Pregnancy is an intriguing and unique time for parents. However, the mother might be forced to avoid some of her hobbies and interests for the baby’s safety. That has resulted in most women asking if it is safe to ski while pregnant.
Can I Ski While Pregnant? Whether or not I can ski while pregnant depends on the stage of my pregnancy. Research indicates that skiing might be safe for certain women, but there are several risks I should consider before engaging in this activity.
Skiing in early pregnancy
Most doctors consider weeks four to 13 as the most critical stage of pregnancy. That is when the fetus continues to form, and the most critical functions are established in the baby’s body. Also, that is the time when a woman might experience a miscarriage. Due to those, most new mothers attempt to avoid necessary risks during this period. However, if I was active and fit before I became pregnant, it can be safe for me to continue with moderate exercises. In contrast, if I have not skied before or I rarely engage in strenuous exercises, I should consider the risks associated with beginning skiing in the early pregnancy. Apart from that, the following are the early pregnancy symptoms I should consider before skiing.
Maybe I am one of the women who experience morning sickness or nausea during early pregnancy. Therefore, moving around a snowy mountain might not seem like the most appealing way I can spend my time if I am feeling unwell. Therefore, I should assess my well-being to determine if I can immerse myself in the activity of traversing a ski resort.
In the first trimester, I might feel tired. That is because my body might be busy establishing my fetus. Therefore, it will focus all its energies on this process, and I might feel that I have engaged in strenuous activities. In that case, I should consider how demanding skiing is and if my body might handle it.
My baby will be well protected and tiny deep inside the womb during the early pregnancy. However, the risk of colliding with or falling is real, and it might happen. Most gynecologists and obstetricians recommend that all exercises are okay in the early pregnancy except horse riding, skiing, and surfing due to the risk of trauma to the abdomen. Therefore, I should consider the risk associated and my skiing capabilities. Also, this is the reason that doctors discourage downhill skiing.
Skiing in later pregnancy
The safest time to fly and travel might be in the second trimester of pregnancy, up to 28 weeks. However, skiing later in pregnancy is riskier than in early pregnancy. In this case, I might experience the following risks:
Dehydration and fatigue
Since my body will be working 24/7, any strenuous activity can result in faster burnout. If I neglect my self-care, I can experience extreme dehydration and fatigue, increasing my safety risk when skiing.
During pregnancy, my instincts might slow down, meaning I will not swiftly assess how to handle challenges related to skiing. For instance, one of the challenges during pregnancy is the mental fog. Therefore, I need to know if I plan to engage in this activity.
Ways I can enhance my safety when skiing while pregnant
Acclimate to the altitude
Pregnancy implies having challenging times in high altitudes. Therefore, I should probably offer myself more time to familiarize myself with the environment. I should take it slow and avoid skiing until I feel comfortable. Since the blood pressure can risk when I get to a higher elevation, I should avoid heading to the mountains if I suffer from gestational hypertension.
Take breaks and stay hydrated.
Since I will be more susceptible to dehydration and fatigue during pregnancy, I need to ensure that I drink a lot of water and dress appropriately according to the amount of physical activity I will engage in and the weather conditions. Also, remember to take several breaks to relax my body.
Consult my doctor
Since skiing is not normally recommended during pregnancy, it does not imply that I should not engage in it. However, the decision to continue skiing should be with the help of my doctor. My doctor might discourage this activity for individual reasons, or it might be good for my body based on my overall health or experience. Therefore, I should always consult my doctor before engaging in this strenuous activity.
I might be nervous when skiing, but I should remember to trust myself and remain confident. If I decide to ski when pregnant, I should do that with awareness and confidence.
How can I know when to stop skiing?
Most women are comfortable skiing during their first trimester. During my last pregnancy, I was comfortable skiing in the second trimester, but I continued to ski for some days after entering the third trimester. After that, I became uncomfortable decided to stop until I gave birth.
I must listen to my body when engaging in physical activity while pregnant, especially when skiing. Here are the signs that I normally consider that it is the ideal time for me to stop skiing:
- I am experiencing some soreness or pain, especially in my legs or back
- I am extremely worried or anxious regarding my safety
- I am extremely thirsty, sweating excessively, or overheated
- I am feeling dizzy, tired, or lightheaded
- I find it challenging to stay on my feet or balance.
What positive impact can I experience from skiing in my first trimester?
Skiing can enhance my emotional stability and mood during pregnancy. It can also result in a more restful and deeper sleep and improve my stamina, strength, and energy levels.
How can I balance the time needed to spend skiing with that required to rest?
I should pace myself. In particular, it can be good if I ski half a day or draw a timetable on the days I will avoid skiing.
Skiing while pregnant is safe provided the woman feels healthy and has no issues related to balancing and breathing. However, pregnant women should seek the opinion of their gynecologists. They might not recommend them to begin this activity, but no issues should arise if they have been doing it for an extended time. Despite that, if I am feeling restless, I should immediately stop skiing and look for a place I can rest. Most importantly, I should prioritize my health and that of my baby.