Summer is my favorite time of the year, because with it comes the excitement and fun of family picnics and amusement park outings. If you are pregnant, and roller coasters are no longer in your radar, you may want to hit up a water park. (Especially in the heat.) But the safety of the water park rides might have you concerned. Can you go down a water slide if you're pregnant, or is it safer to avoid them?
Dr. Eva Martin, CEO of Elm Tree Medical, Inc., tells Romper that the safe answer is no — you shouldn't go down a water a water slide during pregnancy. There is a risk that something may hit your belly, and water slides can involve sudden starts and stops, which can be harmful during pregnancy. "Any activity that could injure the baby, from falls or sudden jarring movements can be dangerous," Martin says.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), rides that entail harsh forces with jerking starts and stops can cause placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus wall. These jarring movements have been known to cause pregnancy trauma or placental abruption in car crashes, according to Mayo Clinic's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, and any rides that can put your pregnancy at risk should be avoided. The guide also noted that while there is no definitive consensus on the safety of water park rides during pregnancy, it's best to talk to your physician before you decide to take the plunge.
Don't be too bummed — there are tons of other things you can do to enjoy the summer, even while you're pregnant. Martin suggests swimming as a great activity to cool off in the summer heat, and going for walks by the beach or enjoying picnics in the park can be safe alternatives. While it's best to avoid water slides until after your baby is born, it's just a matter of time before you'll be hitting the water park with full force, stroller in tow.