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Skiing and snowboarding have quickly become one of the most controversial activities to engage in while pregnant.
But I know that you all want to know:
“Can I ski when I’m pregnant?”
Regardless of who you ask, they’re sure to have some serious opinions on the topic. 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.
While I was pregnant with #1, I was determined not to let my body be slowed down by pregnancy. However, the fact is that a pregnant body just doesn’t perform quite like it did 9-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. 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 🙂
What you need to know if you want to ski during pregnancy
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.
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 ski safely.
- 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 pregnant, 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.
- Avoid skiing in crowded places while pregnant. Although you can help prevent yourself from falling you have no impact on other skiers around you and their crashes, so just avoid them.
- 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.
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.