it, gentle pickleball sessions can be a good option. However, listen to your body and prioritize rest if needed. Consider prenatal vitamins to help ensure you and your baby are getting the nutrients you need. These worked great for me as I have trouble swallowing large pills.
  • Second Trimester: The second trimester is often considered the "golden period" of pregnancy when you may have more energy. You can likely continue playing pickleball with the modifications mentioned earlier.
  • Third Trimester: As your belly grows, your balance and agility may be affected. Be extra cautious, shorten your playing time, and focus on low-impact movements.

Embrace the Journey

Pickleball can be a fantastic way to stay active, relieve stress, and bond with your baby bump during pregnancy. However, prioritize safety and always listen to your body. Embrace the joy of movement, but don't push yourself too hard. Pickleball is a journey, not a competition. Focus on having fun, connecting with other soon-to-be moms, and celebrating your incredible changing body.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique. There will be days when you feel like a pickleball champion, and others where all you can manage is a gentle stroll. Celebrate both! The most important thing is to enjoy this special time and create happy memories that you and your baby can cherish forever.

So, grab your paddle, stay hydrated, and embrace the journey! Pickleball can be a wonderful way to stay active and connected during pregnancy. With a little planning and a lot of listening to your body, you can keep enjoying this delightful sport well into your pregnancy. Happy dinking!


A former competitive tennis player, Megan McGuinness has traded her racquet for a paddle. Now a Registered Nurse with over a decade of experience, Megan brings her athletic background and healthcare knowledge to the pickleball community.

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