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Risks of Playing Volleyball When Pregnant

author image Michael Hutchins
Based out of Houston, Texas, Michael Hutchins is a personal trainer who has been writing health and fitness-related articles since 1995. His articles have been featured in "Houston Health & Fitness Magazine." Hutchins has a Bachelor of Arts in speech arts from Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.
Risks of Playing Volleyball When Pregnant
A group of people are playing volleyball on a sand court. Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

For most women, staying active during their pregnancy is an effective means of controlling their weight, maintaining their energy levels and elevating their moods. However, activities such as volleyball that carry a risk of collisions and contact should be avoided. If you were playing volleyball prior to your pregnancy, it is possible you can continue during the initial stages of your pregnancy. Consult with your health care provider regarding your participation in any form of exercise during your pregnancy.


Volleyball is a game that requires quick movements in any direction. During your first trimester, you still may be able to move effectively without risk. However, as your belly gets larger, your center of gravity shifts, and quick movements can cause you to lose your balance and fall. When you fall, you not only risk personal injury, but also risk injuring your developing baby.


While volleyball is not considered a high-contact sport, such as football, collisions can occur with other players. This can occur when two players are going after the volleyball simultaneously. Also, contact with the floor can take place when you extend yourself to reach for the ball. Severe contact can cause the placenta to tear away from the uterine wall, a condition known as placenta abruption. Symptoms of placenta abruption include vaginal bleeding and severe back pain. Placenta abruption requires immediate medical attention.

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According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, during pregnancy, your joints receive less support from the surrounding ligaments. This lack of support makes your joints more susceptible to injury. Playing volleyball requires jumping, which is a high-impact movement on your joints. The quick stops and starts that are required to play volleyball are also stressful on your joints. Lower back pain is common during pregnancy, and the impact on your back from playing volleyball can increase your chances of developing back problems.


Exercising too strenuously can cause you to overheat, which can lead to dehydration. Becoming dehydrated is particularly dangerous while you are pregnant. Your chances of overheating increase when you play volleyball in humid conditions, such as beach volleyball.

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