Can Jumping Harm a Baby in the Womb?
Every pregnant woman wants to keep the precious cargo she carries in her belly safe and sound. Jumping can be a great way to get exercise, but you may wonder what effects it could have on your unborn baby. Knowing the risks and benefits can help you decide if jumping exercises are right for you.
Jumping and Pregnancy
There are many different types of exercises that involve jumping. Jumping jacks, skipping rope and exercise videos have many of us jumping up and down for exercise. Unless there is a very deliberate jumping up and pounding down, jumping is not much different than jogging. Likewise, different kinds of jumping can have different effects for expectant mothers and their babies. Though it can sometimes be beneficial, jumping as a means of exercise may not always be the best option for women who are pregnant.
Exercise makes you stronger. While jumping exercises may not be the first choice of exercise for many, moderate exercise always reaps benefits. A woman who is strong is likely to have an easier delivery than one who is out of shape. Strength also comes in handy after delivery. The stronger and healthier you are, the easier it is to recover after childbirth.
Keep in mind that if you are jumping during pregnancy as a means of exercise, you are taking a risk. That risk is premature labor, according to ACE-certified fitness expert Lisa Stone. The reason for this is, depending on the strength of your jumps, your uterus is likely pounding down on your cervix each time you land. Enough force can actually trigger contractions. Landing with your legs apart also intensifies the contact.
While jumping in and of itself won't cause any specific injury to a baby in the womb, a premature baby can suffer many ill effects. Although premature labor is the only known risk, it is important to consider the complications this can cause. It may be a better option to consider other means of exercise during pregnancy. While light jumping is acceptable for mother and baby, jumping jacks should be avoided, according to PregnancyToday.com. Jumping jacks require landing in a squatting position, which is sometimes a birthing position. This alone makes this particular kind of jump more likely to cause premature labor. Walking, light aerobics and stretching are great exercise options for soon-to-be mommies.
Using Common Sense
Any exercise, whether it's jumping, running or biking, should be discussed with your doctor. Every woman is different and has different exercise needs during pregnancy. An athlete, for example, is likely to be able to tolerate heavier exercise than a woman who was not exercising regularly prior to pregnancy. If jumping is part of your exercise routine, your doctor can advise you on how much and which types of jumping exercises are safe. Steer clear of any hard jumps or jumping jacks, and you and your baby should be fine. Pay attention to your body and stay hydrated. Even during light jumps, if you feel any contractions or if any bleeding occurs, call your doctor. These are signs of premature labor and should be addressed immediately. All in all, jumping is safe for mother and baby, as long as it is done with some common sense.