Skiing Pregnant – Yes you can!!

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Skiing and snowboarding have quickly become one of the most controversial activities to engage in while pregnant.

So the real question is,

“Can I ski when I’m pregnant?”

Regardless of who you ask, they’re sure to have some serious opinions on the topic if you ask them “can I ski while pregnant”.  I, personally think that for me skiing pregnant is just fine, as are many other activities, as long as you’re smart and safe about it.   Remember, we’re advocating for an “I CAN” attitude around here. Below, we’ll talk about some things to consider when thinking about skiing while pregnant.

27 weeks pregnant

“Can I snowboard when I’m pregnant?”

When it comes to snowboarding while pregnant, the advice that I give to skiers applies to pregnant snowboarders as well.  If you want to go snowboarding while pregnant, be smart and safe about it just as you would with other activities.  Snowboarding pregnant is just fine, if you have advanced skills and are careful with where you snowboard during pregnancy and who you are around. So overall, to can you snowboard pregnant is yes, but make sure to consider the same factors below for skiing during pregnancy.

Let’s start off by talking about exercising while pregnant.

If you were physically active before your pregnancy, unless you’re having complications, it’s generally considered SAFE to exercise while pregnant.  Obviously, pregnancy IS NOT the time to try and break any records for speed or weight, but it’s been proven that women who exercise during pregnancy are generally healthier and have easier pregnancies.  Typically exercises for pregnancy are lower impact and have a lower intensity, so things like biking and swimming are ideal exercises.

Should I do extreme sports while pregnant

Pregnancy is a time to do all things in moderation, and yes this includes skiing when pregnant.  If it has the word extreme added to the title, it’s only 9 months that you have to wait to do it, so it’s probably just worth waiting.  Is skiing considered an extreme sport?  It all depends on how you ski to determine if pregnant women can ski!

What do doctors say about skiing pregnant

I’ve had at least 10 different doctors throughout the course of my 4 pregnancies and I’ve talked about skiing pregnant with nearly all of them.  When I asked them if it was okay if I skied pregnant, the immediate reaction from all of them is that it wasn’t a good idea.  However, once I talked to them more about my fitness level, the fact that I’m an advanced skier, and that I’m planning on taking it easy in uncrowded places, almost all of them said it was probably fine as long as I was careful and listened to my body.  This includes sitting out a run when I’m feeling achy or sore, skiing slower than I normally do, and if you get nausea or vertigo while pregnant, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing these.  

My experience skiing pregnant

While I was pregnant with #1, I was determined not to let my body be slowed down by pregnancy and that included skiing and pregnancy.

However, the fact is that a pregnant body just doesn’t perform quite like it did a few months ago.  I was discouraged and hard on myself and wasn’t sure I would EVER be up to my normal level (thank you crazy pregnancy emotions).  Of course, my body returned to normal after my son was born and so did my skiing skills.  PHEW!

With my subsequent pregnancies, I’ve learned to set realistic expectations for myself when I think about if I can go skiing during pregnancy. Every pregnancy and every woman is different, so pregnant skiing is something I evaluated differently every time I was expecting.  I don’t ski pregnant to set any records, or prove anything to anyone.  I ski pregnant because I simply LOVE TO SKI!

I’m now almost 32 weeks pregnant with baby #4 and was out on this hill just a few days ago (and am planning on more days to come).  Yes, I’ve slowed down.  A lot of that has come with the fact that there are 3 kids and only 2 of us parents, so naturally someone has to go with the slower kids 🙂  However, a bigger part of that has come from knowing my body, my limits, and what I’m personally comfortable with.

I avoid crowds like the plague, and the sound of  snowboarders scraping down the hill in a desperate attempt to stop scares me to death.  I either ski on easy runs with my kids at the corners of the resort where most people avoid, or I ski wide-open black runs where I feel like I can trust the skills of the skiers around me more.  I don’t ski steep tree runs or moguls pregnant (as much as I’d love to) simply because my reaction time isn’t fast enough so I don’t feel very safe with those 🙂

Preparing your body to ski pregnant

During pregnancy, the changes that happen in your body can make even the most normal activities seem uncomfortable.  If you’re planning on skiing pregnant, it’s important that you have a pretty high level of fitness generally.  Squats and lunges are great for getting your legs used to the extra weight you are carrying around and side reaches and bends are great for helping to engage those outer abdominal muscles and get them warmed up.

Skiing with my oldest at 30 weeks

What you need to know if you want to ski during pregnancy

Can you ski while pregnant? While your pregnant, your baby is kept protected by a cushion of amniotic fluid.  While your skiing, your stance is also fairly balanced which doesn’t cause any unnecessary pressure or strain on your abdomen.

Why all the fuss?  If you fall hard skiing, it’s easy to quickly get injured, putting your baby at risk.  Is it risky, absolutely!  But truthfully, there are plenty of everyday activities that are also very risky.  Is it safe to ski while pregnant? Ultimately, it’s all about knowing yourself, your skills, and what your body is capable of.

Here are some tips and guidelines that I suggest to that will help you decide if and how you should ski while pregnant:

  • First off, evaluate your skills.  If you’re a beginning skier, skiing pregnant is probably not a good idea.  If you’re an advanced intermediate or expert, your skills are likely high enough so you can safely go skiing while pregnant.
  • Decide how hard you’re comfortable skiing.  While it may not be a great idea to go all-out-crazy, that doesn’t mean that you need to ski like a whimp either.  Set your limits before you hit the slopes so you know what you’re comfortable with before your fit non-pregnant ex-ski racing friends ask you to go for a run.
  • Acclimate to the altitude.  When you’re thinking about skiing and pregnancy, altitude can have a much bigger effect on your body.  Altitude and pregnancy can be difficult to deal with.  Make sure you’re acclimatized if you don’t live in the mountains, so you can make sure you’re feeling your best when you hit the slopes (hydration is especially important!)
  • Avoid skiing in crowded places while pregnant. Deciding if you can ski while pregnant has a lot to do with where you ski.  Although you can help prevent yourself from falling you have no impact on other skiers around you and their crashes, so just avoid them.  If you can, avoid skiing on weekends or holidays to avoid the crowds or consider a smaller less crowded ski resort.
  • Slow down a bit.  Skiing pregnant isn’t a race or competition.  The fact that you’re out there at all speaks volumes about how awesome you are 🙂
  • Be confident.  If you’re constantly on edge or nervous, it’s going to be reflected in how well you ski, so really just be confident and trust yourself.   If you ski while pregnant, ski with confidence and awareness.
  • Know your body.  Remember that no one else can know exactly what you’re feeling or how hard you can really push things but you.  I generally follow the rule that if it feels good, I keep doing it – if things are uncomfortable or hurt (or my gut just says I shouldn’t) I stop.
  • Know when to stop.  Most people are comfortable skiing in their first trimester.  I’ve been quite comfortable skiing in the second trimester, with a few days here and there skiing in the third trimester.
A perfect day, just me and my kids (4 and 2), 25 weeks with #3

Do you have any tips that have helped you have an adventurous pregnancy? 

Obviously, I’m not a doctor, so all of this information is just my own opinion.  Consult your doctor and use your own best judgement in deciding what physical activities to do while pregnant.

This post was originally posted in 2014, but has been most recently updated in September 2019.

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

32 thoughts on “Skiing Pregnant – Yes you can!!”

  1. I loved skiing when I was pregnant. I took the easier routes but had a blast. I swear that DS loved it too… I could feel him shift back into my pelvis like he was getting ready to ride the hill. Whee!

  2. Just love this post! My biggest problem was the fatigue… it can mentally difficult to think “I could do this non-stop before!” when your body might not let you go as hard while pregnant. There were a couple times I found myself at the top of a run, completely wiped out, and I knew I had to reevaluate how hard (and long) I pushed myself. For me, making sure I had enough energy to be able to completely control my body was my biggest safety concern!

    • That’s an awesome point. It’s so easy to get SO TIRED, so knowing your body is huge (sadly for me it often takes a few of those times where I go a little too far to know where I need to stop…:)

  3. The only issue I have skiing later in pregnancy is keeping my snow pants up. Seriously need suspenders. I was out this weekend with my 2 year old. .. 26 weeks along.

  4. I love reading this website makes me feel so much better. I am 18 weeks today! Yesterday I did my last snow boarding session for the season! The first time I went I was 11 weeks and I was so nervous because you read so much about how it is a big NO NO not to go. But as the story above notes you have to assess your skills first and set your limits. I did just that and I went out two more times. Now I am not skilled enough to go when I get bigger that is why I am deciding to stop before I feel the shift in my balance, especially on a snow board. But I feel for my next pregnancy I will have a few more seasons under my belt and I will be able to board a little later on into pregnancy. Winters can be really long here (Up in Canada) so getting out at least a few times was so important for my mental health. Now I feel I can weather the next two months and be okay with being left on the bench.

    • Oh that’s so awesome! I’m glad you are listening to your body and doing what best for you! You’re up for some great adventures with your little one!

  5. Hi there adventure mamas! I am currently 19+ weeks preggo with my first ski baby 🙂 I am a lifelong alpine skier and have been instructing for many years (uh… like 15 now! Sheesh!)

    Planning this pregnancy, I definitely was NOT going to let myself be “very very pregnant” during ski season if I could help it — both for the fun factor, not wanting to battle icy roads/storms for labor, and because I wished to keep working on the mountain!

    I live in a popular ski town in VT and was cleared with basically no questions asked through my first trimester. My midwives offered gentle “be carefuls” for my second trimester.

    I ski every weekend, all day each day with a group of advanced 11 year old girls, and did a 9 day streak in December early-on (8 weeks) when my fatigue was at an all time high. Slept like a baby and still have abs to boot.

    So far it’s been wonderful. Cold fresh air did wonders for my nausea, and I ski frequently enough so that balance has been (so far) just a slow shift and not very noticeable.

    I am like a hawk for other skiers, and as an instructor I havea pretty well practiced eye and ear for that kind of thing — but honestly I feel most safe on diamonds/doubles because there aren’t as many idiots, and the speed is much slower! I plan to ski for the next four weekends at least bringing me to 24 weeks and just into third trimester.

    Scariest part of every ski day is the drive home with the apres ski fools, haha! Mountain on, mamas! :-*

    • Oh Ladies THANK YOU! I am also a ski instructor(in Austria) and plan to work this season, probably not u til the end of course. I’m 3months now and hike every few days 2 to 4 hours up the mountain to kerp my fitness level high and exercise a little. I am planning to increase the work out (squats, lunges, abs)as the snow falls and hikes finish in order to be ready, I’ll then be at the start of the season 5 going on 6… that will then be my season 6,7,8 months in… There is always the option of the kinderpark, the babies starters so it should be ok… hopefully… I am SO glad to have read you, obviously the plan wasn’t to be pregnant during the winter hehehe but you know what they say about plans.. Tell me what you think snd if you reckon I could pull this off, thank you anyhow galls for the inspiration!

  6. Not worth the risk. All it takes is one out of control snowboarder to knock you over, or one fall with a blow to the tummy,and you can lose the baby. It is not as uncommon as you might think. Also your ligaments are loose during pregnancy and your balance isn’t as good, so whilst you might be a competent skier normally, it’s a different ballgame when you’re pregnant. Whilst it may seem like a huge disaster missing one season, it’s really not the end of the world. You’ll be back on the slopes again next year.

    • It totally depends on everyone’s individual risk tolerance. I’ve been avoiding in-bounds runs, only doing mellow backcountry runs because I was most worried about getting run into but trust myself skiing. It’s kind of wild how I’ve fallen down twice while walking on my road when it was slippery, but have not fallen at all while skiing because I’m more aware and tuned in. It’s totally individual and up to each person ‍♀️ That being said at 7 1/2 months pregnant I’m getting to the point that it’s not as much fun as I want it to be, physically sometimes uncomfortable and I might sadly have to call it

  7. My partner and I are trying to get pregnant and one of our concerns is timing ski season! Haha. Anyway, it is really timing snowboard season for us! I am very very proficient and a controlled rider. I am curious about how much harder strapping in etc. might be on a baby than skiing… obviously when farther along it would be tough, but are the general motions required for snowboarding any more “dangerous” than skiing? Any riders on here? And just to keep an age old debate going, I’ve never hit anyone on my snowboard or been hit by a snowboarder, but have gotten creamed by out of control skiers! 😉 Just poking fun. But any input would be appreciated. I used to ski and would consider switching back if it really is much safer/easier when pregnant. Thanks for this post!

    • Currently 22 weeks and still loving snowboarding. Previously I would strap in while standing up and have continued to find that much easier than sitting on the ground. As the weeks continue, I have found having my husband unstrap me at the base of a chair lift is welcome. Bending over that growing belly twice at each chair lift can add up and get tiring. Like many commenters I stick to uncrowded areas. Black diamond areas are usually quiet, I’m most familiar with and feel safest in (avoiding tight steep trees). Listen to your body, stay well within your skill level. Enjoy the slopes!

  8. I am 23 weeks pregnant and just had a wonderful day on the slopes yesterday. I had people telling me I was crazy, but I felt confident and in control. I love to snowboard and being out there was well worth it. As soon as the slopes started getting really crowded I stopped and watched people and that was just as fun. Thank you for making me feel better about my decision. I am an experienced snowboarder and besides getting tired quicker, I found myself maintaining my skills with being present.

  9. Im 15 weeks pregnant and just come back from a week skiing. My main issue was the stopping to pee often which is a real pain. I would say i’m a comfortable skier and barely have a bump so balance wasn’t an issue. My hubby was super supportive and encouraged me. I took one shorter day and one day off (normally we ski everyday first lift till last lift) but I just listened to my body, avoided crowds where possible and kept my speed down. Im proud my little one has already had his/her first mountain experience.

  10. Hi ladies,

    Has anyone skiied very early on. Like at 4 weeks?

    I skiied at Sun Peaks in Canada at Christmas at 4 weeks and had a miscarriage at 6.5 weeks. I’ve been blaming myself ever since. Any opinions ladies?


    • Oh, my dear I am so, so deeply sorry for your loss.

      I am not a medical professional. It is quite common to miscarriage though, 6 weeks is still very early and I hope you are able to give yourself some grace and release yourself of any guilt. I was advised to not even tell anyone about my pregnancy until 20 weeks as the chances were still so high of miscarriage.

      But, For the sake of your question, was there anything that happened during your trip that made you worry in the moment? Are you an avid skier? In my understanding, baby is sooo cushioned in there it would take quite a dramatic event esp at that size. Again, not a medical professional.

      Personally, I found skiing (a very routine and familiar activity to me) to be excellent for my mental and physical health during that time.

      I am so sorry. Sometimes there are no explanations. Sending love to you and your angel ❤️ I hope you are able to overcome and move forward, and adventure on!

    • Jen, I am so so sorry to hear about your loss. After having several miscarriages yourself, I know how hard it can be. There are so many things that could contribute to a miscarriage, but my doctor told me after one of mine that it’s usually just that things didn’t come together quite right so the baby couldn’t survive. That helped me a lot to know that it wasn’t a problem with me or my body, but that sometimes things don’t work out quite right when the baby is being made. Outside of a seriously major trauma on the ski hill, there’s probably nothing you could have been doing that would have caused it. It’s okay to grieve, but please don’t blame yourself. I know it’s hard to see now, but there will be other babies and chances at motherhood, just give yourself time to heal and space to feel comfortable trying again.

      • Thanks for posting these messages about all of your personal experiences skiing. I’m 15 weeks and everyone keeps telling me it isn’t safe to ski, but physically I feel fine doing it. What is frustrating is that my doctor and nurses just give me a flat no without explanation so it’s hard to judge what’s the problem. I feel more reassured with the stories shared. I’m an east coast VT/NH skier where it’s icy and steep but not super high altitudes and have a trip planned to ski in CO for the first time and wasn’t sure if it was safe with the different elevations. It seems like such a waste to not ski in these amazing mountains! I feel a lot better now about simply taking it easy on the slopes and enjoying some freak pow pow.

        • I am 7 weeks (super early) and already had a trip planned to utah in two weeks. I was freaking out about it but after reading this I feel so much better.

    • Hi Jen, so sorry about the miscarriage. Don’t blame yourself. First if all, if you didn’t have any major falls, the miscarriage had absolutely nothing to do with skiing. And if you did have major wipe-outs, it’s still highly unlikely that they caused a miscarriage so early in the cycle. Virtually all 1st trimester miscarriages are chromosomal abnormalities or hormonal imbalance. I was skiing last month at 4 wks (didn’t know I was pregnant), and we are going back to ski (more carefully) again when I will be 8 wks. I am an experienced skier, “high risk” pregnancy at 43 (yep..), and I know miscarriage chances are very high for me (had a couple of those before) – but it’s got nothing to do with the slopes.
      So don’t blame yourself.

  11. Hello, I’m 18 weeks today and 5 days into the whistler season! I’m a beginner/ intermediate skier and sticking to the ‘light’ blues I hope to ski until about 30 weeks. Great post, thanks for the confidence!

  12. I am going to do some very light skiing at 14 weeks with my husband and toddler. Just some bunny slopes and super easy runs. I’m an intermediate skier and confident that I won’t fall or even get snowy/wet. I’m commenting because while I’m early in pregnancy, my ski pants don’t fit AT ALLLL!! This is my 2nd pregnancy and my baby bump was basically immediate…. do you have any recommendations on what I can wear pants wise? We will be in western Maryland, not at high altitudes, and I doubt that it will be colder than upper 20s low 30s. Any advice would be appreciated 🙂

  13. Hi guys, nice to read all of your comments. I’m currently around 5 weeks i with our first baby. I’m an avid snowboarder and it’s encouraging to read your stories. Our snow season begins in June so all going well I’ll be about 20 weeks at that point. Hoping I’m well and
    able enough to hit the slopes, I need it for my sanity and inner peace! I’m also preparing for a lot of backlash from people who don’t ski/board and who don’t understand that advanced riders do have the ability to stay in control (obviously we can’t control other people but that’s what being careful and staying on guard is about). Anyway wishing you all luck with your journeys and can I just say for those going on about “out of control snowboarders”, both skiers and snowboarders have the potential to be out of control and run into people. I’ve definitely been wiped out by both skiers and boarders. An inexperienced person is an inexperienced person, no matter what they’re standing on. Peace! X

  14. Love love love this!!! I told my husband I would ski while pregnant and he just gave me a blank stare. After skiing for 30 years, I feel comfortable getting out there on blues and maybe unbumped blacks. We’ll see how balance is as the belly grows. I’ll likely stick to groomers, snooooooore…. haha, but just excited to see that other women have gotten out there and gotten after it. Most of my skiing will be in the second trimester, third too if my body doesn’t turn against me. I promised my husband no hucking though… =) It’s almost that time of year again ladies!!!

  15. I found this post really helpful. I was quite worried before I went out. I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to do, but we booked our holiday anyway. For those snowboarders out there this was my experience:

    We went snowboarding in Canada when I was 24/25 weeks pregnant. I was bit more careful than I would normally ride, but I had a great time and managed to ride for the full 10 days.
    I normally board in Europe and will ride mainly blues and reds, but I had managed a couple of blacks the last time I went before I was pregnant.

    There were a couple of days where the chairlifts and bending over for my bindings was uncomfortable, but it was all manageable. The snowboarding itself was the easy part.

    I’m not sure how I would have felt snowboarding much later than 25 weeks mainly for doing up my bindings, but I had been boarding for 10 days by that point.

    I hope this post helps you if you are thinking about going. Have fun out there.


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