Snowboarding is among the most popular winter sports. Avid snowboarders showcase their skills in this sport and would not like to be left out. Therefore, planning is vital in ensuring that no factor inhibits them from getting on the ice on their snowboards.
Action sports and pregnancy do not go together often. Although it is technically possible to snowboard when pregnant, I do not recommend it. Some inherent risks are making it something to avoid during pregnancy.
I am a licensed snowboarding instructor. I have been a snowboarder for most of my lifetime. My only experience snowboarding while pregnant was a few times towards the end of my first trimester. I felt I could not be left out. However, I have several friends with a lot of experience, which we will use here. So, can I snowboard while pregnant?
The quick and simple answer is that although you can feasibly snowboard when pregnant, the danger of falling should be enough to prevent you. Medical professionals will advise you not to ride at all during pregnancy.
Read on to know the dangers and risks that might keep you from snowboarding with a baby developing in your body.
The Dangers of Snowboarding When Pregnant
Snowboarding may be a risky sport for anyone. Even experienced snowboarders risk a dangerous fall that might cause a serious injury. With many people riding, sometimes an accident may happen that is not your fault.
By snowboarding when pregnant, these risks are extended to the unborn child. If a pregnant woman takes a terrible fall and hits the abdomen on a tree, another rider, or snow, it can jeopardize the pregnancy.
When you fall on a snowboard, you are likely to fall forward. Because you tie your feet on the same board, the fall is often downhill, meaning the weight of your body lands on your chest or abdomen.
Nearly all medical professionals I speak with advise that pregnant women should avoid contact activities and sports. These sports carry a potential risk of bouncy movements or impact that may jeopardize the pregnancy. Unfortunately, snowboarding and skiing fall under this category.
Increased risk of injury
Riding when pregnant exposes the mother to greater injury risk. Because of the pregnancy, the mother weighs extra pounds that expose their body to more wear and tear. Pregnant women do not have the same coordination and balance they had before the pregnancy.
Falling is a huge risk for both the woman and the baby. Even a mild fall that hits your stomach may have severe effects. I usually advise pregnant women to take care when snowboarding, if they must, and avoid crowded tracks.
According to medical research statistics, falling when snowboarding is more likely to cause abdominal injury than skiing. We fasten the legs on one board in snowboarding, making the stomach or chest the initial point of contact during a fall. Any abdominal trauma in a pregnant woman may cause a severe injury to the baby. However, should you choose to snowboard when pregnant, I advise you to consider the following things.
Things A Pregnant Woman Should Consider When Snowboarding
During pregnancy, there is a drastic change in your weight distribution. I think you should keep this in mind because your Center of gravity changes in the second and third trimesters. Thus, you could lose balance and risk a serious fall.
Although getting hit by other snowboarders may seem unlikely, they are not uncommon. Like driving a car on the road, you are not always at fault. I tell the pregnant snowboarders that although they can snowboard, there is a reduction in agility. Therefore, avoiding another snowboarder barreling your way may not be as easy as it used to be. I advise you to snowboard in areas with greater visibility to see others from afar.
The terrain may be unpredictable when snowboarding. You can find yourself riding over wet snow, rocks, trees, dirt, packed snow, or ice. With these many variations in surface conditions, the speed can change quickly without notice, resulting in forwarding fall.
The other concern to consider is the weather. If there is a storm or the temperatures are very low, I advise against snowboarding. Freezing weather reduces visibility. As a rule of thumb, I advise my clients to check the weather reports before snowboarding. Inquire about the snow conditions and do not snowboard if the conditions are icy.
It is advisable to use the appropriate protective gear when snowboarding. I would suggest using a helmet when riding. Gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads will help protect your hands, knees, and elbows in case of a fall. These gloves are sturdy enough to absorb any shock or trauma sustained in falls.
Besides, you want a binding that can release quickly if you should need to. Also, because it is easy for the mother’s body to lose balance, I recommend wearing snow pants instead of snowboarding breezily in shorts. Furthermore, I recommend wearing a jacket to keep you warm and prevent your body from being stiff. In addition, the mother’s blood circulation will be affected during the pregnancy due to increased progesterone levels. The constricting sensation in your limbs can be minimized by choosing a lighter-weight coat that still offers protection from cold weather.
How Far Along Is Your Pregnancy?
Before snowboarding, while pregnant, it is important to know the stage of the pregnancy. This will determine how much risk you are willing to take when snowboarding. Not all pregnancies are alike, so not every snowboarder is in the same position. A woman who is early in her pregnancy and feels fine is more likely to snowboard without problems than a woman in her third trimester.
At this stage, riding on a board may seem like it should be easy, but the pressure of the weight on your abdomen can cause serious damage. This will put you at risk for internal bleeding, which can endanger your life.
Although this is not mentioned in many settings, it is very real for pregnant women. According to prenatal care specialists I have spoken to, most women blame themselves for any miscarriage. The probability of self-blame increases if the woman miscarried in an activity, like snowboarding. They feel they lost the baby because of something they did, even though they were not at fault.
Can I snowboard while pregnant? As I have enumerated above, you can. However, owing to the many risks I have listed, why should you? Nine months is not a long time. You can carry the baby to term and get back to the sport after delivery. In such a case, you and your baby will remain safe.
If you decide to snowboard when pregnant, I advise you to consider the factors above to ensure your physical and emotional safety.