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Expert statement on pregnant and postnatal athletes

A woman doing a sit up outside and lifting a young child in her arms

A Bump in the Road? The Active Pregnancy Foundation and BASES have released an Expert Statement on Pregnant and Postnatal Athletes.

BASES’ Expert Statements provide a concise overview of topics which have been identified as of interest, confusion, or controversy to sport and exercise scientists. Produced on behalf of BASES by an expert panel at The Active Pregnancy Foundation, the statement on Pregnant and Postnatal Athletes was released on 4 November 2022 within the Winter 2022 edition of The Sport and Exercise Scientist. The statement highlights current guidelines, areas where further evidence and consensus is needed, and the multi-disciplinary approach necessary to effectively support athletes with their health, training, and performance goals during and after pregnancy.

Over the last seven decades, there has been a sharp rise in the number of women participating in sport at the highest levels. For example, representation at the Olympic Games has increased from 34% at Atlanta 1996 to a new record high of 48% at Tokyo 2020. However, as more women train and compete during their reproductive years, there is also increased demand for the industry to evolve by recognising that pregnancy no longer marks the end of an athletic career.