Can you play Taiko when you are pregnant??

In the Spring of 2008, Jennifer, one of Taiseiyo's founders, became pregnant - with twins! I was unsure of what this might mean for my Taiko playing, in particular as we had already made plans to attend a workshop in Japan in August, and were just starting to see the group grow. There was very little information about this available on the internet, hence the reason why I am sharing my experience here.

Luckily I had supportive doctors and Taiko friends who helped me to develop the following ground rules. Remember that your experience may be different from mine - always listen to your doctors and to your body!

- No lifting drums, except for light okedos and hiradaikos

- No jumping into the air

- Stop when you get tired, and don't do anything that feels uncomfortable

- Be super sure to stay hydrated, and to eat regularly and enough

- No sitting style playing (eg Yatai Bayashi)

Following these rules, I played well into my pregnancy (and am continuing to do so at time of writing). Although pregnancy may be no time to start playing Taiko, it is also no time to stop: exercise is good for you and for your babies, and if mine are any indication, they will love the rhythms as much as you do!

Jen goofing around at the Mugenkyo dojo (at about 16 weeks - can you see the bump yet?)