Is it okay to go on a roller coaster while you’re pregnant?

There are no studies out there that say amusement park rides, including roller coasters, bumper cars, the Whip, etc., are dangerous during pregnancy but not many women are willing to be in a study to see if repeatedly riding Kingda Ka at Six Flags will cause them to miscarry.

The concern is with the rapid starts and stops and jarring motions that occur with these types of rides which could lead to premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus.

Honestly, from everything I’ve read, it seems pretty hard to knock something loose that wasn’t going to knock loose anyway but amusement parks and doctors aren’t willing to risk giving you the green light then have you sue them if you miscarry.

So until we get a bunch of women saying “Sure, I’ll ride the bumper cars for a week straight to see if my baby survives” you’re SOL on the side lines holding everybody’s bags while they ride the Tower of Terror.

Might I suggest picking through their wallets and getting yourself cotton candy? It’s not an amusement ride but it is amusing.

search: amusement park pregnant, carnival rides pregnant, roller coasters pregnant, bumper cars pregnant

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37 Comments

  • The reason Disney says certain rides are not appropriate for pregnant women, is NOT because during normal operation she may get hurt. If they have to do an emergency stop…for example stopping you during your free fall on splash mountain – that jarring effect could harm your unborn child.

    I guess I don’t understand why some women try and sneak past the attendant and ride even though they are clearly pregnant. I just hope the 2 minute ride is worth the risk.

  • As a former amusement park ride operator, I have to say, please make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. (Wooden roller coasters will be much rougher than steel ones, for example, and you might not want to try something pregnant that you haven’t done when not pregnant.) Being out in the sun all day without easy access to really nutritious food and a cool place to rest is probably not such a good idea either, even if you’re not riding the rides. I’m a big fan of amusement parks, but I would not have considered going when I was pregnant.

  • I live in Pittsburgh, PA near Kennywood Park. I took my 20 month old daughter when I was 12 weeks pregnant (now 21 weeks with a healthy baby). Since she was in Kiddieland most of the day, I didn't get to ride much anyways, but I was totally happy with the rides I did ride with her. I felt totally safe. In fact, if I had read the comments here first, I probably would have ridden more!

  • I have to say I was one of those women who did not know they were pregnant until very late in their pregnancy. I was pregnant all summer and went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Worlds of Fun Kansas City, and Adventureland Des Moines often. Fortunately, I only experienced any kind of problems on spinning rides (who knew that spinning around while pregnant will make a woman throw up:-P). My son was born the following January and has had no problems. I didn't have any issues throughout the pregnancy and he is a happy, wild two year old.

  • At 3 months along, I went to Disneyland with my big brother and his wife for his 40th birthday (the husband isn't really a Disney kind of guy, but didn't want to keep me from going). The only rides I sidelined out of caution were, yes, the Tower of Terror, California Screamin', the Matterhorn and Space Mountain. With just the three of us "adults" having the kid-free freedom to essentially run through the parks for two days unencumbered, I had absolutely no feelings of insecurity about the rides I made the choice to go on – my brother is also a military trained RN working nights in the NICU at Primary Children's Hospital where we live. A better amusement park companion there isn't. I have always been very athletic and simply held my body weight off certain seats so that I was in control of my body movements a little more than intended for the average rider. Frankly, the running around was harder on my bod than any ride I ventured. A bit of sitting around in line did my back plenty of favors on that trip.

    Of course, I guess I hadn't had the last of my pre-kid amusement park trips because my husband wanted to visit friends of ours in Florida so we planned two days at the Universal Studios parks in Orlando just last weekend. Needless to say, other than leaving just the roller coasters alone, there wasn't a single ride I didn't feel was safe. That Harry Potter Forbidden Journey ride was worth the price of admission all by itself. Totally great. We had our big 20 week ultrasound just a few days after arriving home (which was just a few days ago now) and found out that we have a perfectly perfect little GIRL in the hopper. I suppose that if I did not get pregnant while already in very good physical shape, I might make different choices. For my personal situation, however, I remained well within my comfort zone. She's all set to be my little roller coaster buddy one day!

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