A big congratulations goes out from all of us at New Hope Fertility Center in New York to Serena Williams on her pregnancy announcement! A lot of public questions are being raised about her being pregnant and winning The US Open. But we are saying, don’t worry about it!
Serena Williams is presumably healthy. Thus, her pregnancy is what we call precious, but not special, because there seems to have been nothing difficult about becoming pregnant. And so we consider her situation in terms of an average pregnancy.
Our patients always ask, preparing for pregnancy:
If you are having a normal, regular, obstetrically uneventful pregnancy, the there are no issues. This applies to Serena Williams playing tennis. She can do everything she normally would do, without endangering her child. So winning a tournament accounts for this. That goes for you, at home, too. You don’t need to limit your activities, and in fact, studies show that maintaining a routine of healthy physical exercise may be beneficial to your pregnancy! If you want to be cautious, be careful in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but after that, don’t worry.
Athletes in general may have a harder time becoming pregnant because the high level of physical exertion takes a toll on human reproductively. Excessive exercise may, for instance, interrupt your menstrual cycle, making it harder to become pregnant. Trainers who use supplements find that the medicine may alter their body chemistry slightly, also causing complications. But in general, exercise is recommended in normal amounts without increasing chance of miscarriage.
Having intercourse during pregnancy is also a very healthy thing. We typically recommend not having sex during the first 9 weeks, because it could increase the chance of miscarriage while the embryo is implanting. But, this is more of an art than a science. There isn’t any data to back this up.
So, live your life. It’s recommended because the baby in your belly will gain valuable life experience before it’s even born. This includes tastes for food, sleep schedules, ability to focus in noisy environments, and much more. So go scuba diving, travel the world, eat lots of food and exercise regularly!