Pregnancy is one of life’s beautiful passages. It’s also when a pregnant woman can never do anything right, according to some people. The latest mom-to-be to get raked over the coals is Lea-Ann Ellison, 35, of California who was photographed lifting heavy weights as part of her Crossfit training … while eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
In a picture posted on Crossfit’s Facebook page, a workout gear-clad Ellison is squatting to lit a Hulk Hogan-sized bodybuilding weight as her pregnant belly hangs below her. She wrote on the caption:
“8 months pregnant with baby number 3 and CrossFit has been my sanity. I have been CrossFitting for 2 1/2 years and…strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body’s capabilities to kick ass.”
The Internet reacted badly, to put it mildly. “Sickening,” “crap” and “stupid” are just a few words that Ellison has been called. She’s been told she is putting her unborn child at risk and that she may know a lot about exercise but nothing about being a good parent.
Still, she certainly has no regrets about doing Crossfit — and actually did a photoshoot for In Touch with photographer Nick Stern where she lifted more weights while preggo. Ellison wrote on her Facebook page,
“I can’t believe this photo has caused this much stir but it makes me hopeful that it will inspire other strong healthy moms to continue on doing what they love. Pregnancy is not an illness! Get it Moms!”
Indeed, her critics may be overreacting: the New York Daily News noted that 30 minutes of exercise a day is approved by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for pregnant women “so long as there are no medical or obstetric complications.”
As I sit here nibbling a bagel with cream cheese and sipping a Frappuccino, I will decline to judge another woman’s health and exercise choice. I also have never been pregnant. Alas my general understanding is that pregnant women shouldn’t put undue stress on their bodies, which includes heavy lifting. But I guess is that if Ellison’s been doing Crossfit for nearly three years, the weights may not stress her body in the same way they might
kill me dead stress my body. Presumably Ellison’s doctor is also aware that she does Crossfit and gave her the OK — which ACOG obviously recommends.
Nevertheless, blaming Ellison for wanting to be, by her own admission, a “hot mom” doesn’t help anyone. It’s dismaying to see a pregnant woman trashed online for doing things we want to encourage more pregnant woman to do — be happy and exercise.
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[Images via Facebook.com/Leann.Ellison and Facebook.com/Crossfit by Nick Stern]