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Prenatal exercise is a vital part of an expectant woman's health just like physical activity is important during any other time. But what exercises are safe during pregnancy, and what activities are best to avoid? Sometimes, common sense helps provide the answer. But at other times, it is not so obvious. Should you avoid jumping during pregnancy?

During the early stages of pregnancy, the uterus is still safely tucked into the pelvic cavity. The growing baby is so small at this point that it is very hard to impact it externally. Pregnant women may feel too sick and tired to thinking about doing high impact exercises during their first trimester, but such work outs would generally be considered safe.

It is when pregnancy goes on, the baby grows, and the uterus expands, that high impact exercises become more risky. The center of gravity will also shift for women who have a large baby bump, increasing the risk of falling. There are still plenty of safe prenatal work outs that expectant mothers can engage it during this point of pregnancy swimming, walking and yoga are only some examples. But jumping may pose a problem. Why?

Vigorous jumping may cause cervical irritation and bleeding. In extreme cases, the additional pressure on the uterus may cause damage and premature labor. Because your center of gravity has changed, you're more likely to fall while jumping. This could lead to injuries. Jumping may put a strain on your legs and back, and could cause pain.

In conclusion, jumping is perfectly safe during the first trimester of pregnancy, or until you start showing (which means your uterus has expanded enough to make it more vulnerable). Later on during pregnancy, it is not a good idea to intentionally engage in exercises that require repeated jumping. A jump or two won't cause any damage though, so you need not worry about any unintentional jumps you performed.

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