Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Let's face it when you are pregnant exercise is hard work... but what about if you do a contact sport like tae kwon do?
I must be crazy but I trained through two pregnancies!
It seems only right to start my blog with a subject that is close to my heart and that is the lovely topic of motherhood! As much as I love my children; finding out I was pregnant with my first child was like someone telling me to cut off my right arm. Firstly I train in tae kwon do which not only requires physical fitness but it means I have be able to jump and kick, spar and generally pregnancy and contact do not mix. So for nine months (well 18 in total if you count baby number 2) I could not do any sparring! This was difficult for me in class but I just focused on learning my patterns and improving my techniques.
If you are pregnant and thinking of starting a martial art I think unless you are already training I would suggest that it is ok to do so (minus any contact sparring) but it won't be easy! The doctors advise against any form of martial arts training in pregnancy but to be honest tae kwon do helped me stay focused, both mentally and physically and I felt fit and happy throughout both pregnancies. I think because I have been training since I was a child for me to stop training altogether probably would have been more damaging to my health but of course it is personal preference.
I remember coming out of my flat and the stares I would get from people because I was wearing my dobok to go to class were hilarious but hey each to their own! If you don't exercise at all in pregnancy that is up to you. Personally I felt better each time I stretched and completed my floor exercises. Just remember to do those pelvic floor exercises too!
Second time around it was a lot harder to train due to the position baby was lying in. My babies are only 15 months apart in age so when I found out I was expecting again I immediately thought well there goes sparring again... My second child was breech and this caused me a bit of an issue trying to kick. I just remember every class struggling to lift my knees up! The funniest thing about my second baby is that we had a grading the day before she was born and I thought at the time 'do I go and support my students?' or 'am I likely to go into labour?' Luckily baby stayed put until the following morning but I think it would have been comical if I had gone into labour at the exam!
I know other ladies who have trained through pregnancy in tae kwon do and gone on to achieve personal black belt goals. I think it is a great way to keep fit during this wonderful time but also to stay involved with friends and combat the feelings of loneliness which some women experience while pregnant.
My advice is if you are a pregnant martial artist just take it easy! Know your own limits and train within them. If I ever felt tired I would just take quick break and there is nothing wrong with that.Also stay hydrated during class and have a protein rich snack beforehand such as a banana. Remember the female human body is a wonderful thing and ultimately pregnancy doesn't last forever so enjoy it while it lasts!
For new mothers tae kwon do is a great way to shed the baby weight and improve physical and mental wellbeing. Ladies for more information about pregnancy and martial arts training get in touch! Claire (Sandwell Tae Kwon Do Instructor) firstname.lastname@example.org