You can scoop the powdery stuff solo during your first trimester, but leave excavation to your partner or a neighbor as you get further along. “In your first three months, shoveling is a great opportunity for physical activity, and you won’t risk harming the baby,” says Rebecca Starck, M.D., chair of the regional obstetrics and gynecology department at the Cleveland Clinic. As your belly expands, though, your center of gravity moves forward and your risk of falling spikes. If you clear the walk during your second trimester, wear snow boots with great traction and take mini scoops so you don’t get thrown off balance. And call for reinforcements in your final stretch of pregnancy. “By the third trimester, thanks to the hormone relaxin that your body secretes as it prepares for labor, you’re at risk for straining your ligaments and lower back as you lift the shovel, so I’d caution against it,” Starck says. Chalk it up to a pregnancy perk!
Verdict: Proceed with caution