Can You Jump Rope while Pregnant?
Can you jump rope while pregnant? Absolutely, but you must tread with caution and only indulge yourself in such an exercise if you are enjoying a healthy pregnancy as rope jumping is a good form of cardio that can be very helpful for your pregnancy.
However, pregnancy and exercising can be challenging. You want to do it, but your body feels like a soggy sponge.
Where do you start? Which exercise is best for pregnancy? Can jumping cause miscarriage in early pregnancy? What about having fun and staying healthy?
It can be challenging to hear advice that requires hours of exercise or dedication to a workout routine you might not enjoy when you’re pregnant.
On the other hand, you might be understandably afraid that it’s too risky to do some of the exercises you used to enjoy. So, this brings us back to this question- can you jump rope while pregnant?
Harmful Effects of Using a Jump Rope while Pregnant
I know that you are probably wondering if it is safe to jump rope while pregnant, especially if it is an exercise you love.
Although using the jump rope while pregnant may not affect pregnancy in some women, it poses risks and harmful health effects.
Here are some of the health effects when you jump rope while pregnant.
1. Promotes the Risk of Miscarriage
While pregnant, the centre of gravity moves because of your growing belly. And so, you are more likely to lose your balance and fall or have a miscarriage.
2. May Cause Preterm Labour
During pregnancy, a woman’s uterus grows significantly and exerts enormous pressure on her cervix.
It is possible for jumping to cause friction between the uterus and cervix, resulting in preterm labour.
3. Ligament Injury
An expectant mother’s body produces and releases the Relaxin hormone during the delicate phase of pregnancy.
This hormone loosens the ligaments of the pelvis. Consequently, the ligaments become more vulnerable to injury.
When a pregnant woman engages in strenuous exercises like jumping, she is more likely to suffer joint and ligament injuries or fractures.
4. It May Cause Vaginal Bleeding
Rope jumps involve jarring movements. Sometimes, women may experience vaginal bleeding and premature contractions when they jump rope while pregnant.
How to Jump Rope While Pregnant
You don’t require many essentials for a jump rope workout. Simply get a sturdy pair of sneakers, breathable leggings/shorts, a supportive bra, a jump rope, and flat, even terrain.
- If you are new to jumping ropes, place your arms at a 90-degree angle, ensuring your elbows are at your waist.
- Keep a light grip on each handle. Let your neck relax and keep tensions in your arms.
- Put your feet together and squeeze your glutes and inner thighs.
- Keep your abs in as you jump, and your shoulders should remain above your hips.
- Jump low, do not overdo it! You should only jump as high as the rope is thick, which is barely above the ground. The jump rope is a low-impact cardio exercise, so it is easy on the joints.
- Subsequently, you can increase your speed as you gain experience.
Although jumping is a beneficial and effective exercise, it may not be the best choice for expecting mothers.
Unfortunately, prospective mothers are more likely to experience health complications.
Continue reading to learn if it is safe to jump rope while pregnant, how exercise helps during pregnancy, safety tips and other workout alternatives.
Safety Tips for Jump Rope While Pregnant
Is it safe to jump rope while pregnant? Iffath Hoskins, MD – an ob-gyn at NYU Langone Health, says it is safe, but you must apply caution and be sensible.
When you’re expecting, jumping rope is an excellent form of cardio and helps you create flexibility and good balance in your joints and muscles.
It is recommended that you wait until after your first trimester to try out this kind of workout if you have never done it before.
Hoskins says regardless of your previous experience with jumping rope, she suggests starting slow and intensifying just enough to keep you from panting for air.
Using a jump rope slowly will cause less jarring- it is a lot like jogging, but with a rope. So, begin by moving your feet in a running motion (one front in front of the other).
Generally, Hoskins says, jumping rope during pregnancy is safe-but listen to your body. As your pregnancy grows, your center of gravity moves, so you should adjust your activity and posture accordingly.
Keep a careful eye on your gait, posture, and balance to avoid injury, and stop if you experience any cramping, bleeding, or general discomfort. Apart from that, enjoy!
Therefore, jumping with care every day can help ease your joint and body joints.
The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
You can participate in various forms of exercise while pregnant, like walking, yoga, swimming or stretching.
In addition, you should pick a fitness regimen that is suitable for you during pregnancy.
Below, you will find the benefits of practicing such light workouts during pregnancy:
- During pregnancy, exercising increases your strength and endurance and improves your sleep.
- It enhances blood circulation.
- Reduces swelling, bloating, constipation, and backaches.
- It controls weight gain
- It helps boost energy levels and moods.
- Enhances endurance, strength, and muscle tone.
- Boost your sleep quality
- Prenatal exercises improve your overall health.
Pregnant women are advised to engage in light and safe exercises such as swimming, stretching and walking.
Although, pregnant women should avoid or reduce exercises that involve jarring motions, such as skipping, jumping or hopping.
Safe Exercise Options For Pregnant Women
When exercising during pregnancy, pregnant women need to take extra precautions. Do not perform jumping jacks when pregnant.
Other options are available to avoid any complications during pregnancy.
Pregnant women may still perform light jumping exercises, but it is best to avoid them during pregnancy. Furthermore, pregnant women can also safely do light aerobic exercises, walking, or stretching.
While pregnant, women can safely perform a few cardio, aerobic, and strength training exercises. Here are a few examples:
- Low-impact aerobic exercise
- Cycling (on a stationary bike)
- Lightweight training
- Prenatal yoga
- Light stretching exercises
Safety Tips for Exercising Safely While Pregnant
Performing vigorous exercises such as high-impact aerobics or jumping jacks can be harmful.
Conversely, moderate exercise can keep your baby healthy and safe and keep you in good spirits.
If you plan to exercise during your pregnancy, stay away from jumping. You should have the following in mind while exercising during pregnancy.
1. Seek Consent from Your Physician
You should only begin working out after discussing your fitness routine with your healthcare provider.
2. Don’t Exercise Alone.
Be sure that someone is watching you whenever you exercise in case you lose your balance.
3. Refrain from Vigorous Physical Activities
While you might be an adventurer, it is good to avoid any dangerous sports or workouts during pregnancy.
4. Wear Loose Clothing When Exercising
It is advisable to wear loose outfits when exercising while pregnant to be able to move freely.
5. Stay Hydrated
Doctors also recommend drinking plenty of water after your workout session, although not immediately.
However, you should drink enough water if you are exercising to keep yourself hydrated.
6. Don’t Exercise in High Temperatures.
You should avoid exercising when the temperature is high, as it can be dangerous. Therefore, early mornings are the best time to exercise.
7. Avoid Contact Sports/Exercises
Pregnant women should avoid contact sports since they can harm their babies.
Moderate jumping exercises are beneficial for health and can make delivery easier. However, don’t overdo it.
8. Do Low-Impact Exercises
Choosing the right exercise program can prove beneficial. Therefore, ensure to keep your baby healthy and safe by practicing low-impact exercises.
Even though the uterus is a protected environment, stress and jumping movements can put the baby at risk.
Hence, go for light exercise and enjoy your pregnancy.
Should I stop doing jumping exercises during pregnancy?
If you are already used to jumping exercises before pregnancy, you might have to reduce the intensity.-
Exercises with high impacts, such as single, jumping, and double unders, require a lot of dynamic movement.
For high-impact exercises to be efficient, some degree of strength and stamina are required.
Exercises like jumping rope (double, single, triple unders), box jumps, broad jumps, and bounds can put tremendous pressure on your pelvic floor, which is already a bit vulnerable during pregnancy.
Therefore, consult your OB/GYN with your workout plans and listen to your body whenever you jump rope while pregnant.
Can jumping cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?
Simply put, no. As long as you jump rope or do other jumping exercises lightly, it cannot cause miscarriage.
In addition, exercising while pregnant is safe if you are in good health.
You don’t need to bother about your baby shaking when you jump, as they are safely protected by the amniotic fluid, acting as a shock absorber in your uterus.
How do you know if it’s time to take a break from higher-impact exercises?
It depends on the woman. She may decide when she should stop doing these exercises.
Some women may continue them well into their second trimester, while others may need to stop earlier.
It’s essential to consider your individual circumstances when trying to figure out what works for you.
When considering whether it is time to take a break, here are a few things to look for:
- Any unintentional leakage (such as urine or feces)
- A feeling of heaviness or bulge in your vagina
- Pain or pressure in the pelvis
- Having pain during or after exercise (back, hips, pelvis, belly)
- An abdominal or pelvic pulling sensation
Why should you not jump rope while pregnant?
Due to your baby and the additional stress, his weight places on your pelvic floor, the pelvic floor cannot respond as effectively to higher impact movements during pregnancy.
Your growing fetus (or babies) puts more pressure on the abdominal cavity.
Can bouncing hurt a baby in the womb?
A baby in the womb won’t suffer any injury from jumping in and of itself, but a premature baby can suffer numerous ill effects.
It is crucial to consider the complications that can arise when premature labour occurs.
Can Jumping While Pregnant Hurt My Baby?
It`s almost common fact that some physical exercises that are allowed before pregnancy are forbidden while expecting, so jumping while pregnant might not be such a good idea, you may think.
Every woman who is pregnant wants her precious cargo carried in her belly as safe as possible. And although jumping can have great effects during pregnancy, you most likely wonder in what way it can affect your future baby. Having knowledge about the risks or benefits of jumping during pregnancy can aid you make a decision whether or not this type of exercise is suited for you.
Can Jumping While Pregnant Hurt the Baby?
Actually, the truth is that it can`t. Our bodies were designed in such a way that we can move, jump or run without affecting the baby. We can trust nature that equipped the woman`s body with a system that absorbs every shock, so that the baby can remain safe in the womb while the mother can see of her daily things like usual. The amniotic liquid covers the baby like a puffy cloud and always absorbs all impacts.
The kind of impact that can really harm the baby will always come from catastrophic falls, not regular jumping. So, you should avoid any situation where you aren`t able to control your footing. You need to always remain active as the pregnancy evolves so that the brain knows how and when to coordinate the changes within your body and your center of gravity, thus helping you to prevent any unwanted falls.
Different Types of Exercises that Include Jumping
As you may have guessed, jumping involves a number of different types of physical exercises, like skipping rope or jumping jacks. If there isn`t a deliberate type of movement that involves jumping up and pounding back down, then jumping is kind of the same as jogging. Also, different types of jumping may offer distinct effects for pregnant women. And although it may be beneficial at times, jumping used as a single type of exercise might not be the best possible option for expectant mothers.
It`s kind of common knowledge that exercise during pregnancy improves your health. Like mentioned above, while jumping while pregnant may not be the best choice in terms of exercise, moderate types of jumping exercises always offers benefits. A strong woman is prone to experience an easier birth than a woman who isn`t in shape. This strength is also useful after childbirth. The healthier and stronger you feel, the easier it will be with the recovery after birth.
- Depending on the intensity of the jumps, one risk may involve premature labor. The reason behind this is that the uterus is pounding down on the cervix every time your legs touch the ground. If the force exceeds a certain level, it can trigger labor contractions. If you choose to land with the legs apart, the intensity of the contact doesn`t change.
- It may cause vaginal bleeding. Jumping exercises may involve a jarring movement. Sometimes, it may cause premature contractions or vaginal bleeding when pregnant women are concerned.
- Ligament injuries are also another increased risk. During pregnancy, the body of the woman produces relaxin, a protein hormone that was first described by Frederick Hisaw at the beginning of the 20 th This hormone loosens your ligaments around the pelvic area. As they soften, they become somehow prone to injuries.
- It may lead to miscarriage. Due to the growing baby inside the womb, the center of gravity shifts during pregnancy, so it`s easier to lose your balance when practicing jumping exercises.
While jumping around a bit won`t necessarily cause any injuries to your baby, a premature baby might suffer some negative effects. And although premature labor is a known risk, it may very well lead to other complications. It might be better to take into account other types of exercises while pregnant. According to PregnancyToday.com, although light jumping is completely acceptable in early pregnancy for both the mother and her baby, jumping jacks need landing in the squatting position, also sometimes known as the birthing position. Obviously, this alone will make this specific type of jump more prone to premature labor. In turn, light aerobics, stretching exercises or walking are great options for expectant mothers.
Be Smart & Use Common Sense
No matter what type of exercise you want to start, whether it`s biking, jumping or running, you should first talk to your doctor about it. Each woman is different and, thus, has different needs in terms of exercises. For instance, an athlete may tolerate heavier types of exercises more easily, while amateurs in terms of practicing sports may get exhausted even after 10 minutes of walking. If you want to make jumping a part of your daily exercise routine, ask your doctor to advise you about it first. Be careful with your body and stay always well hydrated. If during your physical exercises, you experience any bleeding or contractions, get in touch with the doctor right away.
Have you practiced jumping exercises by now? Have you talked to your doctor about it? He`ll be able to offer better suggestions regarding this type of exercises and share any tips you may need to take the best decision.
Baby on Board – Skydiving While Pregnant
Not surprisingly, most doctors say no – don’t jump while you’re pregnant. Doctors are conservative, and few will recommend that their patients engage in a high-risk sport. They do not want to call an activity safe and then get blamed if something goes wrong. But many pregnant women have jumped during pregnancy with no ill effects to either themselves or their babies. So is it safe? Skydiving is a risky sport, and an accident involving an expectant mother would be doubly tragic. But presumably, we jumpers are old pros at weighing the risks of our sport against the benefits, and most of us long ago decided that the fun outweighs the danger. We wouldn’t be jumping if we expected to die or to get hurt.
USPA does not give medical advice, and it is definitely not recommending that pregnant women skydive. Every pregnancy is different, and each woman has to decide for herself whether she wants to continue jumping for part or all of the nine months. If your doctor tells you that your pregnancy is high-risk and that you should avoid your usual activities, you probably shouldn’t jump. If you simply feel uncomfortable taking the risks inherent in skydiving, you should ground yourself. The fact is, however, that women are jumping while pregnant and will continue to do so. Not surprisingly, there has been little or no research on jumping during pregnancy, and medical professionals hesitate to make any blanket statements about the practice. But medical advice, as well as advice from other skydivers who have jumped while pregnant, can help you decide whether to continue jumping during pregnancy, and if you do, help you do it safely.
Know Your Limits
These days, doctors tell women with low-risk pregnancies that they can continue all their normal activities as long as they feel good enough, with the caveat that they should avoid sports that contain a risk of falls and should not exercise to the point of exhaustion. “The Harvard Guide to Women’s Health” says, “Pregnancy is usually not a good time to take up skiing or skydiving, but women who were already engaged in athletics can usually continue to enjoy them during pregnancy.”
Women who have just started jumping should probably take a break from the sport. Most women who have continued to jump during pregnancy were very experienced and very current. Many of them also say they were in good physical condition. Drs. William and Martha Sears in “The Pregnancy Book” counsel pregnant women to know their limits and to stop their activities immediately if they feel dizzy or short of breath, have a bad headache or hard heart-pounding or experience contractions, bleeding or pain.
Pregnant women should also go easy on their joints. Relaxing and other hormones loosen joints during pregnancy, making them less stable and prone to injury if overstressed. The pelvis, lower back and knees are especially vulnerable. Skydivers should take particular care in packing and at pull time so as not to jolt their loosened joints.
A pregnant skydiver should pay attention to how she feels at all times. Fatigue is normal, and you should rest as much as you need. First-trimester nausea is a fact of life for some women, and calling it morning sickness is inaccurate, many women feel sick all the time. Being under canopy may only make you feel worse. Doctors don’t allow pregnant women to take ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) or any of the other effective analgesics, because they can cause difficulties with labor and harm the fetus.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is OK, but bear in mind that if you sprain an ankle or worse, you won’t be able to do much for the pain. Obstetricians usually advise pregnant women to give up contact sports. As we all know, skydiving is sometimes more of a contact sport than we intend for it to be. Women who have jumped while pregnant often recommend that you be very careful about who you jump with, avoiding anyone whose freefall abilities might be suspect. Washington-state load organizer Art Bori points out that exit position can be important for two reasons: A pregnant woman may have difficulty maneuvering into position, and some positions are more dangerous than others. He always asks pregnant jumpers about their exit preferences. He tries to keep pregnant women out of the base so that they won’t be in serious funnels.
Chance of Miscarriage
Can a hard opening cause a miscarriage? Dr. Scott Chew, a Colorado emergency physician and skydiver, says that no one has studied the effect of hard openings on pregnancy. Most hard openings are less traumatic than many automobile accidents, and during opening, jumpers are in a different body position than car passengers, with no belt passing over the uterus. He doesn’t think a hard opening is very likely to precipitate a sudden miscarriage. He has never heard of a miscarriage occurring during skydiving, bungee jumping or rock climbing, all sports that use similar gear.
According to Chew, women should also consider the possibility of a bad landing, although the baby is quite well protected in the uterine environment. Usually the jumper would get hurt first. Emergency room doctors make a practice of treating a pregnant woman before turning their attention to the fetus, because if the mother survives, the baby likely will as well. Dr. Stanley Filip, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, says that because the rapid deceleration in skydiving can be analogous to a moderate-speed auto accident or a fall while skiing (both are known to cause miscarriages), he recommends against skydiving while pregnant. On the other hand, the Sears say that miscarriages usually result from chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus, infections, hormonal deficiencies, immune-system abnormalities and environmental toxin such as drugs or cigarette smoke. Sex, safe exercises, heavy lifting, usual work and play, stress or emotional upsets or minor falls or accidents rarely cause them.
Registered nurse Marian Blackwell comments that the most important consideration is probably how the woman and her mate feel about the issue. Any woman who fears that jumping might cause her to miscarry should not jump. If a woman or the prospective father will likely blame a miscarriage on the woman’s skydiving, she is probably better off sitting out for a few months. Blackwell points out that it’s very difficult to have a miscarriage intentionally, and if a woman loses a baby while jumping, she probably would have anyway. Still, there is always a risk, and she advises that both parents need to accept this if the mother keeps jumping.
What about hypoxia? Dr. Filip says that the obstetricians commonly advise woman that it’s safe to fly on commercial airlines that are pressurized during flight, but unpressurized flight above 5,000 to 7,000 feet may not provide enough oxygen to some fetuses. According to Sears, “While a short time spent in an unpressurized cabin at about 7, 000 feet is unlikely to harm your baby (baby’s oxygen level in the womb is already lower than mother’s), it can reduce the oxygen in your blood, causing you to feel light headed and impair your thinking and ability to move.” Chew points out that women must consider the chance of hypoxia, claiming that it’s unknown whether it causes a problem for pregnant jumpers. He says, however, that the fetus is accustomed to an atmosphere less rich in oxygen than the mother needs and thus feels hypoxia less than an adult would. He adds that jump planes spend relatively little time at high altitudes, not really long enough to hurt the jumper or her baby. USPA defines high altitude as 20,000 feet up to 40,000 feet MSL and intermediate altitude as 15,000 feet to 20,000 feet MSL. USPA considers anything below 15,000 feet MSL low altitude. Routine low-altitude jumps, the sort sport jumpers commonly practice, do not generally present a risk of hypoxia. USPA does not require the use of supplemental oxygen for low-altitude jumps but has made no recommendations specific to pregnant women. (The FAA requires oxygen when required aircraft crew members are above 12,500 feet for more than 30 minutes and at all times above 14,000 feet MSL.)
Most women who have jumped during pregnancy say they did not have any trouble with hypoxia. Paula Philbrook, who participated in last year’s 246-way world record while pregnant, used supplemental oxygen on the attempts. She used an oximeter to measure her oxygen saturation and found that at 13,500 feet with oxygen, her saturation level always stayed at 98 to 100 percent. Without oxygen, her saturation stayed in the mid-90s which her respiratory therapist found acceptable. According to the therapist, as long as her oxygen saturation stayed above 90 percent, she remained in the safety zone. She used oxygen starting at 10,000 feet for jumps on which she went above 15,000 feet. She found herself short of breath at 21,000 feet when the oxygen went off in preparation for exit but always felt fine as soon as she got into freefall.
Long-time style and accuracy competitor Nancy LaRiviere says a doctor advised her to use supplemental oxygen if she went above 5,000 feet. She rented an oxygen bottle from a local medical supply house, used a cannula (a tube used to breathe the oxygen) from 3,000 feet to altitude, shut off the flow on jump run and left the bottle strapped in the plane. She sat at the back of the plane on all loads to make this convenient. Some skydivers and doctors worry that a jumper could get an air embolism, an air bubble in the blood – a danger associated with pressure changes and one risk of scuba diving. Chew points out that the pressure differences involved in skydiving are not nearly as great as in scuba diving a jumper has to go to 17,000 feet to get to half atmosphere. So although a potential risk lurks, it does so less than in deep diving. All skydivers and air travelers should refrain from air travel for 24 hours after scuba diving.
Heat poses an added danger, especially in the first trimester. The Mayo Clinic “Complete Book of Pregnancy” says that says that if the mother’s internal temperature exceeds 104 degrees, the chance the fetus will have neural tube defects increases. The Sears recommend that an expectant mother eat and drink regularly while exercising to prevent dehydration and hypoglycemia. Pregnant women, particularly those further along, should be careful about flying in bad weather. Dr. Filip says that turbulent weather can sometimes stimulate pre-term labor and rupture of the fetal membranes, causing the amniotic fluid to leak. High winds and turbulence also present the standard difficulties with landing. Many pregnant jumpers advise staying on the ground on windy days.
Women who jump while pregnant inevitably have to make some adjustments to their skydiving gear. Some of them change their canopies for larger mains or mains which open more softly than their original gear. Others continue to use the same gear until they quit. Either way, the jumper should feel comfortable with her gear and be able to land it well. Larger gear may feel unwieldy but often lands more softly.
A pregnant woman will quickly outgrow her normal jumpsuit. Whatever a skydiver decides to wear, she needs to ensure that she can still find all her handles. Size can also make it difficult to get in and out of airplanes. After a certain point, you may no longer fit into a little Cessna 182. Getting up and down off the floor will challenge you, so airplanes without benches become less than ideal. You’ll really learn to appreciate tailgates and planes with seats.
How long can a woman keep jumping while she is pregnant? Women have jumped into their fifth, sixth and seventh months. Some jumpers go by the folk wisdom “jump until you show.” Others stop based on the time of year. If you’re five months pregnant in July with sweltering heat, that might be the time you call it quits. When you decide that you’re no longer operating at 100 percent, stay on the ground until you fee! back up to speed.
Many women have found that skydiving after they give birth requires more adjustment than jumping while expecting. LaRiviere says she had to change her jumpsuit only after the baby was born and she was nursing him. Nursing also required some changes to her harness.
What to do with the baby during jumping time poses a bigger problem. LaRiviere’s husband acted as primary caregiver during her training camps, and she hired a niece to watch the baby while she competed in the nationals. If your baby doesn’t sleep through the night, chances are you don’t either. You may not want to put yourself in freefall in such an addled state. If both husband and wife jump, they may want to take turns going to the drop zone. Often, couples jump less than they did before becoming parents. Also, even a minor injury would probably cause tremendous inconvenience with a small baby, so conservative is better.
Starting Them Young
Skydiving during pregnancy is definitely possible, though it gives the jumper a lot to think about. As Chew points out, skydiving carries the risk of injury and death, and pregnant jumpers have additional considerations, including some not addressed here. All potential jumpers need to make that decision for themselves with the available information and in consultation with their own families and physicians. Pregnant skydiving adds a new wrinkle to the sport. For example, how do you count a pregnant skydiver participating in the 246-way world record? Does she make it a 247-way? Either way, these kids will have cool stories to recount when they’re older. How many kindergartners get to tell their classmates they already have 20 minutes of freefall?
About the Author
Amy Hackney Blackwell is an attorney and freelance writer in Greenville South Carolina. She has been skydiving since 1995.