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UK Sport publishes pregnancy guidance for athletes and sports

A female athlete doing sit ups while holding a baby

UK Sport has published pregnancy guidance for the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community and beyond following a wide-ranging 18-month consultation.

UK Sport fundamentally believes that starting a family and being an elite athlete should not be mutually exclusive and, driven by an ambition for our high-performance community to be world leading, has produced in-depth guidance that:

  • Provides advice to athletes about how and when to share their pregnancy with their sport.
  • Provides advice to sports should an athlete share their pregnancy with them.
  • Recommends a framework which athletes and sports may follow to ensure a responsible and reasonable approach is adopted pre, during and post-childbirth, including return to training and competition.

In addition, UK Sport supports athletes on World Class Programmes who become pregnant and are in receipt of an Athlete Performance Award (APA). Any athlete who becomes pregnant continues to receive their full APA throughout the duration of the pregnancy and for up to nine months post childbirth.

Since February 2020, UK Sport has been speaking to athletes, coaches and medical practitioners within the high-performance community in the UK, including the English Institute of Sport’s Female Health and Performance Team and other Home Country Sports Institutes, in order to produce pregnancy guidance.

UK Sport is not recommending a one-size fits all approach when athletes and sports are implementing this guidance, recognising requirements will vary significantly depending on the impact of the pregnancy, any delivery complications, and the nature of the sport the athlete is returning to.