Training while pregnant

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    Chad Moechnig
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    Rikki
    Post subject: Training while pregnant PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:59 pm
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    Location: Lexington, KY
    I know that several of you have kids and was wondering what your experiences were or if you had any advice. One of the women I train with is possibly pregnant and she wants to continue training. Of course we know that she shouldn’t be getting hit in the stomach. What can she safely do? Any help would be appreciated.

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    mma
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:45 pm

    Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:14 pm
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    Location: Los Angeles Area, CALI
    I don’t have kids but I have a suggestion:

    What me and my friends sometimes do when one of us has an injury is do “two-move grappling.” You have a grappling match where you start off doing two moves, and then freeze. Then your opponent does two moves, and it goes back and forth, and you grapple like that. No resistance whatsoever, its good to keep you sharp while injured and its a good way to figure out how to apply certain techniques to certain positions. Its actually alot of fun.

    As for training while pregnant, I don’t like the sound of that at all. No offence, but if you were pregnant and came into my gym, I would outright refuse to train with you because I wouldn’t want to be held responsible for any accidents. And accidents do happen. My suggestion is that your friend just do drills on her own. Like snake-drills and stuff. NO LIVE SPARRING! Not even half speed. I don’t like it. But the suggestion I gave above probably wouldn’t hurt.

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    Rosi
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:36 am
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    I’m not going to tell anyone else what they should or shouldn’t do (or even what they can safely do). If you’re pregnant and you’re training then it’s entirely at your own risk and you need to take personal responsibility for anything that happens.

    When i was pregnant, i lifted weights throughout (i had a personal trainer i was working with who had knowledge of what was ok and what wasn’t), boxed light(ish) contact with head shots only on and off until about 6-7 months, grappled until 3 months and occasionally after that with people i trusted.

    There’s a lot of stuff you can do when pregnant. But as i said above, you need to look into it and take responsibility for yourself. There’s an excellent book on general exercise during pregnancy here

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    spidermenda
    Post subject: pregnant and trainingPostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:01 am

    Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 8:40 am
    Posts: 83
    Location: Ohio
    sorry but if you are pregnant you should use the time to relax and do not train (trust me I know). You can still do light weight lifting and cardio but as always make sure your doctors knows the excercises you are doing and please be careful. There is plenty of time to continue your training but the baby only has one chance to survive through you. Stay safe 😀

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    Rosi
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:29 am
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    Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:26 am
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    Quote:
    sorry but if you are pregnant you should use the time to relax and do not train (trust me I know). You can still do light weight lifting and cardio but as always make sure your doctors knows the excercises you are doing and please be careful. There is plenty of time to continue your training but the baby only has one chance to survive through you. Stay safe

    I’m sorry, but the scientific evidence does not support that view.

    I strongly recommend reading the book i linked earlier. This is someone who has actually investigated how exercise affects a pregnancy, rather than just parrotting opinions based on commonly held prejudices.

    Within certain fairly moderate limitations, women who exercise are no more likely than sedentary women to experience negative outcomes (including miscarriage and damage to the foetus). In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that when done correctly, moderately intense exercise can have beneficial effects on the foetus.

    It is an unfortunate fact that a pretty large percentage of pregnancies are destined to miscarry whether or not you exercise. It is natural for someone who miscarries to blame it on any exercise they did, whether or not it had anything to do with it. So it is natural that a large proportion of health professionals won’t offer any constructive advice for those of us who wish to.

    On a personal note, I was lifting pretty heavy, with professional advice, from 3 months to nearly full term. I was doing chinups – although not very many – at 7 months and modified olympic lifts at 8. I have an extremely healthy, strong, bright and happy 4 month old boy 😀

    Don’t take my word for it. You should certainly seek professional advice. But if your professional tells you that you should just be going for gentle walks and maybe a little swimming, then they either (a) don’t know what they’re talking about or (b) are scared silly of being sued so are playing it safe. If you care enough about exercising, find a different one.

    Research the subject for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Safety, of course, has to come first. But until you know what’s safe and what’s not – based on research, not “common sense” – keep an open mind.

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    Rikki
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:33 am
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    Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:56 am
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    Location: Lexington, KY
    Thanks for you opinions and the book link….I’ll pass it all along to Carey. I’d still like to hear from the others who trained while pregnant, or the ones who decided not to and why.

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    dl_angel
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:49 pm

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    My martial arts instructor worked out and taught classes until like her 7th month of pregnancy- seemed to be okay 🙂 Beautiful baby girl- she says thats the reason her daughter likes to be bounced around so much… that is ONE ACTIVE KID! But listen to your body- a friend of mine was horseback riding still into her pregnancy which they told her was fine, but she started bleeding… obviously she had to stop riding. Everything turned out good though in the end. Her body was just giving her a cue for what it needed.

    i think they generally recommend exercise. and i’ve heard rumor that it makes the pregnancy and the actual birth easier. but i haven’t done it yet.

    Saw one woman chose not to but i think it was just because she wanted/needed more time to prepare for baby, spend with her husband, etc. She came in once later into her pregnancy and trained with us. Another woman trained during her first, but is having all sorts of problems during her second pregnancy- morning sickness bad, etc. so she doesn’t want to work out.

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    rebekah
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:41 am

    Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:25 am
    Posts: 82
    I just had a baby. My doctor told me I could continue exercising but not to let my heartrate get above 120 – you should be able to talk without being out of breath. I was told absolutely no grappling and no weight lifting. I followed my doctors advice.

    My advice – she should talk to her physician and follow their guidlines.

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    rebekah
    Post subject: Re: pregnant and trainingPostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:45 am

    Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:25 am
    Posts: 82
    spidermenda wrote:
    You can still do light weight lifting and cardio but as always make sure your doctors knows the excercises you are doing and please be careful. There is plenty of time to continue your training but the baby only has one chance to survive through you. Stay safe 😀

    I thought this was great advice.

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    Rosi
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:48 pm
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    Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:26 am
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    Quote:
    I just had a baby. My doctor told me I could continue exercising but not to let my heartrate get above 120 – you should be able to talk without being out of breath. I was told absolutely no grappling and no weight lifting. I followed my doctors advice.

    Sounds like your doctor is too scared of being sued to give good advice. That’s a shame.

    Having researched the subject extensively, I can say with confidence that your doctor’s advice is not even in agreement with the (rather conservative) ACOG (American college of obstetricians and gynacologists) guidelines.

    The OLD guidelines stated heart rate not above 140. Since then, the person who came up with this guideline has admitted that it was made up on the spot with no supporting evidence. Current guidelines state that perceived exertion is a better guide than heart rate. (Incidentally, when i was in early pregnancy i couldn’t walk upstairs without my heart rate going over 120. Which would have been a bit of a bummer, really 🙄 )

    Once again, I strongly recommend reading the book I linked earlier as it is based on actual research, rather than advice which has been made up with no evidence whatsoever. It really annoys me that people – including doctors and medical professionals – do that, especially when the evidence is available out there.

    Obviously, the health of your baby is your first concern. But since there is evidence that even moderately intense exercise – including weight training – is actually good for both mother and baby, there is no logic whatsoever to the “play it safe and don’t do anything” argument.

    (Incidentally, my midwife mentioned to me that in her many years of experience, women who exercised tended to have far fewer problems with their pregnancy than those who didn’t).

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    Rosi
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:15 pm
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    I should add, just to clarify my position, that i’m not offering advice.

    I’m just (a) trying to provide access to correct, up to date information – which can be very difficult to find on this subject, and (b) sharing my personal experience.

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    rebekah
    Post subject: PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:30 am

    Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:25 am
    Posts: 82
    Rosi wrote:
    Quote:
    I just had a baby. My doctor told me I could continue exercising but not to let my heartrate get above 120 – you should be able to talk without being out of breath. I was told absolutely no grappling and no weight lifting. I followed my doctors advice.

    Sounds like your doctor is too scared of being sued to give good advice. That’s a shame.

    Having researched the subject extensively, I can say with confidence that your doctor’s advice is not even in agreement with the (rather conservative) ACOG (American college of obstetricians and gynacologists) guidelines.

    The OLD guidelines stated heart rate not above 140. Since then, the person who came up with this guideline has admitted that it was made up on the spot with no supporting evidence. Current guidelines state that perceived exertion is a better guide than heart rate. (Incidentally, when i was in early pregnancy i couldn’t walk upstairs without my heart rate going over 120. Which would have been a bit of a bummer, really 🙄 )

    Once again, I strongly recommend reading the book I linked earlier as it is based on actual research, rather than advice which has been made up with no evidence whatsoever. It really annoys me that people – including doctors and medical professionals – do that, especially when the evidence is available out there.

    Obviously, the health of your baby is your first concern. But since there is evidence that even moderately intense exercise – including weight training – is actually good for both mother and baby, there is no logic whatsoever to the “play it safe and don’t do anything” argument.

    (Incidentally, my midwife mentioned to me that in her many years of experience, women who exercised tended to have far fewer problems with their pregnancy than those who didn’t).

    I don’t believe my doctor was scared to be sued – she’s not like that and thats presumptuous of you to say. I did my own research as well which I found supported what my doctor advised me to do in regards to exercise. I was never discouraged from exercising and in fact I exercised through my entire pregnancy – but I was smart about it. I don’t think anyone is advocatng “play it safe and don’t do anything” – I don’t know how you came to that conclusion from the posts that have been made – noone’s been knocking exercising while pregnant. The book you linked is a good book but its not the only resource out there…

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    Samurai girl
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 4:40 am

    Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:02 pm
    Posts: 9
    Location: UK
    I never trained in my last pregnancy, to be quite honest I never did much in my last pregnancy which was mainly due to an illness with one of my other children. But I highly recommend it as its much harder to get back in to shape after the birth if you never did anything during the pregnancy and it does actually make the labour easier to cope with.
    One thing I will say from experience, is that all pregnancies are different and what you can handle in one might be difficult in another. So I would advise always checking with your GP and keeping up to date with check ups.

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    Rosi
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:28 am
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    Quote:
    I don’t believe my doctor was scared to be sued – she’s not like that and thats presumptuous of you to say.

    Fair enough. That comment was a little OTT. However, the advice which you reported was more conservative even than the current ACOG guidelines – for a “normal” pregnancy at any rate.

    Quote:
    I did my own research as well which I found supported what my doctor advised me to do in regards to exercise. I was never discouraged from exercising and in fact I exercised through my entire pregnancy – but I was smart about it. I don’t think anyone is advocatng “play it safe and don’t do anything” – I don’t know how you came to that conclusion from the posts that have been made – noone’s been knocking exercising while pregnant.

    Maybe people weren’t suggesting doing nothing, but it sounds like the advice is to do very little (i certainly wouldn’t have been able to do much if i’d insisted on keeping my heart rate under 120… i think a brisk walk would have been about my limit)

    I suppose i do have a bee in my bonnet on this particular topic, because there is so much misinformation out there. A hell of a lot of advice regarding exercise in pregnancy is just made up without reference to any supporting evidence. People seem to think that by doing less they are being cautious and are safer – which is not necessarily the case.

    There is no reason why someone who is fit and healthy with a normal pregnancy who has lifted weights before their pregnancy shouldn’t continue to do so – with some relatively minor modifications and things to be careful of (which are important). There is not a shred of evidence to suggest that this is harmful to the pregnancy, and rather a lot of evidence that it may be beneficial – certainly to the mother and quite possibly to the baby as well.

    Quote:
    The book you linked is a good book but its not the only resource out there…

    No, but of all the research i looked into, i found very little that really contradicted that book.

    Some of the older studies on exercise in pregnancy didn’t differentiate between women who were used to regular exercise, and those who were previously sedentary. Needless to say, if you take a pregnant women who has never exercised and get her to work out so her heart rate goes over 140 then yes, you are probably going to see problems. 🙄

    Good advice about exercise in pregnancy needs to differentiate between previously sedentary women and those who are used to doing a lot of exercise. After all, you wouldn’t expect to give an olympic athlete and a couch potato the same advice on exercise any other time.

    Quote:
    One thing I will say from experience, is that all pregnancies are different and what you can handle in one might be difficult in another. So I would advise always checking with your GP and keeping up to date with check ups.

    This is true – if your pregnancy isn’t quite straightforward, then different rules apply, so that is important to know.

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    spidermenda
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:09 am

    Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 8:40 am
    Posts: 83
    Location: Ohio
    Oh I am doing a little weight lifting and cardio but my doctor and my trainer has advised me to NOT to do any physcial contact (grappling, sparring, boxing, etc) but do remember that everyone is different. You have to go by how you are feeling at that time. Your body will tell you when you are not getting enough rest, food, etc when pregnant (believe me). 😀

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    rebekah
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:03 am

    Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:25 am
    Posts: 82
    Quote:
    Maybe people weren’t suggesting doing nothing, but it sounds like the advice is to do very little

    The advice is to consult your doctor.

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    Rosi
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:34 am
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    Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:26 am
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    Quote:
    The advice is to consult your doctor.

    Can’t disagree with that….

    But i would add that if you are unhappy with your doctor’s recommendations and it is important to you, then you might benefit from getting a second opinion from a medical professional with specialist knowledge about exercise in pregnancy. Not all doctors are up on the current research and guidelines on the subject, and some give advice which is needlessly conservative.

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    Rikki
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:30 pm
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    Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:56 am
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    Location: Lexington, KY
    So my friend trained for the first time tonight after finding out that she is pregnant. She was able to do most of the drills and we did some light grappling. I’d love to hear from you other moms out there with some good advice.

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    MNkkgMMA
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:36 pm
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    Location: minnesota
    Really it’s a personal choice. Gather all the information you can get and make the choice thats right for you. For myself…. The moment we decide to start trying for a baby I will choose to do absolutley no contact sports what so ever. Just a personal choice, I’ll always air on the side of caution when it comes to something as important as another life. Who could forgive them selves if “god forbid” something happened.

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    greatlaughter
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:41 pm
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    Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:15 pm
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    Location: Petaluma, CA
    Personally, I wouldn’t do it. Like MNkkgMMA, if I was planning on trying to have a baby, I would stop training.
    I couldn’t tame down my training enough for it to be safe.
    But, it’s her choice.

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    Irish_fight
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:26 am

    Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:52 am
    Posts: 14
    Heh. I’ve been pregnant five times.
    The biggest thing with me was the hormone Relaxin. It invades your body after the 7th month. If you’ve had kids before, it can loosen your joints up BIG TIME. As in, when I hit 6 months and would try chinese splits, my iliac crests would move in towards each other, like a clothespin opening the wrong way. I dislocated my hip doing a simple roundhouse, thank GOD it popped back in after four seconds of excruciating pain. I also pulled a hamstring and was restricted for a few months. (YES, this was all in the dojo whilst I was TAKING IT EASY while pregnant)
    My opinion? I stayed active- slow running/walking/highrep weights , etc. But muscular improvement/sparring I let go. It just wasn’t worth it. I’ve been through two miscarriages and it’s just not worth the worry for me.

    I was back on the mat two weeks postpartum. Pregnancy was a breeze, it’s having to leave class to nurse a screaming infant, and finding childcare so I can take class, that’s the BIGGEST ongoing challenge. And truthfully, a big challege in my training, second to my knees.

    I have to admit, I LOVED watching people’s jaws drop when I kicked above my head two days before I gave birth. I must have looked like a flailing beach ball…. 😳

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