Skiing is a great way to unwind and have fun with friends and family. It’s also a fantastic way to get some exercise and can help you stay in shape during your pregnancy. But the question of whether it is safe for you to ski while pregnant depends on many factors. This even involves your doctor making their recommendations because as much as skiing is fun, it may involve lots of risky tricks and activities that can affect the growing foetus.
For instance, early in your pregnancy (less than 12 weeks), it’s probably not safe for you to ski. This is because your body hasn’t yet adjusted to the changes of pregnancy, and skiing could put too much stress on your heart and lungs. If you do ski under these conditions, make sure someone accompanies you and that they know how to perform CPR.
If you’re in the second trimester or later (after week 20), then skiing should be fine as long as there isn’t any risk of falling or hitting something hard while on the slopes. The good news is that most resorts offer beginner-level runs designed specifically for those who haven’t skied before or may not be as skilled at it yet. In addition, these runs usually have fewer obstacles than intermediate or advanced runs, making them safer for beginners or pregnant women.
Precautions to Ensure You Ski Safely
The NHS advises against skiing in pregnant women, but of course, the last decision is with you. So, if you are unable to overcome the urge to ski, here are some precautions to have in mind:
- Avoid steep slopes that could lead to falls or avalanches; stick to easier trails at lower elevations instead.
- Don’t ski alone; always travel with an experienced skier who knows how to avoid hazards and react quickly in an emergency.
- Don’t go down hills or through moguls. If you have any discomfort during the ride down the hill, get off the chairlift immediately.
- Take breaks between runs or after every couple of runs if possible. Remember that it’s not just your body carrying this baby — it’s carrying a lot of extra weight too! So, take breaks when needed and don’t push yourself too hard too fast.
- Avoid high altitudes (above 8,000 feet), as this could cause breathing problems for both mom and baby if there isn’t enough oxygen in the air for both of them to breathe comfortably. Also, if you’re having trouble breathing because of altitude sickness symptoms like nausea or dizziness — stop skiing immediately!
- Be cautious of Frostbite and hypothermia. The cold air and snow can cause these conditions if you are not appropriately dressed for skiing. You must, therefore, wear proper clothing while skiing. Wear layers so that you can easily remove or add clothing depending on how hot or cold it gets while skiing. Ensure your jacket has an insulated lining to remove any moisture from the snow. Your pants should also have an insulated lining on the inside so they do not get wet when you fall in the snow. You should also wear gloves and a hat to keep your hands and head warm!
Health Benefits from Skiing When Pregnant
Skiing is a great sport for pregnant women looking for a fun and active way to spend their time; this is only if you have met every threshold stated in the safety tips above and your doctor approves it. Skiing is an excellent form of exercise that helps strengthen your core muscles, improve your balance and coordination, and burn calories.
Skiing helps you get outside in the fresh air and sunshine, which can benefit you and your unborn child. These include:
- Reduces Stress – Skiing is a sport that requires concentration and focuses on the task at hand. This can help reduce stress levels and make you feel better about yourself.
- Helps You Sleep Better – Skiers often report sleeping better after a day on the slopes because they feel more relaxed than before skiing. You will also have less trouble falling asleep because skiing takes up so much energy that there is no room for negative thoughts in your head at night time.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health – When skiing, you are exercising both your upper body (arms) and lower body (legs), which improves your cardiovascular health over time and reduces the risk of heart disease later on in life by strengthening your heart muscles.
- Strengthens Your Muscles – Skiing strengthens all of your major muscle groups, including those in your arms (biceps), back (lats), and shoulders (delts).
What Should Pregnant Women Avoid When Skiing?
As with any other activity during pregnancy, it’s important to talk to your doctor before trying anything new — including skiing. He or she can help you decide if it’s safe for you and your baby. In addition, here are some things to avoid before heading out on the slopes:
- For starters, you should not ski if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if you are taking any prescription medications. Your doctor can help determine whether skiing is safe for you during pregnancy.
- Avoid very high altitudes or extremely cold temperatures. You may be more susceptible to altitude sickness or Frostbite in cold weather, so keep an eye on the weather forecast before going out on the slopes.
- Don’t overexert yourself. Don’t ski until you feel comfortable with your ability level and until your body has adjusted to the exercise required by skiing. If your legs feel shaky or weak while skiing, take a break until they feel better before continuing your activity. Avoid going down steep hills until after your first trimester, when it becomes more difficult for your developing baby to get enough oxygen through your placenta. After that point, use caution when going down steep hills and avoid doing so unless necessary (for example, if it’s the only way down).
- Don’t fall! It’s important to keep your balance while skiing — especially when going uphill — but it’s also important not to let yourself fall. This can cause serious injury or trauma during pregnancy if you first hit your head or abdomen.
- Stay on beginner slopes. You’ll need to wear a helmet and other protective gear while skiing, so starting out on beginner slopes is best. You’ll want to gain experience before trying more difficult runs down expert slopes.
- Don’t go downhill too fast. Going too fast can cause you to lose control and fall off your skis, which could result in serious injury for you and your baby.
- Don’t go uphill too fast, either! If you’re going uphill too fast, it may cause you to lose balance and fall back down the hill — again causing injury for both of you!
- Don’t Ski Without Ski Poles – One of the most important things pregnant women should avoid when skiing is not using ski poles. Ski poles help keep you balanced and stable on the snow, so if you don’t have them, staying upright on your skis or snowboard will be much harder. If you already know how to use ski poles, this shouldn’t be a problem because it is easy to pick up once again. However, if this is the first time you have ever gone skiing, it is best to hire someone who knows how to use ski poles properly and has experience teaching others how to do so.