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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 1998 4:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 55
Location: Portsmouth,NH,US
Hi Lori and others,
I've been dormant for a while, but am surfacing to raise a new topic. One of my dojo buddies announced she is pregnant. She hopes to hang in there with us until her eighth month or so. I know you have some experience with this, as we touched upon the subject at Camp. A search of the forum yielded nada. Sooo, any words of advice, or references, for my friend?
Fondly, Michael


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 1998 6:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
Michael-san!

A fond "Welcome back!" to you my friend! We have missed your input on the forums...

Very good topic for this forum - I had thought of bringing it up before and you have presented a perfect opportunity. Pregnancy is a unique challenge for the female martial artist - bringing a whole new set of training challenges...I invite everyone who has experienced this to post their challenges/solutions/etc. here...I know I would have appreciated some input when I was going through it!

You don't mention the rank of your friend...this will make a difference. Her current level of conditioning, intensity, training schedule, all of these will be drastically modified in the months to come, but there is no reason why she cannot continue training in one form or another for the duration, doctor and health permitting.

First off, I hope that she has an understanding doctor/midwife! They don't have to practice martial arts to be sympathetic to the demands that karate entails. She needs to have an open enough relationship with whomever she chooses so that she can acquaint him/her with the basic demands of her training routine. Then sensible modifications can be made as needed.

Oh, yeah, and tell her to drop the stomach conditioning! Image Actually, I had been doing some heavy duty conditioning for the first 2 months of my pregnancy (before I found out I was pregnant) and no harm was done, so I would tell her not to worry about what she's done so far - but lighten up (stop!) on the punches to the midsection now.

Conditioning and kumite were the two things that were primarily affected for me...sanchin checks also of course - but only in strikes to the stomach. I just let my sensei know - and he told any seniors that would be checking me to stay away from there. The farther into the pregnancy, the more limits the body imposes - but kata (albeit modified toward the last weeks) is possible all the way through. The variations that come out as the belly expands are quite interesting!

Important: Tell her to really watch for shifts in balance - even very early on as her body is going through some drastic changes right now that will really mess with her equilibrium...way before the pregnancy even becomes apparent.

I hope that others will present their thoughts here - but in the meantime - please give your friend my email address if she is so inclined as to contact me and discuss this in more detail.

Peace, (and welcome back!)
Lori


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 1998 10:42 am 
Hello Michael and Lori,

In a place I practiced at, there was a woman instructor who became pregnant and worked-out throughout her pregnancy. She was fanatically inclined toward the martial arts and would not let up in her training (think she was afraid she was going to miss something) until close to the time of delivery.

After the baby she was not able to work out anymore because of persistent lower back pain. She told us one day on a visit that she was sorry she hadn't listened to her doctor's advice to lighten-up on her training. A year or so after I left Arizona, I called to say hi to the instructor and asked about the student only to find out she had not been able to resume her training.

This was just an observation, but her demise helped form my opinion that anyone whose body places heavy unaccustomed demands upon them should taper-off their training accordingly until they are back to their usual self.

Allen


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 1998 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
Allen-san brings up a very important point.

As martial artists - we often will train to the exclusion of the signals our body gives to us - working to surpass our limitations and trying to ignore fatigue, minor pain etc. A woman can NOT do this while pregnant! It is imperative that she do two things while working out...

1) Maintain a close and honest communication with her health care provider and

2) Maintain an even closer communication with her body - she must be very sensitive to signals of discomfort and pain - even though it is more difficult during pregnancy. Pushing limits during a workout is NOT worth the life of a child!

No matter what - during pregnancy a woman's training in the martial arts WILL be drastically modified - I don't care how advanced her rank or conditioned her body - pregancy is a beautiful natural state of creation - and if approached with the right attitude can bring out new and previously undiscovered aspects of our art to the woman... if she can enjoy the feminine side of this state to it's fullest - there is no need to try and be a battle hardened warrior through pregnancy!

Peace,
Lori


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 1998 6:30 pm 
Hmmm...

Lori; the way you say "Health Care Provider" and not doctor or nurse makes me think we are becoming a welfare nation and heading toward becoming a third-world country. you cannot even pick your doctor or hospital anymore but from a list 'provided' by the insurance company. I read or saw on TV (probably 20/20) that insurance companies and chemical factories even dictate to doctors what they can and cannot give to patients in terms of prescription and other medication even though it may not be what the doctor wants to give to the patient.

Allen


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 1998 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 6021
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Its been a long time since I was personally involved (through my first wife Marge) with pregnancy and working out. Marge was/is a registered nurse and continued to work out until a week before giving birth. The workouts consisted mostly of soft sanchin with emphasis on breathing. She didn't participate in any contact drills or heavy exercises after she learned of her pregnancy, but remained active, doing a heavily modified version of Uechi-ryu. Being a nurse helped her determine what she could and could not do. Common sense should be a vital part of every student's workout!

Interesting subject. . .


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 1998 11:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 55
Location: Portsmouth,NH,US
Lori, Allen, George --

Warmest greetings to you all. I just arrived back from a few days at Martha's Vineyard. My sweetie and I had our first nights alone in nine years. So, as you can see, my delay in responding is well explained!

My pregnant friend showed up last night for practice. She looked a bit blanched, but managed the entire evening with only one emergency trip to the bathroom. She participated fully in katas, kumite, conditioning, minus any stomach strikes. I promised to forward copies of your replies to her. I'll also give her your email address, Lori-san.

My own point of view is that there is SO MUCH TO LEARN in karate that one shouldn't be concerned with focusing on non-contact basics for several months. Of course, human nature being what it is, my peers and I are all spoiling for green belts and sparring practice. (My pregnant friend is a rokyu, green bar.) Nevertheless, I would still encourage my friend and others "great with child" to learn what balance, hara, dynamic movement, etc feel like, and put the contact aside. For example, the block-shuto-block-bushken-block-nukite of Konshu offer a good lesson in transitioning from hard strikes to "soft" circular blocks. And so on and on. By the way, the change in balance as one advances in pregnancy is a fascinating process, I'll bet.

Has anyone thought of getting one of those pregnancy simulating weight and pad uniforms, putting it on a male karateka, and having him demonstrate a few katas?

Yours fondly,
Michael


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 1998 11:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
Michael-san!

You have me laughing so hard I can hardly type this out! The vision of some of my karate brothers in a "pregnancy simulation suit" is too much! HA!

Seriously - it could really be instructional! Maybe we could have a seminar at next years camp where some of the more "sensitive" guys could wear one and try a few katas -

I'll run the video camera...

Still laughing,
Lori


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 1998 2:27 am 
Welcome back, Michael.

Night alone with a woman without kids? What's that? Eh, eh.

Too much talk about pregnant women on this page. I'm outta here.



[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 11-24-98).]


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 1998 2:37 am 
Lori,

That one is probably the ultimate for someone who wants to get in touch with his feminine side.

Allen


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 Post subject: Pregnancy search
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 1998 2:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 55
Location: Portsmouth,NH,US
That's right, Allen, read and run!
Lori, see my "daring" post on the other topic.
Yours appreciatively, Michael


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