Women's experiences of physically active leisure during pregnancy

Kate Evans, Kellie A. Walters, Toni Liechty, Kelsey M. LeFevour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While leisure researchers have long examined the ways in which motherhood can affect women's physically active leisure and, in turn, their health and well-being [e.g. Cramp and Bray 2011; Miller, Yvette D., and Wendy J. Brown. 2005. “Determinants of Active Leisure for Women with Young Children – An ‘Ethic of Care' Prevails.” Leisure Sciences 27 (5): 405–420; Shaw, Susan M. 2008. “Family Leisure and Changing Ideologies of Parenthood.” Sociology Compass 2 (2): 688–703], they have thus far neglected to investigate the physical experience of pregnancy as it relates to women's leisure. This study explored how women's experience of pregnancy and the changing body may play a role in shaping and defining their physically active leisure. Interviews were completed with 12 pregnant women and data were analysed thematically. Findings suggest that women experience an acute loss of control (over their pregnant bodies and over their actions) while simultaneously lacking solid information regarding how to best maintain their health and that of their unborn baby. The findings have important implications for women's health and leisure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-404
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Physically active leisure
  • pregnant embodiment
  • social construction of pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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