One soon-to-be mom didn’t let a little thing like labor stop her from getting in a bike ride. Susie Weber, 41, of Menasha, Wisconsin biked one full mile to the hospital while in labor, and she didn’t find anything really unique about it. Her husband, Paul, was biking alongside her all the way. At age 41, she was also considered high risk, but received prior approval from her obstetrician for the final bike ride.
Weber maintains that she leads such an active life (one that includes regular 5 mile long bike rides) so this was nothing very unusual. Weber biked to at least 10 of her prenatal appointments. A pilot with United Airlines for the past 12 years, she was accustomed to being under pressure.
According to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Weber was awakened by contractions at about 2am. She stayed home until the contractions reached three minutes apart and then started her bike ride to Theda Clark Medical Center at about 10:30am with her husband who was biking alongside her. She thinks the ride may have helped:
“It was 67 to 70 degrees. No wind. It was just beautiful. I think I had one or two contractions along the way, but they actually seemed mild in comparison. I think it was because I was distracted.”
Did the trek speed things along? Yes and no. When Weber arrived at the hospital, she was already 8 centimeters dilated but it would be another 12 hours before a healthy baby, Tess was born at 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
Although it has been years since pregnancy was considered a sickness and pregnant women today are encouraged to participate in regular physical activity, some women still view pregnancy with an old-fashioned notion and see the nine months as an opportunity to slack off. Of course rest is important, but a healthy, normal pregnancy is no more an excuse to not be active as a menstrual period.
Weber certainly pushes the envelope in this regard and I doubt most women would feel comfortable enough to jump on a bike during labor (honestly thinking of encountering a bump in the road during a contraction makes me cringe). However, it’s a fact that maintaining an active pregnancy will not help you keep weight gain to a minimum, but it will speed up labor—and what woman in labor doesn’t want that?
What do you think? Is biking during labor brave or foolish, and would you ever do it?
Image: Flickr: Rebecca Serna (pictured)