CHARLOTTE, N.C.- A recent Twitter picture went viral showing a pregnant woman lifting weights. Many people were shocked to see a woman participating in such vigorous exercises.
Jessica Pinkerton is due any day now. “People at the gym say the baby is going to come out doing burpees and overhead squats.”
Her doctors cleared her to continue Crossfit through pregnancy. She works out 4 times a week and on Saturdays she runs three to four miles, “We’ve done wall balls and slam balls, step-ups instead of box jumps, push ups, burpees. My range of motion is a little bit shorter, but I’m not going down as far.”
Dr. Kathleen Persavich OB/GYN with Carolinas Medical Center says maintaining previous workouts while pregnant is healthy. Working out can help with gestational diabetes, common aches and pains. It also improves mood and sleep. She cautions expecting mothers to think about all the changes their body is enduring. “The pregnancy hormones themselves will cause your ligaments to become more relaxed and then your joints become a little bit more unstable.”
The only real warning from Dr. Persavich – stay away from contact sports, but when it comes to your workout routine, know your body’s limitations. That’s exactly what Pinkerton does. She says her body is her guide. “If it feels a little bit wrong or it might be a little more strenuous than I want, I just back down, I take a walk, I go outside.”
Dr. Persavich says the oxygen levels you’re getting are also what the baby gets. One rule of thumb – if you can talk throughout your workout then it’s safe enough for you and the baby.
Unless the doctor says otherwise you can continue working out through full term, “People are just surprised to see pregnant people doing anything at most stages. To see someone really pushing themselves as the gym I think sometimes can be shocking for people.”