The pregnancy period is no less than a blissful dream for expectant mothers. However, the happiness can often get overshadowed by anxiety that comes with enjoying foods and activities that are deemed off-limits during pregnancy.
While some women struggle with cutting out their daily intake of coffee, others miss the adrenaline rush they get when going skiing. But is skiing a complete no-no during pregnancy?
Not really. Instead, physical activity and fresh air might benefit the mother and baby if done correctly. So, if you’re wondering if you should go skiing while pregnant, here’s everything you should know.
I know what you’re thinking. If it is okay to ski during pregnancy, why is the activity generally seen as off-limits? Let’s face it, hurtling down a snow-covered mountain at full speed is not the first thing you would go for when you find out you’re pregnant.
Moreover, there are many risks involved in the sport, and doctors advise against it for safety reasons. In fact, skiing is one of the sports that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists includes in the list of sports you should avoid during pregnancy.
However, every woman is not the same, just like every pregnancy. While this recommendation is a general precaution, there are specific measures you can take to ski safely during pregnancy if you can’t miss out on it. We’ll get to that later, but the risks you should keep in mind include,
Collisions and Falls
This is the biggest risk that concerns doctors when they advise you against skiing during pregnancy. Severe abdominal trauma causes more than 73% of fetal mortalities. Similarly, colliding with other skiers during your trip and injuring your abdomen is pretty high.
According to the trimester you’re in, an abdominal injury can drastically affect your pregnancy. For example, during the first trimester, you’re at a high risk of miscarriage. That’s why you should avoid participating in any high-risk sports during the period.
On the other hand, the second trimester relieves you of the miscarriage scare, but a severe injury can still harm your baby. But, if you have to plan a ski trip, the second trimester is the best time to do it.
Furthermore, during the third trimester, you might have difficulty balancing your growing body on skis, regardless of your expertise. Similarly, your large baby has relatively less cushioning around them compared to the second trimester, meaning trauma might lead to placental abruption or even fetal death.
Besides your baby, even your health is at risk while skiing during pregnancy. Research shows that pregnant women are more likely to incur severe muscle injuries when participating in active sports.
That’s because your hormones are working on relaxing your muscles and preparing your body for labor. Also, this loosens your ligaments, putting you at increased risk for torn tendons.
So, while these injuries won’t necessarily harm your growing baby, they will impact your body harder and become more challenging to heal during pregnancy.
Skiing is an activity that requires quick thinking. Although you might dismiss it as a myth, the pregnancy brain is quite real. Taking up the magnanimous task of growing a new life takes a toll on your brain.
Eventually, this might affect how you process challenges you face on the slopes, with your basic instincts giving up on you.
Remember, during pregnancy, your body is constantly doing double the work it usually does. This means that you can become tired and dehydrated sooner than usual. However, if you take proper precautions and self-care measures, you might be able to come out unscathed. This brings us to the next section.
Are There Any Ways To Reduce The Risks?
Yes, skiing poses severe risks for the mother and the baby during pregnancy. But, if you’re an avid skier and can’t live through the season without hitting the slopes, here are some measures to indulge in the sport safely.
- Make your decision based on your skiing capability. If you’re a professional skier, you can enjoy skiing while pregnant. But, make sure to ski at half of your capacity and skill level.
- Prepare yourself for the high altitude by taking time to acclimatize to the new environment.
- Try to plan your skiing trip during the off-season. This way, you can avoid huge crowds and reduce your risk of colliding with other skiers on the slopes.
- Cater to your body’s needs. For example, drink plenty of water and take it easy once you feel too tired.
If you’re pregnant and feel like hitting the slopes, no one can stop you from doing it.
While doctors advise against the sport, if you practice all the safety measures and watch your steps, you can enjoy yourself without inflicting any harm to yourself or your unborn baby.
Remember to discuss any underlying risks regarding your pregnancy with your doctor before finalizing your trip, and you should be fine.