Is Sledding Safe While Pregnant?


Pregnancy brings with it a level of protection that can cause you to question whether certain activities will be safe for you and the baby. One such activity worth examining is sledding.

Sledding can be done during pregnancy, but only under the safest conditions. Intense hills should be avoided. Certain precautions and evaluations must be made before going sledding that will ensure you and your baby’s safety.

You should always check with your doctor or prenatal healthcare to assist in helping you decide whether or not it would be a good idea to participate in sledding.

Pros Vs Cons of Sledding While Pregnant

It may seem like there are so many limitations when you are pregnant, especially fun things like sledding.

While sledding is not the safest activity, it can be done for those who are thrill seekers if proper precautions are followed.

There are some benefits, as well as quite a few risks that might help make up your mind on whether you are going to suit up and sled down those snowy hills.

The Benefits of Sledding While Pregnant

When winter rolls around and the snow falls, many enjoy getting out and playing in the snow. Sledding is a favorite among those who live in areas that are conducive to it. In fact, your kids may even be begging to go sledding as you read this article!

Whether you are a couple of weeks pregnant or a couple of months pregnant, you may be wondering if it is worth going out and sledding.

Sledding while pregnant can actually be pretty good for you and your baby’s health; that is if you are taking the right precautions.

Many fail to realize how much physical/aerobic exercise is involved in sledding. You should for sure take it a lot easier when you are pregnant and sledding versus when you are not. Walking up and down the sledding hills while pulling your sled behind you offers a great opportunity to stay in shape.

Doctors recommend that you stay active while pregnant. Physical activity can help you stay fit and healthy and can even be beneficial for your baby.

Sledding while pregnant can fulfill your need for physical activity. It helps you keep muscle tone you may have had before pregnancy. Sledding can also promote positive emotions and help you be healthy mentally.

In addition to that, the aerobic activity that you achieve through sledding has the potential to prevent gestational diabetes.

Possible Risks

Like many other activities that you make choices on during pregnancy, sledding comes with many possible risks.

Many of the possible risks associated with sledding can be mitigated while others may be out of your control. That being said, it is always important that you use common sense.

If you decide to go sledding, you should always be monitoring your physical health. Watch for signs such as high heart rate, dizziness, headaches, contractions, bleeding or amniotic fluid leakage, back or pelvic pain, or nausea. All these are signs that you should stop or if they are occurring beforehand they are signs that you should not go.

There is a variety of hazards on the hill that you must be aware of as well. There is always a risk of collision or falling off your sled. You must be aware of this and be smart in what you choose to do.

Large hills or hills with bumps can mean landing awkwardly which may hurt you/your baby.

A Matter of Personal Choice

Physical activity during pregnancy can actually be beneficial. Thus sledding may actually be good for your health, but only when done properly.

Many women look at pregnancy as something that is restricting, or rather, something that prevents them from doing many activities they normally would be able to do. For many activities this is true, but there are still many physical activities that are safe to do as long as the right precautions are taken.

Sledding is one of these activities that may be okay for you to do while pregnant. That being said, it is ALWAYS important that you consult with your doctor before doing physical activities, including sledding.

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to do an activity while pregnant is up to you. Some women feel completely comfortable with sledding while pregnant, while others couldn’t imagine going.

For that reason, there is a lot of mixed answers to this question. This decision is up to you and must be made with you and the baby’s health/well-being kept in mind.

Tips for Sledding During Pregnancy

As mentioned earlier, it is extremely important that you use your common sense and best judgment when deciding whether to go sledding or not.

If you decide to go sledding, you can enjoy your time on the slopes if you follow all of these tips. These tips will keep you are your baby safe and healthy!

Choose Your Hill Wisely

Be sure to pick a hill that is safe. A safe hill is one that is smooth, lacks bumps, not crowded, and not super steep. If the hill does not meet all of these requirements it is best to sit it out.

*Always remember that the steeper the hill, the faster you will go. Speed while sledding can be dangerous, especially for someone who is pregnant.

Observe Other Sledders

One good way to ensure that a sledding hill is good for you is to observe the other sledder. Watch and see how the runs look. Are the other sledders being bounced around? Are they going too fast? Are they running a risk of colliding with each other?

These observations will help you know which sledding route will be the safest for you to go down.

Make Sure The End of the Hill is Safe

One of the many things that is often overlooked by sledders is the end of the hill. Rather than focusing just on the hill itself, it is super important to pay attention to the bottom.

Make sure that the end of the hill provides a slow and steady stop and that it doesn’t stop in a dangerous area (near lakes, streets, moving cars, rocks, or trees).

Sled On Fresh and Soft Snow

If you are pregnant and sledding you want to ensure that if you somehow happen to fall off, that your fall will be soft and cushioned.

I would highly advise against sledding on hills that are icy. These hills tend to be rock hard and pose a serious danger to you and your baby. Fresh and soft snow is the way to go!

Check With Your Doctor or Prenatal Healthcare

As mentioned earlier, it is always important to check with your doctor if you are unsure that sledding is a proper activity for you to do.

Every woman and every pregnancy are different. Due to the nature of a specific pregnancy, it may not be a good idea for that person to go sledding.

In addition to that, the danger of sledding goes up greatly if a woman has a history of related pregnancy conditions such as pre-eclampsia or if she is carrying more than one baby. An impact while sledding would be very detrimental.

For this reason, it is so important to consult with you doctor first.

Do Not Attempt Jumps or Extreme Hill Sledding

Going off of jumps or down extreme hills is very unwise. These factors significantly increase the risk of falling or for abdominal trauma and can be harmful to the baby.

Stay Hydrated

As always, drink lots of water. This will keep both you and your baby healthy.

Avoid Extreme Elevations

Studies have shown that pregnancy creates lower than normal blood pressure, for this reason, you could be more susceptible to dizzy spells and fainting due to over-exerting yourself in higher elevations.

Anyone who is pregnant can attest that it makes you shorter of breath even at sea level. Imagine what high altitudes will do to your breathing.

To play it is safe, don’t choose sledding areas that exceed 7,500 to 8,000 feet.

Dress Warm

As always, dress for the conditions. Keep you and your baby warm and comfortable.

Listen to Your Body

When in doubt, listen to your body. Your body will always tell you if something is right or wrong. If you are experiencing any signs of discomfort, pain, or uneasiness, this may be a sign that you shouldn’t go sledding or that you should stop.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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