Many of you have probably seen the outrageous backlash against pregnant women weightlifting while scrolling through your social media feeds. Women like Emily Breeze, Lea-Ann Ellison (pictured above), and Meghan Leatherman have become victims of online bullying because of this. Although I am not pregnant and do not plan on becoming pregnant anytime soon, I live a healthy lifestyle and would like to think that if and when I decide to have children, I will still be lifting weights. And this is where I’d like to clear the air a little bit.
According to J.M. Pivarnick and L. Mudd (2009), lifting weights during pregnancy does not affect the child in any way as long as the mother was lifting weights regularly before becoming pregnant. It is not safe to start lifting heavy weights during your pregnancy if you were not doing so beforehand. The same goes for running and other types of exercise programs.
However, there are some things to take into consideration. Being pregnant can throw off a woman’s center of mass, which may make some lifts and movements more difficult and they may need to be modified in certain ways. Pregnant women also need to make sure to drink plenty of water during workouts and eat sufficiently afterwards, as working out diminishes energy stores and can increase dehydration more quickly in pregnant women.
My opinion is if you are pregnant and you want to continue your lifting regimen, do it! But you’ll need to stay on top of your health and your baby’s health by communicating with your doctor. Listen to your body… It will let you know when enough is enough! Stay hydrated and eat well. Keep doing you, baby!
- Artal, R. and O’Toole, M. (2003). Guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists For Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37: 6-12.
- Pivarnick, J.M, Ph.D., and Mudd, L. M.S. (2009). Oh Baby! Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 13(3): 8-13.