Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts next week (Aug 8-14th) and we will be seeing many more bikers riding through Casper this coming weekend on their way to South Dakota. Do you ever wonder about pregnant bikers? I’m picturing maternity chaps and leathers, headbands, boots, and maybe even a sign hanging from the back of the Harley: baby on board.  Is it even safe to ride when pregnant?

After doing some internet research, one thing is certain…there is not a lot of scientifically sound information available regarding the safety of biking while pregnant.  What I did find was that most medical sites discourage motorcycle riding if you’re pregnant for two main reasons.  First is the generally high risk of motorcycle accidents for all riders and the potential of harming the unborn in an accident.  According to the CDC travel site “Riding bicycles, motorcycles, or animals presents risk of trauma to the abdomen.”  The second commonly given reason is that if a pregnant woman is injured in a motorcycle accident, it is very hard to treat her when she is pregnant.  Surgery, medications, x-rays, etc., are often dangerous to the unborn baby and hinder treatment for an injured mamma.

A few other concerns voiced by some riders and doctors are that a pregnant woman’s balance may be off, making it more likely for her to have a wreck and also many big bikes have strong vibrations that may or may not affect the unborn.  There are stories of women who rode throughout their pregnancy and the baby was born healthy.  Because there are so many unknowns, many women decide not to ride while pregnant just to be on the safe side. Maybe they can still do the maternity chaps (If they can find such a thing), drive the car to Sturgis and meet up with friends and fellow bikers at the actual rally.

So whether you ride or not, be sure to drive safely this weekend with so many motorcycles out on the road heading to Sturgis.  Some may even have a “Baby on Board.”