Photos of a pregnant woman doing some extreme weightlifting have ignited a social media firestorm, reports Yahoo! Shine on Sept. 19. Los Angeles stay-at-home mom Lea-Ann Ellison, 35, is eight months pregnant with her third child but regularly attends CrossFit classes – a core strength and conditioning program.
No one would argue that keeping fit during pregnancy is important, but only two weeks from her due date, Ellison was photographed pumping iron. The photos were sent to CrossFit’s Facebook page, where they have caused quite the outcry.
The gym enthusiast put it this way: “After the birth of my second child, I knew I needed to step it up big time. I loved being a Mom but I wanted to be a HOT Mom.”
While weight lifting is generally not listed as a sport to avoid during pregnancy, most health officials would agree that gentle weight use, walks or swims are the better choice, not squatting close to a hundred pounds.
Facebook comments came fast, both from those concerned and others who were outright disgusted:
“This is why CrossFit is horrible. No one knows what they're doing. This is a good way to lose your baby,” writes physical therapist Evan Kennedy.
“I do not find this impressive at all. No one would post a picture of themselves drinking a beer while eight months pregnant. Risky behavior while pregnant is no laughing matter,” writes Andrea Hatfield.
“Sorry lady, not safe. Baby first, sanity second.” --Facebook user Amanda Strippel.
Ellison’s high intensity routine “incorporates Olympic weight training, aerobic exercise, and gymnastics, using barbells, dumbbells, tire flipping, kettle bells and medicine balls,” says Yahoo! Shine.
After the pics were posted online, Ellison was floored by the overall negative reaction and criticisms.
“I was really shocked by the reaction to my photos since I've always exercised during my two previous pregnancies and doctors have assured me that my routine is safe for both myself and my child,” Ellison said. Many of those commenting called her “vain” and “selfish.”
Ellison says that the objections should be on women who make choices to eat poorly during their pregnancy, not on those who are looking to remain in top shape.
“What bothers me most about all this backlash is that there are so many pregnant women who eat poorly and don't exercise at all during their pregnancies. There is an obesity epidemic in this country. What about that?” Ellison asks.
Facebook commenter Charles Bailey areed. “I think we should all be more concerned about a mom who eats McDonald’s every day of her pregnancy,” he wrote.
Ellison plans to pursue her love of the gym and CrossFit, no matter how many times she is pregnant.
“I had no idea what a stir this would create… It makes me feel proud and loved and stronger,” she wrote.
What are your thoughts on the weight lifting mom? Harmless or harmful? Leave your comment below.