Can You Jet Ski While Pregnant?

Exercise during pregnancy is an integral part of a healthy pregnancy and birth. Exercise can help you build stamina and make your delivery go smoother, along with numerous other benefits, including a general sense of well-being and minimizing excess weight gain. Riding a jet ski while pregnant may sound like fun, but is it safe for you and your unborn child?

Couple riding a jet ski wearing life preservers

Can You Ride a Jet Ski While Pregnant?

The short answer is, yes, you can, but you probably shouldn’t. Riding a jet ski is not a very safe activity when pregnant. You may be okay if you take significant safety precautions to protect yourself and your baby, though. 

Dangers of Riding a Jet Ski when Pregnant

Speed is what makes Jet Skis so exciting to ride. The fast ride across the waves is not without dangers if you are not proficient in driving a jet ski. Jet skiing can be dangerous to pregnant women since their stomach can end up in the firing line of the jet ski as it bounces up and down over the waves.  

Most people like riding jet skis because of the thrill and exhilaration they feel as they speed across the waves. Accidents are always a possibility for any rider either due to mishandling on their part or someone else’s poor handling of their own personal watercraft. Any accident where you are tossed off the jet ski can be dangerous for both you and your baby.

Jet skiing poses a specific threat to pregnant women in that water can forcefully enter the vagina when your bottom hits the water hard. The jet propulsion system can cause severe internal damage if you fall in its wake.  

How to Safely Ride a Jet Ski When Pregnant

The risk of falling off the jet ski and hurting your baby is still present, but making some changes in how you ride the jet ski may lower the risk for you.

Ride with Someone Else

The only potentially safer way to ride a jet ski while pregnant is if someone else is driving and you are sitting behind them. This allows you to focus solely on your balance with no distraction from driving the jet ski. Riding with someone else also provides a support safety net if you fall or need more help while you are out on the water.

Wear a Life Jacket

Wearing a life jacket is a recommendation for everyone riding a jet ski – pregnant or not. It is basic boating safety and will protect you if you fall and become unconscious in the water.

Slow Down

The super fast speed is part of the fun of riding a jet ski. If you are pregnant, slow down to a more moderate speed. This will allow you to have fun still but lessen the potentially harmful impact of the waves.

Other Activities to Avoid When You are Pregnant

Some other types of exercise generally thought to be unsafe while you are expecting:

  • horseback riding
  • scuba diving
  • high altitude skiing
  • contact sports
  • any exercise that can cause a serious fall
  • exercising on your back after the first trimester (because of reduced blood flow to the uterus)
  • vigorous exercise in hot, humid weather
  • exercise involving the Valsalva maneuver (holding one’s breath during exertion), which can cause an increased intra-abdominal pressure

Heavy exercise during pregnancy (such as marathon running) or exercise (such as contact sports) that can put you and your baby at risk may be unhealthy for your unborn baby. The risk of abdominal trauma and falling outweigh the benefits of certain types of heavy exercise.

It is best to save these potentially dangerous activities until after the birth of your baby. Other concerns with vigorous exercise include dehydration during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, and breathing can become more difficult at this time. It is vital that pregnant women (and women who are not pregnant) stay hydrated and not become overheated or short of breath. 

It is probably not a good idea to take on any new strenuous activity until after the baby is born. 

Conclusion

Jet skiing is not the safest activity for pregnant women, but riding with someone else at lower speeds with safety gear makes it a bit safer for mom and baby. 

With all types of exercise, you should talk with your health care practitioner to decide what type of activity level is safe and appropriate for your pregnancy.