Shoveling While Pregnant: It is Safe?

snow on leave

Photo by abjbrewer

My pregnant friend was out shoveling the snow during a storm a few weeks ago. This made me wonder: Why isn't her husband doing it? And then: Is it safe for a pregnant woman to shovel snow? I did a little digging and here's what I found out:


Shoveling snow is fine for some pregnant women, but I would caution that if you don't pay close attention to your lifting form, or have any back problems you may cause back injury. There are shovels available that don't require as much lifting, so you may want to check those out. If the snow is wet and heavy you should have someone else shovel. If you do shovel take your time, bend from your knees not your back as you lift the shovel, and take little scoops of snow. Face the area you're throwing the snow instead of twisting to the side, and if possible, push the snow as far as you can before lifting. — Catherince Cram, M.S., author of Fit Pregnancy for Dummies

If your back is already killing you because of your big belly, shoveling is not recommended. If you are pregnant and you shovel, don't lift heavy amounts of snow, use proper form, and take lots of breaks. — Heidi S. Angle, M.D., Newton-Wellesley Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology

Don't shovel or attempt to clear snow, as it requires too much twisting and back use. — Sara DuMond, M.D., a pediatrician in South Carolina


The bottom line: Your safest bet is to talk to your doctor who knows exactly what your current pregnant condition is. If you do shovel, be careful on the ice!

(This is general mom advice and experience, but definitely check with your own health professional with any questions while pregnant.)

Have you shoveled snow this winter? How pregnant are you? Did you feel okay?


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