Can You Handle This Sport During Pregnancy?
Is tennis (singles) a safe form of exercise during pregnancy? I played tennis before I got pregnant, so it's not a new exercise for me. Thank you. - Margarita
The expert answers
Singles tennis is a great form of exercise to continue throughout your
pregnancy, especially since you've been playing for a while. You'll get
aerobic exercise from running to cover the court; you'll get muscle
strengthening in your upper and lower body from swinging your racket and
bending to get to the ball; and you'll get some flexibility training by
reaching for the ball when you serve or hit an overhead.
As your pregnancy progresses, you may find it more difficult to cover the court as quickly as you're used to doing and might consider switching to doubles for a while. You may also have more difficulty in bending down for drop shots. If balance becomes a problem for you because of your changing center of gravity, be aware of those quick changes in direction, especially from one side of the court to the other. If the bouncing movements of your belly and breasts becomes uncomfortable, try wearing an extra supportive bra (like Bravado or Mothers In Motion) and an abdominal support (like the Reenie Belt or the Mothers In Motion briefs).
If you're playing outside, avoid the hottest hours of the day (between 10am and 2pm) and wear breathable clothing that wicks away moisture to keep you and your growing baby cooler. Regardless of where you play, be sure to drink LOTS of water before, during, and especially after you play.
Most importantly, stay active and have fun! I, too, am a tennis player - it's a great sport!