Amusement Parks

For many people, summer is the time to go to an amusement park and enjoy the sun while riding roller coasters and other exciting thrill rides. Unfortunately, for women who are pregnant, many of the activities found at amusement parks are not recommended.

What is the concern with amusement park rides during pregnancy?

Disney, Six Flags, Busch Gardens and even your local state fair all pose warning signs not to ride certain rides during pregnancy. Although there are no studies documenting a problem with these types of rides while you are pregnant, there are no studies documenting that they are safe either.

The concern with roller coasters, thrill rides, and virtual rides during pregnancy is associated with the rapid starts and stops, the jarring forces, and the pressures against the body that occur during these types of rides. This rigorous activity creates additional jarring forces within the uterus that may lead to premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus, which is called placental abruption.

The jarring force from even slow automobile accidents has caused placental abruption, miscarriage and other complications for women who are pregnant even when the trauma is not directly to the uterus. Although the jarring force is usually less with amusement park rides, it still warrants precaution.

Although there are women who have been pregnant and ridden the various thrill rides without complication, it is a risk that should be avoided. Amusement parks are good at identifying rides that pose risks to pregnant women .

The safest course of action is to play it safe and avoid the rides that pose a risk; you can always return to the park and enjoy the rides after you deliver your baby.

Last Updated: 02/2006

Last updated: 12/2006