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The Truth About Lifting Weights While Pregnant

Photo rights belong to CrossFit Silicone Valley

Photo rights belong to CrossFit Silicon Valley

When I logged on to Facebook this morning, my news feed was littered with this ridiculous article posted on Yahoo! Shine that asks the question: Should Pregnant Women Be Lifting Weights?

I call it ridiculous because it’s clearly written by someone who’s never stepped foot into a CrossFit box. How do I know that? Because the author propagandizes that women who “hit the gym during pregnancy are selfishly harming their unborn babies,” and that “CrossFit is controversial.” The only people claiming that CrossFit is controversial are people who don’t understand the sport or globo-gyms that know that CrossFit renders their lame-ass, no-results-gettin’ treadmill and elliptical services useless.

The only people claiming that CrossFit is controversial are people who don’t understand the sport or globo-gyms that know that CrossFit renders their lame-ass, no-results-gettin’ treadmill and elliptical services useless.

Sure, I get it. CrossFit looks scary. Barbells and chains and tractor tires are dirty, and not the things of girls. Wait, what?

The days of thinking that women aren’t and shouldn’t be strong are over. My wife is a beast, and can back squat me. No joke. I place myself horizontally on her shoulders and she back squats me. Not to mention she can lift much heavier loads than that. But, folks, she knows what she’s doing. She’s a CrossFit coach with specialty certifications in Kettlebells, Olympic Lifting, Gymastics, Endurance, and Goal Setting. She also owns her own CrossFit box, CrossFit Martha’s Vineyard. So when women like the one at the center of this recent firestorm hit a CrossFit workout, they’re in good and well trained hands.

The photos that started the recent uproar are awesome, and I don’t find a single thing wrong with them. The expectant mama in the pics is an avid CrossFitter who made the decision with her doctor to continue working out during her pregnancy. The backlash she’s getting from the general public is rude. And insulting. And incredibly ignorant.

How dare anybody insinuate this woman is some idiot who isn’t capable of making the best decision for herself and her baby. For crying out loud, she OKed this with her doctor and her trainers both of which have a vested interest in keeping her and her baby healthy. How insulting when others suggest that they know better than she and her experts do.

Not to mention, the woman (like most pregnant CrossFitters) scales back her load to keep it safe during her pregnancy. She’s lifting a safe weight, but it looks scary, which is where I think others get uncomfortable.

As my friend commented on one of the Facebook threads about the Yahoo! Shine article, “What kills me about these types of articles is that if a pregnant woman was carrying 3 grocery bags in 1 hand and a toddler in the other no one would say anything (they wouldn’t even offer to help her…) but god forbid she lifts a barbell [which is pretty much the same weight]!!!! I have never heard of a doctor that tells you that you can’t exercise while pregnant unless you are high risk…it’s amazing what it does for you and the baby. I did CrossFit throughout my entire pregnancy and by the end of the 2nd trimester it barely resembled ‘CrossFit’ but it was exercising and resulted in an easy labor and delivery and recovery.”

By the way, the woman who said that pushed her baby out in 5 minutes. Yep, 5. And she and her now-toddler are both wonderfully healthy, and have been since Day 1.

It’s time we stop thinking pregnant women are delicate, and it’s time we all stop freaking out when pregnant women lift weights.

Check out 20 Pregnant Women Who Could Kick Your Butt: Why CrossFit Rocks.

For more information about CrossFit and pregnancy, be sure to read  CrossFit Training During Pregnancy and Motherhood: A New Scientific Frontier. And, as always, speak to your doctor before starting any fitness routine during pregnancy. Duh. 

Source: Yahoo! Shine
Photo: CrossFit Silicon Valley

Read more of Aela’s writing on Babble and at Two Moms Make a Right

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