There is nothing like the first big snowfall of the season to get you feeling like a kid again. When kids see snow, they think sledding, and you may think the very same thing, but if you’re pregnant, you may be wondering if you can still go sledding, especially if you already have a small child who is begging you to go.
Keep in mind that professional sledding is not recommended. According to the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: " Those activities with a high risk of falling or for abdominal trauma should be avoided during pregnancy." Professional sledding is a major risk for collision and abdominal injury.
As with so many safety concerns during pregnancy, sledding falls in the category in which there is no clear-cut answer, and it all depends on the precautions you will (and should) take. Sledding does pose a risk of falling and impact. One ride down an unknown hill can quickly turn into a fast fall speed trap and result in a direct path towards a tree.
If you want to go sledding, make sure you first speak with your doctor or midwife first before you grab that sled. If you get the green light, here are some tips for treading safely.
Tips For Sledding During Pregnancy
- Choose your hill wisely. Make sure that the hill you sled on is small and smooth with little bumps and no hidden dips or valleys.
- Watch other sled goers to see how their rides are playing out. Are they picking up speed or enjoying a slow and steady ride?
- Do not go sledding on any hill that is steep, rocky, or filled with trees.
- Make sure the end of the hill provides a slow and steady stop, that is not near any lakes, streets, moving cars, rocks, or trees.
- Ensure that you are sledding on fresh, soft snow. Refrain from old snow that has become icy.
- Choose a quiet hill that does not have many other sledders.
Keep in mind that sledding is an activity that is mostly leisurely. There is really no exercise benefit to it, but of course, you may want to enjoy making wintertime memories with your children. In this case, the safest thing to do is have your partner or another relative go sledding with your child and watch from the side. Remember that you will be in top form next winter to slide down the hill with your child. After all, the best way to capture good memories is with a photo (and snapping a picture is always a safe activity!).