Q: Can I ride on a roller coaster if I’m pregnant?
A: Riding a roller coaster exposes your body to sudden acceleration and deceleration that can mimic a car accident. While we don’t have research data from roller coasters in pregnancy, we do know that (especially later in pregnancy) sudden stops and starts or changes in direction can shear off the placenta, leading to a dangerous condition called placental abruption. Abruption can lead to miscarriage if it occurs in the second trimester, or preterm birth if it occurs later. In extreme cases, the placenta may shear off completely, leading to stillbirth. After an accident, abruption usually occurs within the first 24 hours (if it is going to happen), but it can even happen weeks later. So while a kiddie coaster probably poses no great risks, this is one activity I’d put on the DO NOT DO list for pregnancy.