Back in 2015, Kinberly Novaes shocked the entire world when she defeated Renata Baldan to win the Noxii 115-pound title. However, the match wasn’t what was shocking – it was the fact that Novaes won while she was 12 weeks pregnant. The Brazilian fighter proved that pregnant women can still kick butt and that it shouldn’t stop you from doing what you love as long as you train the right way.
Exercises that are great for pregnancy and MMA fighting
Martial arts can seem like an aggressive sport for someone that is carrying a baby. However, the truth is that MMA has many exercises that actually promote a healthy pregnant body. These exercises develop core strength, strengthen pelvic muscles, keep the legs tone, enhance joint stability, and develop flexibility. This ultimately helps to speed up recovery after delivery, increase self-esteem during and after pregnancy, decrease excessive weight gain, diminish pregnancy back pains, increase the chances of achieving labor on time, prepare the body for the stress of delivery, and reduce the likelihood of Caesarean birth.
You must limit your exercise though so that you do not hurt your body or the baby during pregnancy. Instead of participating in fights, tone down your exercises to a moderate level and reduce your exercises to intervals of about 30-minutes of solo work. Cardiovascular exercises are great for increasing blood circulation and muscle training that focuses on your core can strengthen the necessary pregnancy muscles. However, be sure to protect your belly and keep heavy machinery away from your growing baby.
Eating the right foods during your training
Just like any training regimen, the right food is critical for a healthy pregnancy. Since you’ll be burning a lot of calories while exercising, you need to eat healthier and more nutritious meals to strengthen and nourish your body as well as your baby’s. If your BMI is in a healthy range, you will also need to eat at least 300 to 350 more calories a day than you were before you were pregnant during your second trimester, and an extra 500 during your third trimester. You also need to eat more calcium, folic acid, iron, and protein than you did before. Eat more leafy greens, bread, pasta, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, fruits, and lean meats. You should also avoid caffeine, albacore or white tuna, alcohol, and some common antibiotics or over-the-counter workout supplements.
How to get started
To get started on your MMA training while pregnant, you will want to first visit your doctor. Generate your workout routine and take it with you to your next session. Your doctor is the only person that can safely ensure you’re not putting your baby at risk and therefore you should not start a routine without the green light from him or her. You also shouldn’t start any new exercises and stick to typical regimens that you were doing before you got pregnant. Try to work out indoors rather than outside and as always, never go beyond your comfort zone.
If you follow these tips, you will be able to find a workout regimen that is both beneficial to your MMA training and safe for your growing baby. Simply listen to your body and pay attention to your cycle as you prepare to bring a new child into the world.
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.