Maybe 39 weeks pregnant isn’t the time to start your career in full-contact martial arts, but if you’re a six-time world champion Muay Thai fighter like Caley Reece, continuing to train while pregnant is just par for the course.
Caley Reece has been training Muay Thai for 18 years, so fighting fit is her normal. She has, of course, had to slow down while pregnant – no actual contact fighting allowed, and her energy levels are lower. In an interview, she says, “I had to slow down initially and now I have to accept that my body simply won’t do anything close to what it did before.”
Throughout her pregnancy, Caley has posted videos of herself training, and unsurprisingly, it’s attracted a lot of criticism. People worry that she’ll hurt the baby or herself. Caley is firm that she’s in tune with her body. “I know how hard I can push it, and when I have to back off.”
The latest video is of Caley at 39 weeks, kicking and punching pads at the gym. Like the video, her post is strong and confident. “39 weeks and potentially the last time I hit pads with ma belly. There’s so much I can’t do … but that doesn’t mean I have to give up … so what if I get punched in the face – my baby isn’t growing in my head!! There is no more danger here than there is power walking or twisting in a pool.”
Of her training, she explains, “I’m training at about 25 per cent of what I‘m capable of … which is more than safe enough … I’m not stupid – everything is modified, and if something doesn’t feel right, I simply won’t do it.”
Caley is accustomed to getting hammered in the ring (and hammering back, mind you) but she still finds pregnancy hard. She says, “I’m a highly active person so it’s taken a while to adapt to pregnancy … it’s still been one of the biggest changes of my life that I’ve had to adapt to.”
Although they don’t do it literally like Caley, we think all pregnant women kick butt.
Whether you’re laid up in hospital on a fluid drip because your morning sickness was actually entire-pregnancy-sickness, or you’re doing aquafit at the pool, or chasing (and lifting) your 100th percentile weight toddler, keep doing what you and your doctor feel is right for your pregnancy.