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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:33 pm 
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I'm been doing some research on training while pregnant, and there are some great threads in this forum as well as elsewhere on the web. Most sources agree on the basics (no direct/hard contact sparring, no falls, careful observation of heartrate/overheating/looser joints, lessen as pregnancy advances, etc.), and common sense should be the primary guide....

However, there are a few areas that seem to be controversial or conflicting among sources. So I thought I'd ask the teachers and karateka here to comment upon:

Kotekitae/other conditioning-some sources warn against this practice during any trimester of pregnancy. I am curious if anyone knows a reasoning behind this? I would think controlled conditioning of extremities, as long as stomach area is avoided, would be fine?

bag work-again source conflict on this issue...concerns mentioned are the jarring of the body and changing balance. I can see where this could be of particular concern in the first (concerns of miscarriage) or third trimesters (mostly balance issues). But would slow bag work, focusing mainly on form and less on full power, still be beneficial and safe?

rolls-again conflict.....practice of rolls/some falls could be beneficial with mother's changing balance issues...in case of accidental falls, etc. Some sources state that baby is pretty well protected during the first and second trimester, so rolls within reason would be good. Other sources I've found/consulted state that this could be possible in 2nd trimester, but not first and third.

All are welcome to comment on this and other related thoughts. Interested in hearing what the forum has to say on this topic.

Thank you,
Shana[/u][/list]

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:11 pm 
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Hi Shana,

Another exciting welcome to our future Uechi Baby :")

Between all of us in class we can help and or show you and explain everything. If you want on Saturday during your training session with me, I can review the things for the test and the arm conditioning and rolls. However, I just want to show them to you. Remember your physician is your best resourse in this pregnancy. Thus, you know your body better than anyone else also. But since this is new, you can communicate the explaination of the conditionings and rolls to him/her and get their okay of the practicing :") Personally I am a visual and physical learner. I find it easier to watch things over and over again before actually trying them myself. They say I am from another planet , lol.

See you tomorrow Sweetie!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:06 pm 
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I always say what Crystal says - first consult your physician.

That being said... not all physicians are cut from the same cloth. I learned decades ago never to go to a physician who wasn't himself (or herself) once an athlete. The "don't do that" recommendation to me is like telling someone to keep an injured kitten in a box. Not gonna happen. Furthermore, some physicians got where they are by otherwise not having a life. Listening to such a person comment on how you should or shouldn't exercise is (to me) like listening to a priest give you advice on sexual dysfunction.

Furthermore, physicians have gotten it wrong for a long time. Weight management is one area in particular. In the past, they might have told someone with Crystal's build not to gain but x amount of pounds in y period of time. However they got that wrong in many cases.

Don't get me started on the use of formula when I was a kid...

If my wife had listened to doctors' advice on whether to lift weights when pregnant (the silence with the chirping crickets in the background), she might have sat on her bootie. Instead she lifted free weights up until a week before the delivery of each child. They both came in between 9 and 10 pounds, and with vaginal delivery. Somebody did something right...

There are a few good rules of thumb.

1) Be very careful about starting any new activity.

2) Generally stay away from or modify high impact activity. However this has more to do with shock waves to the core, and not the periphery.

3) BREATHE with all exercise. NO VALSALVA!!! In general, work on your breathing. You will need to have mastered it when it comes time to deliver.

4) Pay attention to your heart-rate.

5) Pay attention to your body temperature.

6) Be careful with your joints. Relaxin may make them a bit looser than normal.

Also... In the words of my spouse, "I consider childbirth to be the ultimate athletic event." If there's no reason for you to be in bedrest, then get in shape and stay in shape.

Or... they could be getting the drugs and the knife out. 8O Your choice!

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:58 pm 
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I have NO intention for bedrest unless it is forced upon me with a big stick, which is one of the reasons I've been doing this research. I WANT to stay active and healthy and enjoying my training. Thanks for the feedback Bill and Crystal. I will definately be consulting with my docs. My normal doctor is a great guy and a runner, so that certainly helps.

Looking forward to more responses, but greatful to be with such a great group!
Shana

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 Post subject: bedrest, lol
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:24 am 
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Oh Shana, you sound just like me, we must be related somehow :lol:

Pregnancy can be either a joyful experience or an intimdating one. The only reason, from my expereinces of bedrest, would be harmful issues of maybe elevated BP or toxemia, pain and swelling, other life threatning issues blah...blah....blah...

Hopefully since you are such a good girl in taking care of yourself, you will never have a bedrest order. And of course I can always come and take care of you too ;") My advice is, do what feels comfortable and yield if it doesn't. None of us will let anything happen to you or little Uechi-Baby.

Keep in mind how women thousands of years ago did it :") We should be so lucky huh? I think back and wished I had given birth standing up, would have been so much easier and quicker, lol. Though I wasn't able to go gardening afterwards, lol.

Well, see you folks in a few hours!
Peace!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:31 am 
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Hi Shana,
Congratulations! When are you due?

Below is what I did and my reasoning why on the areas that you mentioned while I was pregnant with Cory.

I was careful with Kotekitae while I was pregnant. I love conditioning and can give and take quite a bit of impact. I thought it best to take a break from this kind of training while pregnant. Your body responds to this kind of impact by focusing resources on you arms and legs. I wanted those resources to go to my growing baby. Also there are points on your arms and especially your legs that from an acupuncture standpoint move blood and energy strongly. This is something to avoid during pregnancy. This is why you also want someone who specializes in pregnancy massage to work on you as well so that they can avoid digging into these points.

I did not do bag work because I did not want to jar or jolt my body. Slower work with very light power would probably be OK. I would be more tempted to do slow speed or stop motion sparring with a partner I could trust.

I did not practice rolling or falling. I have practiced both in the past and feel pretty confident in my ability to soften a fall if need be. I think practicing falling while pregnant is not worth the risk.

I wish you all the best in your training and pregnancy!

Heather


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:13 pm 
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Heather,
Thank you for providing some reasoning behind kotekitae, as that finally makes sense! It's an available resources issue, not an injury issue (light dawns). Since I am very early on (first trimester...due in early October), and very beginner in my training, I will keep that in mind in any light conditioning and bag work that I do.

My main focus for the next several months is health and controlled work. I've got a great group with my club!

Thank you!!
Shana

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:20 pm 
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Yep we are an awesome group! I have been in 3 different styles of Martial Arts, and I have finally found what I have searching for 15 years! I love all of ya! :angel:

Have a great day!
~Crys~

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:02 pm 
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Congratulations again, Shana.

I worked out in Uechi with my first instructor while pregnant for the third child, with the exception of having to stop for violent nausea bouts. We moved away during my first trimester after having done Uechi with him for over 6 year.

Unfortunately after moving, I could not work out well because I could not hold anything on my stomach except Boardwalk french fries. This was due to severe nausea during the morning, noon, and/or night into the 5th month of pregnancy.

After moving away, I ended up doing light aerobics until the beginning of third trimester when I changed my workouts to swimming. Swimming was great for me to stay in shape and I swam 30 laps 3x a week until the week before she was born.

It is amazing what you can continue to do while pregnant. Keep up the wonderful progress you are making.

Regards,
Vicki

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:32 am 
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WOW! that's some serious naseau! Sorry you had to put up with that for 5 months!

I had considered increasing my swimming as I progressed, and you've just nailed it for me!

Thanks for the encouragement, and I will just keep doing as much as I can and learning.....

Hope to see you again soon,
Shana

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:22 pm 
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My first thought is that if you are pregnant and you fall the doctor asks you to contact them immediately. So doing a bunch of intentional falls seems like very counter to that advice.

I'm sure there are stories of women who hit, fell, and fought up to the day they delivered. However, it is very important for each woman to make the decision that is best for her and her baby.

Arm rubbing is probably great to do but if arm or any other kind of pounding is being done properly - then it is sending waves throughout the body.

Is it a good idea for those kinds of waves of energy to pass repeatedly over the developing fetus?

And waves of energy are what happen when we walk, roll over in bed, or get up and sit down. But that is still different from the jarring motion of a strong leg kick, the concussion of heaving a leg up and having its forward progress stopped by a heavy bag.

This is definitely something that each woman must decide for herself -- preferably in consultation with an Ob/Gyn.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:39 pm 
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As always Dana, it's a pleasure to hear from you!

I am having my first serious sit down with my OB next week, and you can bet this will be on the discussion agenda. MY GP has already stated he wants me to stop rolls/falls. The rest, I'm still waiting for that doc discussion.

Everyone has given me some great things to think about and some reasons behind why some things would be good/bad. Thank you so much!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:14 am 
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The only thing I might add is this.

Heather said something that I found interesting.
uechiwoman wrote:

Your body responds to this kind of impact by focusing resources on you arms and legs. I wanted those resources to go to my growing baby.

Fascinating.

There's a lot of work that's been done trying to figure out how and why various kinds of conditioning works. Back when I was constantly trying to get stronger/bigger and was shadowing my wife and her own bodybuilding experience, I used to do a lot of reading in the field.

When you are training, there is a global as well as local training effect. In other words some kinds of intense training is followed by release of both growth hormone and testosterone. These are anabolic or building hormones. If you overtrain however, the body releases a catabolic stress hormone called cortisol.

When you are training properly, you feel better. When you are overtraining, you feel run down. Both men and women comment on improved disposition, libido, etc. when they are working out properly. Too much can lead to an increase in colds, run-down feeling, etc.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well... My wife had extraordinarily healthy and robust babies. She was really funny... She would look in the nursery and say "I win!! Take a picture, Bill! Look how big he is compared to all those other scrawny babies!" Talk about competitive... :lol: But seriously... She had been training for years, and understood how to get just the right training effect. So when she was doing squats or curls or flies, some of the anabolic hormones she released (IF she wasn't overtraining) were going to junior as well. Train properly? Baby benefits. Live like a slug or otherwise treat your body poorly? Baby loses. Overtrain? Baby loses.

I don't have all the data to back this up, but I would think the same would hold true for some of our karate training. Light kotekitae that builds and doesn't bruise very well may benefit junior. The same hormones that stimulate tissue growth at point A will go to point B to some degree. This of course assumes that you are eating a balanced diet and getting proper rest. Overtrain to the point of releasing cortisol, and baby loses as well to this stress hormone.

It is worth mentioning that Heather is viewing all of this from an entirely different health paradigm. She's an accupuncturist by profession. So her world of "stimulating" the body involves a different view. She could articulate that better herself; it isn't my training or my own paradigm. Enough said.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:13 pm 
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I believe both viewpoints have thoughts worth considering.

Right now, I'm fighting the typical response from most folks who have never trained (karate or weights) who automatically say, "Oh, you'll definately have to stop lifting weights or doing karate until the baby is born". I think that's silly.

I completely understand certain limitations, and I agree that I should be more careful and alert to my own body's signals on overheating, heartrate, strain, etc. But i also feel that stopping completely will only lead to worse issues for myself and baby.

I don't WANT an excuse to eat more or be lazy! I don't WANT an excuse to let everyone do everything for me! What I want is reasonable guidelines to keep me and baby safe, happy, and healthy. Women throughout the ages have done the work necessary to build a life and given birth successfully. Why are we still caught in the Victorian age of women as frail little birds who should be pampered in thier padded gilded cages?!?!?! :x :evil:

:oops: sorry for the rant....I am not made of glass, and don't want to be treated as such. I do want to be careful and smart about this, but I don't want to give up things based on unrealistic fears and rumours. Give me good ideas and reasons, and I can work with that.

Rant over.... :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:01 am 
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Hi Shana,
I know I am most certainly not made of glass and I am sure you are not either. I am all for training and exercise during pregnancy. I don't think nor ever said that you should stop completely. I do have concerns about strong impact to the body during pregnancy. This kind of impact is not the same as running or lifting.

Bill wrote:
Quote:
I don't have all the data to back this up, but I would think the same would hold true for some of our karate training. Light kotekitae that builds and doesn't bruise very well may benefit junior. The same hormones that stimulate tissue growth at point A will go to point B to some degree. This of course assumes that you are eating a balanced diet and getting proper rest. Overtrain to the point of releasing cortisol, and baby loses as well to this stress hormone.


I agree with Bill and I find that students, especially kyu ranks, can have a harder time finding that line between building and overtraining. Playing with that line while I was pregnant was not worth it to me so I stayed with kata, hojo undo, footwork drills, slow speed yasoku kumite or slow motion free sparring with no contact. There is plenty to work on without having to hit or be hit hard.

Your body is mostly water and when you deliver or receive a good strong strike the wave goes through your body. A fetus is in the amniotic sac in the uterus and this wave would go through that sac as well. A very strong wave can cause the placenta to detach from the side of the uterus. This is why OB's have you report all falls. I equate a strong strike to a fall because the jarring impact sends similar strong shockwaves through the body.

I over did it one day when I was 7 weeks pregnant and had spotting (bleeding) as a result. Had to go to the OB and have an emergency ultrasound. Everything turned out OK but after holding my breath in the office waiting to see a heartbeat on the screen I decided to err on the side of caution.

Heather


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