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Kramarz, Susanna (2011): Reiten in der Schwangerschaft. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of riding, different riding disciplines, riding experience and exercise intensity on miscarriage and preterm delivery. MATERIALS and METHODS: 1851 experienced female riders after childbirth or miscarriage took part at a retrospective survey. 1558 valid questionnaires entered the evaluation. RESULTS: Average duration of riding acitivities during pregnancy was 29,6 weeks. Average pregnancy duration of all involved riders was 39,5 weeks. The frequency of preterm delivery did not differ compared to the Perinatal Registry of Lower Sachsonia, Germany. 22 pregnancies (1,2%) ended in miscarriage. Horseback riding had no influence in duration of pregnancy or fetal outcome – nor dressage or professional riding more than 20 hours per week, nor horse jumping. Main causes for preterm delivery in this analysis were low BMI, stress, high blood pressure and other health disorders. Pregnant women with preterm contractions stopped horse riding about 5 weeks earlier than women without these signs (wk 25,4 vs. wk 29) (p<0.05). Average pregnancy duration after preterm contractions was 39,55 weeks, and 39,62 weeks in pregnancy without preterm contractions (no difference). Accidents while riding or having contact to horses occurred in 9,7% of participants (n=151). Risk factors for accidents were high (!) professionality, riding young or difficult horses, and show jumping. However, horse riders with low risk profiles had accidents, too. From 151 pregnants involved in accidents in one case pregnancy ended in miscarriage, another pregnancy ended in preterm delivery of a healthy child. Beyond these 2 cases pregnancy or child outcome were not impaired in any accident. CONCLUSION: In healthy and experienced females horseback riding did not influence the duration of pregnancy. Pregnants with preterm contractions stopped riding earlier than pregnants without preterm contractions. The average duration of pregnancy in both groups was almost equal. Accidents resulting from horseback riding or other equestrian activities represent a considerable risk for pregnant riders.