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Old 02-16-2003, 02:52 AM   #1
MikeE's Avatar
Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
Location: Hudson, WI
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 407
Pregnancy Experience in Aikido

We found out about 1 1/2 weeks ago that my wife (and a nikyu for me) is pregnant.

The doctor prescribed no ukemi already.

What I would like to know is what other women who have gone through this wonderful life experience have done to continue their training, what they had to avoid, and if aikido made any impact upon their pregnancy?

BTW, I am absolutely excited!!!!!!!

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 02-16-2003, 07:38 AM   #2
Dojo: Michigan Technological University
Location: Houghton MI
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 27

I went through two pregnancies while training--would recommend no activities where the body gets too hot (no marathon ukemi sessions) or anything the body is not very used to already. And absolutely no atemi to the midsection, no breakfalls after the first couple of months. I had to stop after six months (too big to fit into my clothes, and my arms were too short), changed over to t'ai chi. My sensei commented that after I returned to training that my technique seemed to have improved.
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Old 02-16-2003, 08:28 AM   #3
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
Congratulations Mike!

I quit aikido upon learning I was pregnant; the rolling around just didn't seem "right" to me (I was nikkyu at that time too)and I was worried about injuring my baby. My ukemi was not as good as it should have been. I know of a woman who has trained sucessfully through two pregnancies, until her 8th month (and I think even into her 9th, just doing weapons practice). Your wife will be able to tell what is right for her, as the body has a way of telling you whether something is right or not. I did start training again 4 months after my son was born.


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Old 02-16-2003, 09:18 AM   #4
Dojo: UW-La Crosse Aikido
Location: La Crosse, WI
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 68
Congrats Elle. A few years back we had a sankyu that was pregnant and she trained into at least her 8th month. She didn't do all of the warm up ukemi and certainly no break falls, of course, but she did do most technique. One other thing she did avoid was punches though. I will talk to the others at class today and see if they remember more. Unfortunately she stopped training about a year after the baby was born due to lack of free time.

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Old 02-16-2003, 09:44 AM   #5
Russ Qureshi
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 29
Congrats to you and your wife Michael! My teacher Tama, a yondan, had a child seven years ago at age 38. She continued to teach and train with above posted modifications until month 8. My wife April,a nidan, had our first last May at age 32. She tried a few classes after finding out the good news and felt she couldn't practise safely with what her body was going through. Unfamiliar to say the least! She returned to the dojo about three months after giving birth to Sasha, our son.

Hope it helps
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Old 02-16-2003, 10:22 AM   #6
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,003
Congratulations, Mike! And to your wife as well.

One of our members at the dojo trained into her eighth month even taking ukemi. She asked people to punch her in the chest rather than stomach for tsuki, though. Otherwise, she worked a little bit more slowly than before but pretty consistently.

I seem to remember hearing that Pat Hendricks sensei was teaching up to the day (or the day before) her delivery.

I think, though, that this sort of thing depends from person to person. I think it's best your wife talks to her doctor about this sort of thing as her circumstance might be different than those of other people here.

-- Jun

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Old 02-16-2003, 03:19 PM   #7
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erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594

We have a women in our club that trained until here 7th month without any problems. No high breakfalls or punching in the abdomen. She still trained very regularly.

On the otherhand, one should always do what feels right. If a pregnant women feels training is not right then she should trust her instincts. Nature often knows best itself.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:27 AM   #8
John Boswell
John Boswell's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland, Texas
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 597
Congratulations, Michael! Babies are cool... hope all goes well! Give your wife my best regards!

I have a question for the ladies on this one myself: Did being pregnant help you with working more from your center in exercising a technique? I should think it would and though it's kind of a silly question, I honestly am curious about this.

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Old 03-01-2003, 08:55 PM   #9
jducusin's Avatar
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai (formerly the North Winnipeg Aikikai)
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 144
Congrats Mike, to you and your wife!

As for your question, John...
John Boswell wrote:
Did being pregnant help you with working more from your center in exercising a technique?
Although I myself have not yet had the experience of being pregnant, I seem to recall once reading an article that mentioned how a woman's centre of gravity shifts considerably during fetal growth and makes one's posture weaker, so techniques that rely heavily on using one's hara become stressful on the lower back.

(Hoping some other women will speak to this too...)
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Old 03-02-2003, 12:04 PM   #10
KaitlinCostello's Avatar
Location: Commerce City, Co
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 47
Congrats Mike,

The experience of bringing a child into the world is unique and to be cherished. I myself have never carried a child, however I have gone through all the ups and downs with my "blood" sister. (My god son is just turning 1-- we've both been there for him since day one, as his realy father isn't in the picture)

One thing I havn't seen brought into this thread is the issue of joints. As a womans pregnancy progresses her hormones gradually relax her joints. This could be a major issue with any technique that puts pressure on her joints. As with all things your wife will want to talk to her physician about any pre-existing conditions which could play a bigger rule in her pregnancy. I cannot stress enough about keeping hydrated and keeping one's blood pressure at a safe level( this rises during pregnancy making physical activities iffy for some women). I letterally had to carry dear Sissy to the car because she had overexerted her self ( not an easy task with someone a foot or so taller then me!).

IMHO given that a women is in average physical shape, she can practice Aikdo up until the last month of pregnancy. No ukemi or atemi to her belly, but she is still practising, to the level where she and baby are comfortable.

Once again, I wish you all the best in the coming months and please do not hesitate to email me with questions or concerns-- we're all nurses and midwives in my family



~~No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through tears.~~
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