Photo Credit: Nick Stern/WENN.com
Who knew baby weight would cause such a reaction?
Whether the viral images of Lea-Ann Ellison, a nearly 9-months pregnant fitness fan lifting a weighted bar bell, have caused you to cringe or think, “You go, girl,” you’re bound to find plenty of people to agree with you.
Some reaction to the photos -- one of which was displayed on CrossFit’s Facebook page last week, showing Los Angeles-based Ellison in a jog bra, shorts and tall athletic socks hoisting what looks like a huge amount of weight over her head -- has been negative.
“This is actually sickening, I hope pregnant (women) around the world do not do this kind of crap,” one commenter posted on the CrossFit page (the image has more than 17,500 likes). “I am a crossfit enthusiast but I DO NOT recommend this at all.”
“Why would you risk hurting your baby just to stay in shape?” writes another. “That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It's not a time to kick ass, it's a time to be protective of your unborn child.”
But others commended the mom, who also has a son, 8, and daughter, 12. "Safe? Absolutely!," one woman writes. "A fit mama makes for a better pregnancy and delivery for both mama and baby! You go mama!"
"This is so beautiful," another adds. "To the one's who are scrutinizing this woman, shame on you. ... Please stop judging this woman for her actions, this is something that many pregnant women should look up to and strive for!"
Commenting on her own Facebook page, Ellison says she had no idea the photo would create such a stir.
“It makes me feel proud and loved and STRONGER!!!! Thank you also to the haters who continue to prove their weak-minded, self hatred toward strong powerful women,” the former body builder wrote, adding that she has been busy telling her story to all sorts of media outlets.
So, the question is, is it really safe for a woman in her third trimester to do heavy weight-lifting?
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynocologists (ACOG), "recreational and competitive athletes with uncomplicated pregnancies can remain active during pregnancy and should modify their usual exercise routines as medically indicated. The information on strenuous exercise is scarce; however, women who engage in such activities require close medical supervision."
Dr. Siobhan Dolan, a medical adviser for March of Dimes, tells CNN women should engage in exercise while pregnant, adding that while Ellison's workout isn't average, most doctors suggest "moderate physical activity" most days -- and "moderate" depends on your per-pregnancy fitness level. It's also important to remember that ligaments loosen during pregnancy, making injuries like a twisted ankle more common -- and that any sport where you could fall or get hurt are obviously more of a risk.
Like most things, how much strenuous exercise a woman can handle while pregnant seems to call for case-by-case basis. Which has us agreeing with one of Ellison's Facebook posts following the brouhaha: "Haters will hate and it's ok. My life is not their life thank goodness!"
Lesley Kennedy writes for ShopAtHome.com's Online Shopping Report. Find her on Twitter @denveralamode and Google +.
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