I am sorry. I promised one article per week but it has been a while. My schedule is always so full that, even if I want, I do not find the time for more. Baby Carla, the third of my three girls, is already 8 months. Time flies. Now it starts a complicated phase for me as a multitasking woman (mum, athlete, business owner). Newborns or very young babies, are static, they sleep most of the times or stay still at their maxi-cosi or carrycot. When they become 2-3 they can already walk but many go to the Kindergarten (providing us, the caring mothers/dads with a couple of hours at day, yay!) and they have learned a whole deal of things like playing by themselves or what they are allowed to do and what not. But the time in-between is hard. They start to crawl, are mobile, but have not feeling at all about what is dangerous or not, they can’t play by themselves for any longer than 15-30 minutes if you are lucky, and they sleep much less during the day while not yet sleeping through during the night. They are cute as hell.. but oh dear, but it is not easy…
So, my next advice to stay fit during the pregnancy is following (you can read the first one here). Keep rolling but do it smart. Whaaaat? yes, you are allowed to roll, as far as there are not medical conditions or any health problem with you or your baby. I did it during my three pregnancies until the 27th-30th week (7th month of pregnancy) and I know many women who have done so (including a medical doctor). But when you roll, you need to take into consideration three things: 1) the goal, 2) partner and that 3) not all the movements and positions are OK.
1. The goal of your roll. You are not getting ready for the next world championship. You are just trying to keep enjoying the sport of jiu jitsu and stay fit during the pregnancy. Trying not to get too rusty for when your baby is born and you can get back to your best level. Your sparring rounds should be with some but little strength. It is more about the movement and the flow. It is not about winning or about testing yourself. You should not power out at all cost to get a position or submission. While the movement is great for your cardio/fitness and helps as well the to maintain your muscle memory, the flow is for your technique. It helps to keep it flowing. What can I do from this position? How do i transit to the next? What can I do when?… Flow exercises your BJJ mind and keep your technique updated. Keep it playful.
2. Choosing the proper partner. Though most of the people can fight (whether good or bad is another question), not everybody can roll. In my experience, not all the high graduated can roll nor all the low-belts are clumsy and can injure you. Take someone you trust and who is able to ROLL. And if your pregnancy is not yet obvious, do not ever hide if from your partner. He/she can need to know that you are pregnant, not to pity you or let you win, but to avoid any harm to you or baby and to avoid intentionally certain positions (see next point).
3. Not all the movements and positions are OK. I can’t describe movement by movement what it is ok and what not, since BJJ is far too complicated, but here some general guidelines. No takedowns. From the very moment you know you are pregnant (impacts are not good). No knee on belly. Mount (in a light roll) is ok for the first 10-12 weeks. Taking the back, well, as long as your belly is not on the way you can do it. Close guard is fine also as long as your belly is small and gets not pressure, so until 12-16 weeks, after that I recommend the flow of open guard (spider, DLR, lazo) if you want to play from bottom. Many guard passes are ok, like leg drag, passing close guard stand-ing up. But I would not do the double under guard pass (too much pressure on the belly/hips), neither the fast jumping from one side to the other. Jumping or transitions that need to be done explosive should be left for after the baby ist born.
So have fun, do not be scare, just use your common sense, always listen to your body and enjoy the gentle art!
And don’t forget to check out our next BJJ Camp!