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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is it safe


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justa... justanotherjen

I was shoveling snow around Christmas time (about 12 weeks along which, incidently, is when I had my miscarriage last time).  Never thought twice about it.

You know, a couple hundred years ago and women were working fields, digging and plowing and gathering until they went into labor.  Pregnant women are really pampered now.  Actually the way I see things any more they are treated like they are the most fragile crystal that might blow over in the slightest breeze.

Although I do use my pregnancy to get my husband to do chores I don't want to do or so that I can go take a nap it doesn't mean I'm not capable of doing the chores.  I moved us almost single handedly from our apt to his parents' house when I was 8 months pregnant with out first.  I did all the packing and most of the moving (lifting boxes in and out of the bed of our pick-up and carrying things in and out of houses).  I survived.  And let me tell you--carrying boxes with a huge stomach is not easy, lol.  I've shoveled, did yard work, taken the kids for walks, carried heavy groceries, scrubbed walls, etc all while pregnant.

dairy... dairyberrys

I did  a mini path just to get into my house about 5 ft when I was about 8 mom flipped on me haha but I havent done it since, we live in wyoming so I will NOT be shoveling 5 ft of snow thank you!

NotYe... NotYetaMommy79

Yes 100s of years ago women were doing A LOT more then women now days. They were adapted to it. It was their way of life. They did it before & they had to conitue to do it, theydidn't have a choice. Now days how many women do you see working in the field??? We also have a lot of assistance programs that help pregnant women where it is needed. Not to mention, the misscarriages & stillborns were much higher back then. We also didn't have the technology then as we do now to see what may be going on with a baby. So, yes, if there are any problems your Doctor may order bed rest, or even just for you to take it easy. Now days our focus is on the baby that is growing inside the Mother. 100s of years ago the focus was on the family and the children that were already living. It's a different world today. I don't get pampered, but I refuse to put my unborn child in any danger. I have already had 2 failed pregnancies, this baby will be born healthy if I have anything to do with it. So, I will not be lifting heavy boxes, and I will not be trying to act like super woman, that can wait until after the baby is born. I am a stubborn woman and I do most anything on my own, it's who I am. But, since being pregnant my attitude has changed. My unborn baby comes first, and if I feel uncomfortable or I'm in pain, I will not do the activity or continue it. I will ask for help, at work or in my personal life. I hope all others will follow the same. Don't feel bad to ask, the help is there.

Morgh... MorghensMommy

I am 23 wks pregnant and i was out shoveling my drive way and everyone gripped me out except for my husband this is my second pregnancy and i beleive that as long as you know your limits to injuring yourself and your unborn child you can do whatever you feel like.

luvnm... luvnmyfam13

I shoveled snow a few weeks before I was due. I was fine and it was not that much snow. But my husband got upset with me because it was on top of ice and he was at work when I did it so he was worried that I could've slipped or hurt myself.

nonmember avatar momtobe#1

I'm about 7wks preggers as of tomorrow and we just had 2 huge storms come through (2 ft!) Feb 6th and Feb 10th (plus another 6-12inchs). I was not out shoveling either of those days because I'm pregnant. It took DH and I 9 almost 10 months to get pregnant and i'm not putting my unborn baby at risk or risk m/c just because of snow. Forget it! Some may feel safe to shovel and what not but I sure won't. I do many other chores around the house as it is. I am in no means incapable of shoveling I just choose not to.

LOVE_... LOVE_mygirls58

I was raking and movng furniture around when i was 9 was fine lol

pharo pharo

I have been shoveling throughout this pregnancy.  I know my limits.  Unfortunately I can't always get someone to help.  When my husband is out of town, it falls on me. 

Lilmo... Lilmommy2six

I think pregnant women are treated different than a hundred years ago, because there is more knowledge and better healthcare now.  The miscarriage and stillborn rates were much higher because people really didn't know much about how certain things affected pregnancy. I don't call myself more pampered because I'm pregnant. I would rather be out working and doing stuff. I follow my doctor's orders though because I want to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and less risks to my baby. I'm not allowed to shovel snow due to my high risk of preterm labor. I've had 3 preterm deliveries. Women should always check with their doctors before they do anything strenous like yardwork and snow shoveling.

tonya... tonyalynn

luckily ive never had to

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