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Is Kickboxing Safe in Early Pregnancy?

author image Marcy Reed
Marcy Reed has been a certified nurse midwife since 2004 and a writer since 2007. She has been published in "Midwifery Today." Reed earned a bachelor's degree in nursing in California and received her midwifery education in Kentucky.
Is Kickboxing Safe in Early Pregnancy?
Exercise can help you stay healthy during pregnancy.

Kickboxing is a fun and effective exercise, but you should think carefully before incorporating it into your exercise plans during your pregnancy. Generally, women are encouraged to continue participating in exercises that they have been doing prior to pregnancy, but kickboxing is a unique exercise and certain guidelines should be followed. Impact exercise should cease after the first trimester, while use of a punching bag should be moderated to protect the uterus and baby from jarring during punches and kicks. Always check with your midwife or OB doctor about specific exercises and your pregnancy.

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Exercise in Pregnancy

Most pregnant women benefit from exercise in pregnancy. Exercise can reduce excessive weight gain, reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and help you sleep better. Easy aerobic activity, such as walking and swimming, are ideal for most women who are experiencing healthy pregnancies. More intense exercises might be appropriate if you have established a sound fitness base before pregnancy. You should listen to your body and adapt exercises based on your comfort. Drink plenty of water.

Early Pregnancy Anatomy

In the first trimester, your uterus grows from the size of a small pear to the size of a grapefruit at 12 weeks. Many women do not realize they are pregnant until well into the first trimester. During the first trimester, your uterus is fairly well-protected by your pelvis. However, it is still important to be cautious and avoid any blunt trauma to your lower abdomen.

Avoid Trauma

The dangerous part of kickboxing and early pregnancy is the risk of trauma if you are sparring a partner. Avoid exposing your body to kicks and punches by another person. Do not allow a partner to spar with you. Choose to practice on someone holding targets or a punching bag rather than sparring for practice or competition. Relax your usual intensity to avoid becoming too out of breath or pulling a muscle or ligament. Take it easy and listen to your body. Avoid excessive bouncing or jerky movements.

Danger Signs

If you have a healthy pregnancy, exercise should not cause problems. However, your health and your pregnancy can change. Call your midwife or OB if you experience severe abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or heavy cramps that do not go away. Be ready to adapt your exercise routine if you experience even mild discomfort as your uterus grows.

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