Eight-Months-Pregnant CrossFit Mom Sparks Outrage

By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK.

Lea-Ann Ellison sparked outrage-and almost 2,000 comments when she posted the above photo on CrossFit's Facebook page. The reactions ranged from vitriolic horror ("This is actually sickening, I hope pregnant around the world do not do this kind of crap. I am a CrossFit enthusiast but I DO NOT recommend this at all.") to avid support ("I did CrossFit past my due date. Had a baby in under two hours, went home 24 hours later, and cooked dinner. Thank you, CrossFit, for strong my pelvis, legs, and heart."). We reached out to Dr. Daniel Roshan, a board certified maternal fetal medicine specialist and high-risk OB, to get to the bottom of the CrossFit mom scandal.

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Lifting weights heavy while pregnant, like Ellison is doing in the photo, can put pressure on the abdomen and lead to premature labor, Dr. Roshan tells us. In her case, however, "She has stronger arms that are used to that weight, though, so she can probably put more pressure on her core than normal people." Still, the amount Ellison is lifting "is not advisable in general."

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As for the rest of us mere mortals, "Pregnant patients can do light exercise like walking, jogging, and swimming," Dr. Roshan says. You can go spinning and use the treadmill, but "if you're going to exercise to the point of exhaustion, your pulse shouldn't go above 140, and your body temperature shouldn't be higher than 100 degrees." If you're not sure about how a particular workout will affect a pregnant body, Roshan recommends consulting the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

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Meanwhile, Ellison isn't letting the negative comments get to her. "I want to thank everyone for their kind and supportive responses! Haters will hate and it's ok. My life is not their life thank goodness! Lol! Again, thank you! It means so much to feel this much love from a community I adore," she wrote on Facebook.

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