a pregnant women holding her belly

Can you play Pickleball while pregnant? Many expectant mothers wonder if engaging in physical activities like Pickleball during pregnancy is safe. This comprehensive article explores the topic in-depth and provides expert advice on playing Pickleball while pregnant.


Pregnancy is a beautiful journey that brings about numerous changes in a woman’s life. Besides the physical changes, expectant mothers often question what activities are safe during pregnancy. 

Can You Play Pickleball While Pregnant? The latest recommendation states that pregnant women are encouraged to engage in racquet sports like badminton, tennis, squash, and Pickleball. This marks a shift from the previous advice given by pregnancy experts, which advised against participating in such sports during pregnancy.

The ACOG allows pregnant women to play safe racket games. There are several benefits of playing Pickleball.

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Can You Play Pickleball While Pregnant

Pickleball, a popular racket sport, combines the most remarkable elements of table tennis, badminton, and tennis. Many pregnant women naturally worry if playing this sport while pregnant is safe because of its fast movements, quick reflexes, and dynamic gameplay.

Several factors, including your general health, the stage of pregnancy, and any difficulties you may have, will determine whether you may play Pickleball while pregnant. Speaking with your healthcare physician is imperative before playing Pickleball or any other physical activity while pregnant. Based on your particular situation, your doctor can offer tailored recommendations.

a pregnant person sleeping on a pink pillow

How much time do you play sports when pregnant? 

Numerous women strive to uphold or enhance their physical activity levels during pregnancy. Substantial evidence supports the notion that staying physically active while pregnant can improve fitness, aid in managing the demands of pregnancy and childbirth, lower the risk of gestational diabetes, and boost mental well-being.

According to the guidelines set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services, it is advised that pregnant women strive to engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. This duration can be divided into shorter sessions, each lasting at least 15 minutes.

Safety Requirements for Expectant Women

The safety of the mother and the unborn child is paramount when playing Pickleball or any other sport while pregnant. Pregnant women should take the following necessary safety precautions:

Before partaking in any physical activity during pregnancy, you must speak with your healthcare physician. They will assess your overall health, pregnancy status, and any dangers or issues limiting your ability to play Pickleball.

Listen to Your Body: 

Pregnancy brings various physical changes; your body will provide cues about its limitations. Listening to your body and paying attention to discomfort, pain, or exhaustion is essential. If you experience any adverse symptoms while playing Pickleball, it’s advisable to stop and rest.

Avoid High-Impact Movements:

Pickleball involves quick movements, including running, jumping, and pivoting. These high-impact movements can strain your joints and ligaments, which are already under stress during pregnancy. It’s recommended to avoid excessive jumping and sudden directional changes that may put unnecessary strain on your body.

Maintain Proper Hydration: 

In particular, during pregnancy, staying hydrated is essential for general wellness. To avoid dehydration and maintain adequate fluid levels when playing Pickleball, drink lots of water before, during, and after.

Use Proper Footwear: 

Appropriate footwear with good support is essential for stability and injury prevention. Opt for comfortable athletic shoes that provide cushioning and grip to reduce the risk of slips, falls, or injuries.

Be Mindful of the Environment:

When playing Pickleball, be aware of the playing surface and environmental conditions. Avoid uneven or slick grounds since they may make accidents more likely. To avoid getting too hot, think about playing in well-ventilated areas.

Benefits of Playing Pickleball While Pregnant

While pregnant women need to take precautions when engaging in physical activities, including Pickleball, there are several potential benefits associated with moderate exercise during pregnancy. Here are some benefits of playing Pickleball while pregnant:

Cardiovascular Health:

Engaging in moderate cardiovascular exercise, such as playing Pickleball, can help improve heart health and circulation. It may also help manage weight gain during pregnancy.

Muscle Strength and Endurance: 

Pickleball involves various muscle groups, including the legs, arms, and core. Regular play can help maintain muscle strength and endurance, supporting your changing body during pregnancy and preparing you for labor.

Improved Balance and Coordination: 

Pregnancy can affect your balance and coordination due to changes in your center of gravity. Playing Pickleball can help improve these skills, reducing the risk of falls or accidents.

Stress Relief:

 Tension during pregnancy can affect the body and the mind. Pickleball is a physical exercise that can release endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that can help lower stress and elevate mood.

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Risks of Playing Pickleball While Pregnant

While moderate exercise during pregnancy is generally beneficial, pregnant women should be aware of some risks associated with playing Pickleball. These risks include:

Risk of Falls and Injuries: 

Pickleball requires quick movements and direction changes, which raises the possibility of trips, falls, and player accidents. Pregnant women could have poorer balance and coordination, making them more prone to accidents.

Overexertion and Exhaustion: 

Pregnancy strains the body, and playing Pickleball can further exert physical stress. Overexertion and exhaustion can increase heart rate, dehydration, and fatigue.

Increased Joint Laxity:

 During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released, which loosens the ligaments in preparation for childbirth. This increased joint laxity can make pregnant women prone to sprains, strains, or joint injuries while playing Pickleball.

Heat and Overheating:

 Physical activity, particularly in hot or humid environments, can increase the risk of overheating during pregnancy. Overheating can be harmful to both the mother and the baby.

Guidelines for Playing Pickleball Safely

If you decide to play Pickleball while pregnant, it’s essential to follow these guidelines to ensure your safety and well-being:

Start Slow and Gradually Increase Intensity: 

If you’re new to Pickleball or last played a while ago, start slowly and gradually increasing your play’s intensity. Allow your body to adjust to the physical demands and listen to warning signs or discomfort.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down: 

Before playing, perform a thorough warm-up routine with stretching exercises for your major muscle groups. After playing, cool down with gentle stretching to help prevent muscle soreness and promote flexibility.

Modify Your Game:

  • Adapt your pickleball game to suit your changing body.
  • Avoid intense competitive play and focus on recreational or casual play.
  • Consider playing doubles instead of singles to reduce the physical demands.

Stay Hydrated:

 Drink plenty of water before, during, and after playing Pickleball to prevent dehydration. Aim to take regular water breaks to maintain optimal hydration levels.

Listen to Your Body: 

Pay attention to any discomfort, pain, or exhaustion during play. If you experience any adverse symptoms or feel unwell, stop playing immediately and seek medical attention if needed.

Pace Yourself: 

Take regular breaks during play and avoid pushing yourself to exhaustion. It’s important to respect your body’s limits and prioritize your and your baby’s well-being.

Alternative Low-Impact Exercises for Pregnant Women

If you’re unsure about playing Pickleball while pregnant or your healthcare provider advises against it, several low-impact exercises can provide similar benefits. Consider these alternatives:


Walking is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise suitable for most pregnant women. It helps maintain cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and is gentle on the joints.


 Swimming and water aerobics are excellent choices for pregnant women. The buoyancy of the water supports the body, reducing strain on joints and providing a refreshing workout.

a pregnant women swimming underwater in a pool

Prenatal Yoga 

You should Focus on gentle stretching, relaxation, and breathing exercises. It helps improve flexibility and balance and can relieve pregnancy-related discomfort.

a pregnant women sitting on the floor and doing you

Stationary Cycling:

Riding a stationary bike is a low-impact exercise that provides cardiovascular benefits without putting stress on the joints. It’s a safe option for pregnant women, especially as the belly grows.

Consult Your Doctor:

Remember to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine during pregnancy to ensure it aligns with your needs and health status.


Playing pickleball while pregnant, but you stay aware and take these steps. Regularly visit your doctor and get his guidance to play or stop your game. If you choose to play, ensure it’s safe and fun by adhering to the safety precautions, paying attention to your body, and making any required adjustments. This is most effective for the baby’s and mom’s health.

What sports should you avoid while pregnant?

Exercises that risk falling, such as horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics, and cycling, should only be done with caution.

What sports are good for pregnancy?

It’s likely a combination of prenatal yoga, swimming, and some cardio on the elliptical. Higher-intensity sports such as boxing, running, weightlifting, spinning, and more don’t come to mind.

Are there any specific clothing recommendations for playing Pickleball while pregnant?

When playing Pickleball while pregnant, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows for ease of movement. supportive athletic shoes to provide stability and cushioning

When should I stop playing Pickleball during pregnancy?

The right time to stop playing Pickleball during pregnancy varies for each individual. It’s generally recommended to stop engaging in activities with a high risk of falling or injury or when you feel discomfort or strain on your body. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

Can I play Pickleball during the first trimester?

Playing Pickleball during the first trimester is generally considered safe if you have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy. However, listening to your body and consulting with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance is essential.

Can playing Pickleball cause harm to my baby?

No, playing Pickleball in moderation is unlikely to cause damage to your baby. However, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure you have no underlying complications or risks that may make playing Pickleball unsafe during pregnancy.