Can You Snowboard While Pregnant? | Risks and Complications

Many expecting parents are likely to wonder whether or not snowboarding while pregnant is safe, especially if they have a history of engaging in and enjoying the sport.

You should not snowboard while pregnant. It’s a very unsafe activity to engage in, and it could cause substantial harm to both yourself and your baby. The potential of falling and even sustaining just a minor injury can cause a substantial risk of complications or a miscarriage.

Below, we cover in more detail why you should avoid snowboarding while pregnant and why it’s dangerous for yourself and your baby.


Nothing detailed in this article constitutes medical advice.

If you are unsure whether you should snowboard, you should talk to your medical health professional to get their input.

We are not medical professionals, and the advice in this article should not be treated as such.

Should You Snowboard While Pregnant?

You should try to avoid snowboarding while pregnant as much as you can.

Snowboarding has a very high risk of falling and, or injury. Experiencing either of these during any stage of your pregnancy could jeopardize the health of yourself or the baby.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises against activities that may cause a fall of some sort, and they include snowboarding in this criteria.

Skill Level Doesn’t Matter

Your skill level doesn’t matter if you’re to snowboard while pregnant.

You could be the best snowboarder in the world, yet it still wouldn’t be advisable for you to snowboard under these conditions.

No matter what, you’re still likely to fall at some point, and even one fall could cause a pregnancy complication.

Being an expert snowboarder won’t shield you from additional harm from snowboarding while pregnant.

Instead, it could lead you to have a greater chance of getting hurt.

You may overestimate your ability to avoid falls or injury, causing you to put yourself into more dangerous situations that may lead you to suffer from pregnancy complications.

Skill Level Doesn't Matter

Complications To Keep in Mind

If you are to snowboard while pregnant, there are several likely complications to keep in mind that could arise from engaging in this risky behavior.

These include placental abruptions, preterm labor, and preterm premature rupture of the membranes.

These complications and others could occur if you are to snowboard while pregnant, as it poses a significant risk to your and your baby’s health.

1. Miscarriages

Snowboarding also increases the risk of miscarriage.

Engaging in high-intensity falls could severely harm the baby’s health, especially if you’re in a later trimester of pregnancy.

It does, however, depend on the specific trimester of your pregnancy. Different trimesters hold different risks of miscarriage depending on how hard you fall.

Falling In Your First Trimester

In your first trimester, you’re the least likely to suffer from a miscarriage if you’re to snowboard.

This is because the fetus is protected from a thick and muscular uterus and the pubic bone, which offers some layers of protection.

However, this isn’t to say that it’s safe to snowboard during your first trimester.

You’re still liable to suffer from complications if you are to snowboard during pregnancy, as you’re more likely to engage in high-impact falls.

Additionally, your general risk of miscarriage is highest during your first trimester.

Falling in Your Second Trimester

Although it could lead to complications, falling in your second trimester does not pose the highest amount of risk.

During this stage of pregnancy, a large amount of amniotic fluid surrounds your baby, adding a layer of protection from any potential external trauma that might occur.

However, this does not eliminate all risks, as you still could harm your baby despite the added layer of protection.

Snowboarding while pregnant only poses additional risks, so you’re better off avoiding it.

Falling in Your Third Trimester

In your third trimester, your uterus grows much larger to accommodate the growing infant. At this stage, the baby only has a thin wall of protection.

Any trauma in this stage of pregnancy is likely to directly target the baby, potentially causing harm.

Your best bet is to avoid snowboarding, or any physically strenuous activity, during this stage of pregnancy.

Instead, focus your time on relaxing and resting.

2. Severity Of The Fall

Even a minor fall can have the potential to cause significant harm during pregnancy.

Minor injuries make up 60% and 70% of miscarriages caused by trauma. And falling over just once is enough to cause minor trauma.

No fall is good to have during pregnancy, as it causes a significant risk to you and your child.

Additionally, major injuries can significantly increase the likelihood of miscarriage or complications.

As snowboarding involves a lot of high-speed movement, it substantially enhances your risk of suffering from a major injury compared to many other sports.

3. Snowboarding While Pregnant With Twins, Triplets, or More

You should avoid snowboarding if you’re pregnant, let alone with twins.

The increased size of your belly due to pregnancy with twins may increase the risk of snowboarding while pregnant.

Your best bet is to wait at home and relax instead of snowboarding.

Snowboarding while pregnant should be completely avoided at all costs, especially if you’re pregnant with multiples.

Multiples pose a much higher risk of complications without the added risk of snowboarding.

Snowboarding While Pregnant With Twins, Triplets, or More

What If You Still Do Want To Snowboard While Pregnant?

If you still decide to snowboard while pregnant, then the following is a list of the risks you have to keep in mind to avoid injury and stay as safe as possible.

1. Center of Balance

Understand that your center of balance will change due to the increased size of your baby bump.

This may make it challenging to maintain a proper balance when snowboarding, which could increase your risk of falling.

It may also be challenging to maintain a proper posture for an extended period, as you’ll be adding more weight and stress to your body.

2. Relaxin and How It Affects Your Body

When pregnant, the hormone relaxin is released in your body to relax the ligaments in your pelvis and soften and prepare your cervix for delivery.

This will make your joints feel much looser and make it much more difficult for you to maintain complete control of your body during pregnancy.

In addition, relaxin makes it more likely that you’ll receive injury due to muscle strains.

This is due to your muscles not being equipped to handle a high energy and high-intensity activity, thus causing strain more often than not.

3. Brain Fog

Snowboarding requires quick thinking and swift reflexes to handle the sudden environmental changes that’ll be occurring all around you.

Pregnancy brain, or a large amount of brain fog during pregnancy, is a real thing, as your mental ability decreases due to increased hormones in your body.

This can affect your snowboarding ability, as brain fog can decrease your reflexes.

You need to be at your sharpest when snowboarding, and having a large amount of brain fog can only hinder rather than help.

4. Dehydration

One significant effect pregnancy has on your body is increasing your dehydration rate.

Pregnancy causes your body to work extra hard to provide the proper nutrients for your baby.

In the process of this, it deprives you of essential elements needed to survive, including water.

This means that strenuous activity is more likely to dehydrate you, as you have less in your body and will need quite a bit more to snowboard effectively.

If you’re going snowboarding while pregnant, ensuring you stay hydrated is extremely important for maintaining your overall health.

5. Fatigue

In addition to dehydration, your body will be significantly more tired snowboarding while pregnant.

This is due to the increased work your body has to put in to maintain your livelihood and health and that of your baby.

This causes you to experience an above-average amount of fatigue that can be extremely draining if you’re doing a large-scale, strenuous physical activity like snowboarding.

Making sure you do not overwork yourself is critical if you are to snowboard while pregnant and want to maintain your health as much as possible.

Fatigue will make it exceptionally difficult to avoid falling during pregnancy and may increase your likelihood of receiving an injury during any stage of pregnancy.

If you snowboard while pregnant, it’s essential to keep these risks in mind, as they will play a significant role in your overall experience.

6. Focus on the Benefits Rather than the Thrill

While it isn’t advisable to try snowboarding while pregnant, there are genuine reasons and benefits.

Provided that your doctor advises it, exercising while pregnant has genuine benefits, and snowboarding could potentially constitute a needed physical activity if you’re doing it as safely as possible.

Some benefits of exercising while pregnant include improving your mood, better sleep, decreased stress, decreased swelling, and reduced pain in your joints and back.

Getting sufficient exercise is medically advisable and is, in many cases, crucial for having a healthy and safe pregnancy.

It’s just important to do it under medical advisement, as otherwise, you could cause more issues in the long run.

Benefits from Snowboarding While Pregnant

How To Snowboard Safely While Pregnant?

It is possible to snowboard while pregnant safely. However, a few crucial things must be kept in mind to keep yourself as safe as possible and avoid injuries.

1. Talk To Your Doctor

Talking to your doctor is one of the first and most important steps when trying to do any physical activity while pregnant.

No amount of advice online can supplement a genuine medical professional’s opinion, and keeping your doctor in the know about what you want to do can only help you rather than hurt you.

2. Don’t Start Learning While Pregnant

It’s only advisable to try out a physical activity if your body’s already used to it.

If you aren’t used to the physical aspects of snowboarding, then you should hold off on learning until after you’ve had your baby and have recovered successfully.

If you’re looking for an exercise to do, there are specific exercises designed with pregnancy in mind to keep you as safe as possible.

3. Avoid Rough Terrain

Engaging in an activity involving a lot of bouncing can hurt your baby, so you want your terrain to be as flat and easy as possible.

This also reduces your risk of falling, which, as established, is something that you should want to avoid as much as you feasibly can.

4. Avoid Other People

Much like cars, you can be the safest snowboarder in the world, but all it takes is one person who doesn’t know what they’re doing to crash into you and cause you both to tumble.

You’ll want to avoid this as much as possible, and the best way to prevent an accident of this sort is to avoid other people at all costs when you’re on the mountain.

Otherwise, a disaster could strike.

5. Get Used to The Altitude

Since snowboarding occurs at higher elevations, you need time to get used to the altitude.

Pregnancy can make this adjustment period take longer, so you need to account for it as much as possible.

Be sure not to rush yourself, taking as long as you need to avoid any catastrophic injuries that may arise.

6. Pace Yourself, Rest When You Need

It’s essential to go at a pace that’s comfortable for you when snowboarding. This is especially true when you’re pregnant.

You need to account for the fact that you’re going to experience more fatigue, and you’ll find yourself with more hardships than snowboarders who aren’t pregnant.

It’s okay to take breaks and pace yourself as much as you may need. There’s no rush; it’s about taking your time and enjoying it as much as possible.

Also, stay hydrated, as dehydration is more common with pregnancy, and you must take care of and maintain your body’s overall health.

7. Know When To Stop

Knowing when to stop is important, as everyone has their limits, and those limits get tested repeatedly when you’re pregnant.

A few tell-tale signs you need to stop include feeling dizzy or lightheaded, overheating, having a hard time staying balanced, having pain or soreness, or being anxious about your health.

If you have any concerns that you should stop, then your best move is to stop and rest as much as you need. There’s no shame in resting.

Making sure you know and understand your limits is vital to your health.

Know When To Stop

Final Thoughts

Snowboarding during pregnancy is not advisable.

You have a significant risk of causing harm to yourself or the baby during any stage of pregnancy, and this risk increases with every successive trimester of pregnancy that you go through.

You should not engage in any physical activity which will likely cause you to fall over, or put you at risk of injury.

However, if you decide to snowboard and have your doctor’s approval, there are various ways you can stay safe and avoid injury while ensuring that you have a fun and productive time.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not digging my head deep into the world of snowboarding, tricks, techniques, and related safety measures.

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