As an expectant mom, you’re probably weighing up the safest ways to remain physically active while pregnant. You may have even been wondering whether you can snowboard whilst pregnant.
You can snowboard while pregnant, but it’s risky to do so. A snowboarding fall or collision could harm you or the baby, putting your pregnancy at risk. Factors like reduced oxygen levels at high altitudes and stress may also affect your pregnancy.
This article will teach you more about the risks of snowboarding while pregnant. Let’s shred this dilemma.
Can You Snowboard while Pregnant?
I guess I should start by saying that I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice.
Actually... I am a doctor.
But this is not me giving medical advice. I’m just here to talk through the risks and benefits.
You should then be able to make your own decision about snowboarding in pregnancy.
If you do ultimately decide against it, then I’d recommend living vicariously through our highly addictive snowboard blogs!
The Risks Of Snowboarding During The Three Trimesters
1. First Trimester
The first trimester is unfortunately associated with the highest risk of miscarriage.
Your baby is developing its essential internal organs, including the heart.
You should do your absolute best to give your baby the safest environment to start its first heartbeat.
Moreover, moms-to-be sometimes feels nauseous during the first trimester, which may cause lightheadedness and exhaustion.
Nausea can be distracting when trying to concentrate on performing to the best of your ability.
It may be sensible to avoid snowboarding during this period.
If you were going to snowboard, it would be sensible to avoid freestyle riding and crowded slopes. Also take care not to over exert yourself.
2. Second Trimester
This period is arguably the safest trimester to do the things you have been doing before pregnancy.
It is often dubbed “the calm before the storm.”
Your baby has developed just enough so that you need not worry too much. You have probably (hopefully) stopped vomiting, and most importantly, the size of your belly is still manageable.
However, even a minor trauma during the first or second trimester can contribute to premature birth risk or low birth weight.
Moreover, your body prepares for delivery by loosening your muscles and joints. This muscular looseness makes you more susceptible to injury. Proceed with caution!
3. Third Trimester
A big belly is the biggest obstacle between you and your snowboard in the third trimester.
After all, it can grow to the size of a watermelon.
Try snowboarding while holding a watermelon. Impossible, right? This extra bulk can easily cause imbalance and make you very clumsy.
It’s not just the physical injury risk that you should take into consideration.
Even if you fall and don’t get hurt, the shock of falling may cause problems with your pregnancy, including premature birth.
Moreover, pregnant women’s lung capacity is smaller because the growing baby pushes the diaphragm up, decreasing room for your lungs to expand.
Staying at high altitude can make it harder for you and your baby to get the oxygen you need.
What Do The Professionals Say?
Can you snowboard while pregnant?
How risky is snowboarding during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG) explicitly recommend against skiing during pregnancy.
They don’t mention snowboarding but obviously the inherent risks between skiing and snowboarding are pretty similar.
According to Samuel T. Bauer, M.D., an OB-GYN maternal-fetal medicine specialist, all pregnancies have inherent risks. However, those risks tend to increase with the mother’s age and some pre-existing conditions.
If you are lucky enough not to have any of these issues, you still have the option to go snowboarding.
However, it is still best to only perform mild exercises, take slow walks, and do stretches. Exercising at least 2½ hours each week, is essential. However, it is probably not the best decision to include extreme sports in your workout routine.
How To Reduce The Risks Of Snowboarding During Pregnancy
Only you can decide what’s right for you and your baby.
If you have already decided to go snowboarding during pregnancy, what are the best ways to reduce the risk?
1. Be An Experienced Snowboarder!
Where are you on a scale of complete beginner to Olympic medalist?
Most of you are probably somewhere in the middle.
If you’re leaning more to the beginner end of the scale, you absolutely should avoid snowboarding in pregnancy.
Never snowboarded before?
You certainly don’t want to try snowboarding for the first time during pregnancy.
This is because:
- Learning to snowboard is physically exhausting.
- Your risk of falling forwards while snowboarding is extremely high.
- You cannot control the risk posed by other novice snowboarders around you.
- As a novice, you have little control over your movements.
- Beginners always fall — remember learning to ride a bike?
2. Reconsider Where You Ride
If you’re determined to snowboard whilst pregnant and are an experienced rider, reconsider where you ride.
Avoid freestyle. Avoid crowded slopes. Avoid gnarly off-piste riding.
Now is not the time to push yourself or progress!
Of course, consult your health professional in addition to reading this article.
Ultimately, it is perhaps best to avoid any adrenaline-packed activities while expecting.
But only you can make this decision.
Your little bundle of joy is entirely your responsibility. Only you know why or how badly you want to go snowboarding.
Take your time to weigh the potential benefit and harm.
Alternatively to indulge your snowboarding addiction during pregnancy in a more harmless way, why not start your own snowboard blog?