We’ve all heard the rule: “If you were doing the exercise before you were pregnant, you can do it while you’re pregnant.” But it’s not always true. For example, you don’t find many women kickboxing their way through their third trimester.
Fortunately, you can jump rope while pregnant, and it’s usually safe. But there are some risks involved, which you can check out below. Always talk to your doctor first, particularly if you are high-risk. Then, read on to find out how to do it safely.
What Are the Risks of Jumping While Pregnant?
Continuing to exercise while pregnant is one of the best things you can do to help your body cope with pregnancy. Keeping fit will also support an active labor and set you up for a quick postpartum recovery. But is skipping rope safe during pregnancy? Here are the risks:
Fractured Ligaments or Joints
During pregnancy, your body will produce more of the hormone relaxin. This loosens your ligaments, which are the connective tissues that stabilize your joints.
Jumping with softened ligaments will allow your joints to move beyond their usual range of motion. This can result in painful injuries and fractures.
Each time you land, your uterus will put increased pressure on your cervix. This will not cause it to open or trigger preterm labor. But it may irritate it, causing some light bleeding.
Detachment of the Placenta From the Uterine Wall (Partial or Complete)
Trauma to your belly could result in placental abruption. This is where your placenta becomes separated from the wall of your uterus, which can have fatal consequences.
The impact of the small jumps you make while skipping won’t cause this. But as your bump grows, your center of gravity will change. This makes falling and injuring your belly when skipping more likely during the second and third trimesters.
In a healthy pregnancy, jumping rope will not trigger preterm labor. However, if you have an incompetent cervix, it could cause you to go into labor early.
Myth – Can Jumping Cause Miscarriage in Early Pregnancy?
Jumping during a low-risk pregnancy cannot cause a miscarriage. Your baby is well protected in its amniotic sac and may even find the bouncing soothing.
The myth comes from the fact that if you fall, the impact could cause a miscarriage. But even this is incredibly unlikely, as the amniotic fluid will cushion your baby against most impacts.
When to Stop Jumping Rope During Pregnancy
There is no set time when you should stop. If you feel good, you can continue jumping rope during the third trimester.
Here are the signs you should switch to a lower-impact exercise:
Your growing baby will put pressure on your bladder. If you’re lucky, this could just mean extra bathroom trips. However, it can also cause incontinence, especially during exercise.
If you start to leak while skipping, it’s your body’s way of telling you to switch to something lower-impact. But if you aren’t ready to give it up, incontinence pads might keep you going longer.
The impacts of your jumps will put pressure on your cervix. In a low-risk pregnancy, this won’t do any harm, but it’s not comfortable. It can also be quite stressful and trigger worries about preterm labor.
Loose ligaments, larger breasts, and extra weight can cause previously enjoyable exercises to become uncomfortable. If the impact doesn’t feel good on your joints, pelvis, back, or chest, you should avoid it.
Sometimes, you may feel fine during your workout but sore afterward. This is a good sign that you should stop. Pregnancy comes with enough aches and pains without adding more!
How to Jump Rope Safely During Pregnancy
To safely jump rope during pregnancy, you should:
Talk to Your Doctor
High-impact exercise should be avoided if you have a high-risk pregnancy or conditions like cervical incompetence or placenta previa. Only your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not jumping is safe for you and your baby.
Wear the Right Clothes
Suitable trainers will help support your ankles, and a good sports bra is essential.
Skipping is great cardio, and it’ll make you sweat. Unfortunately, it can also lead to dehydration, which is dangerous during pregnancy. Stay hydrated by drinking water during and after your workout.
Warming up before exercise gradually increases your heart rate and boosts your circulation and oxygen levels. This prevents dizziness and injury and ensures your baby gets everything they need throughout your workout.
Limit Your Workout
Limit your workouts to 30 minutes. This is enough to keep you fit and will stop you from getting overheated.
The golden rule is – You should be able to say a whole sentence before taking a breath. If you can only get a few words out, take a rest.
Stop at Any Sign of Discomfort
Your body will tell you if you should stop. If you feel any discomfort, it’s vital that you listen.
Alternative Exercises to Try
If you can’t jump rope or have to give it up as your belly grows, don’t worry. There are still lots of great ways to have a fit pregnancy, and they come with fewer risks.
The best exercises during pregnancy are:
Does Jumping While Pregnant Hurt the Baby?
No, jumping during pregnancy will not hurt your baby. That’s why you’re carrying around all that amniotic fluid!
Can I Skip Rope While Pregnant?
Yes, you can skip while pregnant. As long as you are low-risk, have the OK from your doctor, and feel good before, during, and after.
Can You Jump Rope in the First Trimester?
Yes, as long as you don’t feel dizzy or nauseous, it’s safe to skip during the first trimester. However, levels of the hormone relaxin will peak at around 3 months, so you should still be mindful of your joints.
Can You Jump Rope in the Second Trimester?
Yes, you can skip during your second trimester. But remember that your growing belly may throw off your center of gravity and cause a fall.
Can You Jump Rope in the Third Trimester?
You can skip well into your third trimester as long as you are careful, stay hydrated, and stop at the first sign of discomfort.
What Kinds of Exercises Should You Avoid While Pregnant?
During pregnancy, you should avoid:
- Lying flat on your back for long periods
- Contact sports like martial arts
- Scuba diving
- Sky diving
- Exercise over 2,500m above sea level