This post is also available in: Русский (Russian)
Can I ice skate when I’m pregnant? Being pregnant is a beautiful thing. From the moment you confirm the status of your pregnancy, there’s so much you want to know and you’ll likely have new questions every day until your baby is born.
You want to know what you can eat or not eat, wear or not wear, do or not do. While you know that exercises are good for you and your baby’s health, you will still want to know the type of exercises that are safe for you at this time.
This is most likely the point where you ask the interesting question “can I skate when pregnant?” We urge you to speak with your doctor or the NHS first and take their advice above anything you read on the internet, including this article. These are our team’s views only, we simply take the safety of you and your baby first. Having had 3 children myself, I know this query is popular on search engines, so I wanted to add to the advice generally found.
Why Should I Exercise when pregnant?
You should exercise as often as possible in the course of your pregnancy. Exercising during pregnancy can help to improve circulation, alleviate common discomforts and boost energy levels. The best part is probably the fact that exercises help to prepare your body for labour, ease the delivery process and contribute to a quicker recovery. You will be able to get into your pre-baby shape faster, after giving birth. We don’t include ice skating as an appropriate exercise.
If you have been exercising before this time- walking, dancing, swimming, yoga, and anything else that you’re comfortable with, you can continue.
Why Is Ice Skating when pregnant not ok?
Your center of gravity shifts during pregnancy and this can affect your balance and coordination during ice skating. Ice skating is not recommended as you will be prone to injuries especially if you’re a skating newbie or you’ve not skated in a really long time. Even if you feel confident about balance and skating abilities, you cannot say the same for others on the ice rink, who can bump into you or trip you.
You should also listen to your body to know if it’s an activity you’re mindfully prepared to take on. If you’ve never skated before, this is not the time to learn it. You can take your first steps after your baby is born.
Ice skating, a sport that involves gliding over ice-covered surfaces with skates, is a form of exercise that acts on every part of your body. It’s fun and good for your health as well. There is no hard and fast rule about ice skating when pregnant. It however depends on certain factors such as your history, the trimester you are in and if you’ve been ice skating before this time.
Ice skating when pregnant is not recommended. Your best bet is to visit your doctor to discuss your heath history and the risks that may be involved if you decide to go ice skating. If you are found to experience any form of pregnancy complications, you are likely to be restricted from strenuous exercises, including ice skating.
Allow your doctor to talk sense and help you make the decision and maybe consider the possibility of ice skating during your first trimester.
ICE SKATING IN FIRST TRIMESTER
The early weeks of pregnancy are the most sensitive, for many pregnant women especially first-timers. It is the beginning of your pregnancy journey and you want to be careful to avoid any risqué behavior that can put you and your baby in danger. Everything matters at this point- what you do and at what point in your pregnancy journey that you do it.
This is a time that you can never be too careful so if you have never ice skated before pregnancy, it’s best to consider other forms of exercise as an alternative during this period. If ice skating was your career, you may continue on the condition that your doctor says it’s okay.
It is generally advised that you avoid ice skating in pregnancy during the first trimester as the baby is in its early development stage. The activities that surround ice skating can trigger preterm delivery.
The risk in ice skating is falling. The first trimester is a safe time particularly if you’re not yet showing but it is still a risky exercise as falling could cause fetal injury or separate the baby from the placenta.
Ice skating in the first trimester is not for everyone. There are some pre-existing health conditions or complications that develop in the course of your pregnancy that will require you to abstain from working out. This is why it is important to always seek your doctor’s advice before beginning any exercise.
If you have any of the following conditions, please forget about ice skating for now and see your doctor.
- Ruptured membranes
- Restrictive lung disease
- Incompetent cervix/cerclage
- Hemodynamically significant heart disease
- Multiple gestation at risk for premature labor
- Preeclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension
Alternative exercises when pregnant vs ice skating
In the absence of complications or contraindications, exercising during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for your pre- and post natal health. It’s safety first at this point. You can consider the following exercises and stick to what works best for you.
- Brisk walking
- Stationary cycling
- Low Impact Aerobics
If your doctor prohibits you from ice skating, don’t be sad as there are other exercise options for you at this time. However, if your doctor approves your decision to ice skate, then you must take note of the following safety precautions.
Tips for ice skating when pregnant
- Always warm up before skating and cool down afterwards.
- Make sure your instructor or guide knows that you’re pregnant and how far along you are.
- Remember that ice skating puts you at risk of falling due to your evolving center of gravity. So always proceed with caution
- If possible, ice skate at odd hours of the day when you are most likely to have the ice rink to yourself. This will minimize the likelihood of being pushed, bumped into or tripped by other skaters.
- Exercise does not have to be stressful to be effective. If you cannot hold a conversation or become breathless while talking, it means you’re doing too much and you need to stop.
- Do not exhaust yourself. If you feel the slightest of discomfort at any point in time, take a breather and ask for help.
- If your heart starts to race, your uterus begins cramping or you experience any vaginal bleeding, stop immediately.
What happens if you fall when ice skating when pregrant?
Pregnancy adjusts your center of gravity. It’s not unusual for your body posture to be altered or for you to experience some difficulty in maintaining your balance, especially on ice. Anyone can fall during pregnancy. In fact, about 30 percent of pregnant women fall in the course of their pregnancy. Your body at this point is fortified with strong uterus muscles and a cushioning amniotic fluid, to reduce the risk of your baby from being injured. But then, so many things can go wrong if you fall when pregnant because in reality, you’re falling for two. The ice rink does not have a forgiving surface.
Why accidental falls may occur when ice skating pregnant
Pregnancy can trip you up in many ways than one. For one, your growing bump may make it difficult for you to stay upright and this becomes obvious in an ice rink. With each day that passes, your joints loosen up, thanks to the relaxin hormone (which makes your cervix stretch during delivery) that can make you feel clumsy and fall if care is not taken. Your pregnancy state of mind can also be overwhelmed or preoccupied, not counting the times you may be uncomfortable and exhausted after a long day, enough factors to cause a fall or two.
Falling during early pregnancy when ice skating
The female body is built to tolerate a certain level of minor trauma when carrying a fetus. This means that a fall during the first trimester will not lead to miscarriage. The uterus sits low in the pelvis at this point in the pregnancy, protected by the mother’s pelvic bones. As a result, falling is unlikely to hurt the baby.
Falling during later pregnancy when ice skating
During the second and third trimesters, the baby is protected by the pool of amniotic fluid as well as different membranes, muscles, bones, and fat that support the pelvic region and absorb shock. This notwithstanding, major collisions are associated with a 40-50 percent risk of miscarriage due to the size of the fetus and force of impact upon collision. There is a high possibility of a placenta and/or fetus injury at this stage.
What happens if you fall on the ice when pregnant?
If you fall lightly, your uterus is not likely to suffer any trauma or severe damage as the amniotic sac will act as a protective barrier for your baby. If you however fall hard and are severely injured or your body hits the ground at odd angles, it means your baby may be injured as well. You could experience certain complications such as:
- fetal skull injury
- placental abruption
- altered mental status
- broken bones in your own body
Small interjection here, have you decided yet to cancel the ice skating trip this weekend yet? If you are reading down to this level, I think you have a real reason to do so.
In general for any falls when pregnant
It is not safe at this time to keep quiet or nurse your pain with over-the-counter medications. You need to seek medical care, particularly if you can identify with any of the following:
- You feel that your baby is not moving as usual.
- You’re bleeding through your vagina or leaking amniotic fluid.
- You’re experiencing severe pain in your stomach, uterus or pelvis.
- You landed on your stomach or had a direct blow to your stomach.
- You’re starting to have contractions or experiencing faster contractions.
If you can identify with any of these or related symptoms, contact your doctor immediately or request for an emergency medical treatment. Your doctor will assess you to check for internal injuries that may undermine your health and then assess your baby to know the next steps to take. You are most likely to be admitted while your baby undergoes continuous electronic fetal monitoring to observe your baby’s heart rate and any contractions you might also be having
You should watch for bleeding and pay attention to the baby’s movements through fetal kick counts. Please let your doctor know if you notice any changes that could be a cause for concern for your baby’s health such as abdominal pain, contractions, uterine tenderness, or uterine bleeding.
Preventing falls during pregnancy
The fact that many people fall during pregnancy does not mean you have to. The following steps will help to keep you on your two feet.
- Don’t ice skate when pregnant.
- Avoid sudden movements. It is okay to go more slowly at this time.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit. Avoid high heels or wedge shoes that can cause you to trip while walking. Don’t wear slick flats if its snowy or rainy, for obvious reasons.
- Walk on dry and even surfaces. Look out for water or other liquids on the floor before walking on it especially when you’re out. Avoid walking on grassy or rocky areas.
- If you have to climb the stairs, use hand rails or other safety measures to support yourself.
- Avoid lifting heavy loads that will prevent you from seeing your feet or cause you to lose your balance.
- Avoid any form of exercise or physical activity that can make you fall. This should not rule out exercises for you as there are a whole lot of safe physical exercises you can engage in to keep you fit.
- Be conscious of your surroundings. Look out for things on the ground that may trip you. Your belly may not allow you to see what’s at your feet so it’s better you look ahead in advance.
Right now I guess you have already asked your husband or boyfriend to cancel the ice skating booking this Christmas. To summarise:
Can I ice skate when pregnant? No. Your center of gravity will adjust during pregnancy and this will affect your perceived balance and coordination, not ideal during ice skating. Ice skating makes you prone to injuries to yourself and your baby. Even if you feel you won’t fall, you can not stop someone else flying into you!