Pregnancy Self-Defence

Pregnancy is an amazing time and fortunately in todays world we're seeing more and more empowerment of Pregnant women.

Prenatal women are being encouraged to love their bodies and celebrate it's incredible strength and natural ability during the trimesters. Staying active during this time is being embraced, with many women approaching labour feeling confident and strong. However, as much as being pregnant certainly does NOT mean being powerless, it's important to remember that when it comes to being a target of assault, a pregnant woman could still be considered 'vulnerable'. 

StrongLikeMum teamed up with the incredible Eve Torres-Gracie, Head Instructor at Gracie Women Empowered self-defense program, 3x WWE Divas Champion, actress, wife and mother! 

Currently pregnant with her second child Eve has been helping to inspire women to defend themselves and their children during the pre and postnatal periods. 

Check out the short clip above for some examples of self defence during pregnancy ( turn volume on)! 

PLUS Eve answers your top questions below!

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 12.48.15.png

EVE ANSWERS ALL

Your top questions on self-defence during pregnancy

1. Does your body language / self awareness have an impact on making you more or less of a target? 

Eve "While no woman can 'prevent' an attack against her (ultimately, the responsibility of an assault lies solely within the attacker), there are behaviors that can make us less of an "ideal" target. Body language and self-awareness are certainly two components that can help deter a potential assailant. First, let's consider what is ideal for a potential predator in an assault scenario - someone who they can approach quickly without resistance, and someone who will not cause a loud scene after the engagement has been made. Once we know that, we can do our best to portray the opposite of this. This means making assertive eye contact with anyone suspicious, letting them know they are "on our radar," and walking with confident body posture that says, I know what I am worth, and I will fight off anyone who tries to hurt me"

 

2. How else can you attempt to prevent an attack in the first place? 

Eve "We cannot be 100% vigilant of our surroundings at all times. Sometimes we need to engage with our children, or answer an email, or chat with a friend - and we should be able to do that! The key is knowing that more important than who the target is or what she is doing, is whether there is an opportunity to carry out an assault without being detected or a bystander intervening. This could mean either there are no bystanders around, you are in a large crowd where bystanders may not be aware of foul play, or that they can isolate you to a nearby location clear of bystanders. During these prime opportunities for the assailant are the times where our vigilance must be the highest. The most important self-defense advice we can offer anyone is to trust your instincts when you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. By listening to our instincts, we will know exactly when we need to make that assertive eye contact with others, or verbally address someone who is making you feel threatened". 

 

3. Is practicing self defence safe during pregnancy? 

Eve "Like any physical activity, it is always safest if your body is used to the practice while not pregnant before you engage in the activity during pregnancy. For me, I continued to train and teach self-defense well into my 7th month of pregnancy, with my body comfort as my guide to what I could or could not do. While I do not practice some techniques because of discomfort, I know that I could execute any one of them if the time came where I needed them, even while pregnant. There are definitely principles of self-defense that can be learned and practiced regardless of what your physical condition is, and I suggest practicing these at all times. These include confident boundary setting, distance management, and self-awareness". 

4. What are the best ways to defend yourself whilst pregnant?

Eve "Of course, our first line of defense is always keeping distance from any potential threats, asserting yourself verbally when needed, and keeping your heightened awareness when the opportunity for bystander intervention is low. Beyond this, there are many options to defend yourself when pregnant, many of which you can find at our online learning website, GracieUniversity.com. The most important thing to consider is that our first protective instinct may actually put us in more danger. The natural tendency is to protect our belly, or our child. While if there is a direct threat to our belly this may be necessary, if not, by protecting our belly we are making our self more vulnerable by not using our hands and arms to protect ourselves. If we cannot protect ourselves, we cannot protect our children". 

5. What will you teach your children to do if you are attacked whilst they are with you?

Eve "It is always a great idea to discuss safety plans with your children - one for your house, and one for the public. Their age will change the details of the plan, but as soon as they are old enough, they should learn that if ever their mom is in danger in public, they should run away from the danger, and seek anyone who can help, even if it is a stranger. Again, your instinct will be to hold your child, but if they are not the direct focus of the attack, then you should prioritize your safety so that you can, in turn, keep your child safe". 

7. How long have you been practicing self defence and have you ever had to use it in a real life situation? 

Eve "I have been practicing self-defense, and specifically Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for 10 years. For me, self-defense is a mindset, and I use that mindset every day of my life. My confidence to assert boundaries with others and prioritize my safety comes from my dedication to empowering myself physically.  But yes, I may have choked a coworker unconscious who was trying to cross the line with me"!

8. Why do you feel it’s important to encourage more women ( especially pregnant women and mothers) to learn self defence?

Eve "Beyond the prioritisation of our personal safety, I encourage women to learn self-defense because it is a way of tapping into a sense of power that many women have not yet experienced. They may be succeeding in their career, in their family life, their health, or in their relationships, but almost every woman in the world has experienced the kind of vulnerability that can affect you for the rest of your life, either subtly or dramatically. A strong foundation of self-defense offers you confidence that transcends all areas of your life, and the tools to set boundaries with others and exude assertiveness when it is most important. It is my firm belief that the reason I learn self-defense is so that I will lower my chances of ever needing it.   For free introductory self-defense lessons, visit GracieWomenEmpowered.com".

IMG_4449.JPG

StrongLikeMum's quick tips

5 things to consider when it comes to self defence. 

  1. Don't wait until pregnancy to explore your options. Self defence is something all women should be aware of prior to, during and after the prenatal period. 

  2. Self defence does not only refer to physical strength. Its also in your ability to stay calm, composed and aware enough to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. 

  3. Pay attention to where you are going and avoid 'known' dangerous areas. 

  4. Plan your travel ahead of time and where possible stick to a group or with a partner. 

  5. If your parking for the day, consider the journey to and from your car, along with where and when you pay for parking. Make sure you are always comfortable with your arrangements.  Seek out Parent and child parking bays if possible.

Prenatal Smoothie Ingredients

Prenatal Smoothie Ingredients

Getting a healthy balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals is always important especially during pregnancy. Smoothies are brilliant as they can be adapted to meet all increased fluid and nutrient needs, prevent any unwanted symptoms and cure a sweet craving all at the same time! 

But not just any ingredients will do the trick and what you put into your smoothie to get the correct balance is so important!

Running During Pregnancy

Running During Pregnancy

If you’re active pre-pregnancy, chances are you’ll be hoping to continue an active lifestyle during the three trimesters. Once the morning sickness wears off ( woooohoooo)! you may find you have enough energy to lace up rather the rest up. But how to adapt your training during this time? 

Here’s a few things you can expect from running when you’re expecting. 

Running on empty? Here's 5 Energy Boosting Tips!

Running on empty? Here's 5 Energy Boosting Tips!

Ever feel like you’re running on empty? I certainly have days like that... where you wake up and from the minute your feet touch the floor you feel like you’re chasing your tail. There just aren’t enough hours to get everything done, but in the same moment time drags and you feel exhausted and slow? 

Well, I’ve had enough of those days and earlier this year made it my focus to find 5 ‘set me free’ tricks to combat this! 

I hope they help you like they have me!! 

5 tips to Pre-Race Prep

I’m running 10km tomorrow. That’s the longest I’ve ever run in my life. People usually stare at me in disbelief when I say this as I'm generally considered a 'runner', but running events aren't all the same... and I promise, I am NOT a natural long distance runner. 

In my opinion, long distance runners are a little crazy. Why draw out the uncomfortable ache of running for hours when you could be done in seconds? 

Anyway, somehow I find myself on the eve of what I consider to be a marathon. 

Now, I can't say how real long distance athlete's prepare but here are my five MUST DO activities before race day! 

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 22.24.32.png

1. Mentally Prepare

As a sprinter, many people think you're lazy. While long distance runners can be seen going endlessly round the track, you’ll often find sprint groups huddled indoors resting for 10-15 minutes after a quick 300 sprint. 

But this ‘lazy’ nature is not why I put 'mentally prepare' at the top of the list. Ok ok, I’ll admit it, physically preparing for a 10km scares me and although serious endurance athletes will of course train for an event I decided to skip that stage this time and just ‘wing it’… ( tune in tomorrow to see how that goes)! 

Anyway, mentally preparing for a race is so important! Getting yourself in a positive mindset. Replace nerves with anticipation and excitement! Enjoy the thrill of testing your physical abilities. Know that you’ll give it the best you’ve got and that’s the perfect amount! 

RELAXED RUNNING is hammered in to you as a sprinter and I plan to adopt that mindset for tomorrows adventure too! 

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 07.34.47.png

2. Muscular Prep

I’ve talked about foam rolling before on this blog and that is key before race day. To put it plainly tight muscles won’t perform efficiently so get out your foam roller! For more reason’s on why and HOW check out my previous post here

My second tip for physical prep is all about Human Tecar. This is my go-to pre-race treatment. They have a great sports massage cream but if that’s not for you then grab a bottle of Arnica oil ( oil, not cream) and gently massage those tights spots in your quads or calves! 

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 07.33.47.png

3. Actually Prepare

.

The ‘boring’ bit as far as I’m concerned! But honestly nothing kills race-day like panicking about a lost train ticket or missing sports kit! Get it all laid out the day before. I write list's of all the food I’ll need to take and prep everything in the fridge. Remember to pack your race kit and water bottle, as well as planning out your travel journey and give yourself plenty of time!

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 07.33.32.png

4. Nutrition Tips

 

 

Carb loading. You’ll here marathn runners talking about this and as it feels like that distance to me I’ll be doing the same. Carbohydrates are crucial for long lasting energy so make sure to maintain a healthy diet pre-race day! Similarly, lean protein and healthy fibre is also key!

In addition, don’t forget to HYDRATE! Dry mouth is a bugger for 400 meters let alone 10km!

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 07.34.22.png

5. A Proper playlist

 

.

Now some people choose not to run to music but I generally don’t associate with them. They’re crazy. For me Music is a motivator so spend some time planning out a killer playlist for the event. And if music isn't your thing maybe download a good podcast ( or perhaps a Harry Potter audio tape… which is definitely not on my playlist… ahem….. I wonder what happens after Dolorous Umbrage ban's Potter from quidditch)…..

 

Well that's it, my 5 top tips for pre-race prep. Let me caviet this all by reiterating that I've never actually run a 10km before, so follow this advice at your own risk. 😂😳

I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. 

Skip Ropes | Not Breakfast

Skip Ropes | Not Breakfast

We’ve all had those mornings where we’ve been sooooooo rushed off our feet that the idea of sitting down for a bowl of cereal is far from our minds. It’s 2017 and that means everything is  ‘on demand’ or ‘instant’ and breakfast just doesn’t seem to fit the mould!

People seem eager to slim down but amongst the diets fads and protein shakes no one seems to be stating the obvious; Eat well and exercise more. 

Family Fun

Family Fun

‘Playing’ is a word often associated with kids but did you know that according to leading psychiatrists, Playtime is just as crucial for adults as it is for children! Dr Stuart Brown is quoted as saying ‘Nothing light’s up the brain like play’! and it seem’s he’s not alone. Einstein in his own words stated that ‘Play is the highest form of research’ and, if historical theory’s are correct, there's a reason that Archimedes shouted ‘Eureka’ in his bath, not the laboratory! 

#FTSummit, Munich with Adidas UK

#FTSummit, Munich with Adidas UK

One of the best things about working with Adidas, since joining the team earlier this year, is undoubtably the incredible people I get to meet along the way. I’m drawn to creativity and as the Adidas hashtag suggest’s, everyone embracing this brand is #heretocreate! This weekend was all about creation and I can't wait to share the event with you now! 

 

Foam Rolling Facts

Foam Rolling Facts

Foam Rolling and I have a love/hate relationship. I know it's good for me and I secretly love the benefits but I also moan about it a lot. 😂 

If I'm honest though, It is a really great tool and crucial for anyone active. Whether you're working-out a lot, jogging, walking or just generally looking to get a little more active, this is a must have. Here's a few tips on how to get started and Why you should be foam rolling regularly... 

The StrongLikeMum Method

The StrongLikeMum Method

Yey, it’s here! I’m so excited to FINALLY be writing a blog post on my new site! This is a big deal for me because, although I’ve been masquerading as a blogger for about a year now... (whispers quietly)...I have never actually written a personal blog post! 😳 Don't get me wrong I've been writing articles for years, but now it's official, I have my own personal blog! So welcome to The StrongLikeMum Method.