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Do you think even extremely fit women who do CrossFit while pregnant are taking too much of a risk?

Posted by on Apr. 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM
  • 9 Replies

CrossFit Mom's Workout Sends Risky Message to Pregnant Women (PHOTO)

by Maressa Brown

pregnant athlete bookBrandi Dion is a certified CrossFit coach and mom. She's also the target of much ire these days, because along with her exercise scientist husband Steven Dion, she's written a book called The Pregnant Athlete to "show women who are already in great shape that they can maintain a high-level of fitness during pregnancy."

Even well into your pregnancy. Just get a glimpse of one of the images from the book that's already raising more than a few eyebrows ...

 

 

crossfit pregnant woman brandi dion

As you may know, CrossFit workouts include moves like doing deep squats with a barbell pressed overhead or lying on your back doing a series of stretches -- which are two positions the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend for women in late-term pregnancy. But the popularity of the workout regimen has women like Dion questioning which boundaries are okay to push for women who are CrossFit devotees before they become moms-to-be.

Dion notes, "I would not recommend doing any of this if you aren’t already doing it.” She also says in her defense:

We were not trying to design workouts for pregnant women. We were just documenting what I did during my two pregnancies.

While Dion's "documentation" and other pregnant women recently declaring their love for the strenuous regimen is a testament to every body being unique, even in pregnancy, there are some general recommendations experts hope women will follow.

Certified personal trainer Adela Blevin, CES, explains:

It's like swimming. If you've been swimming for a long time, you can still swim [during pregnancy]. Working out when you're pregnant has many benefits -- help flexibility, improve your delivery. Your body has to be strong to deliver. But CrossFit may require modifications to fit an individual's needs. Every pregnancy is different for every woman.

And even if modified, doctors voice concerns about even the most fit women doing moves like tire-flipping, especially well into their third trimester. Harvard-educated physician and board-certified gynecologist Sara Gottfried, M.D., author of The Hormone Cure (Scribner, 2013) shares her take:

On the one hand, I believe ... [keeping] pregnant women in a holding pattern, ideally on bedrest as much as possible and not jogging or highly fit, is hopelessly Victorian and unproven! On the other hand, I am concerned that CrossFit sometimes keeps women from attuning to their bodies in favor of throwing truck tires, lifting barbells, and otherwise burst training.

But don't get Dr. Gottfried wrong. A self-declared "huge fan of burst training," she advises women:

Stay active, but listen to what your body is telling you. After having two kids, I can't imagine throwing truck tires when 9 months pregnant, at a time when relaxing made all of my ligaments extremely loose. That's a set-up for injury -- unless you have superb form and an expert trainer, highly knowledgeable about pregnant form, watching you.

Ultimately, Dion's book serves as just another reminder that while women should be empowered to keep up their favorite fitness routine while pregnant, we should all check in with our physicians on their specific recommendations, tune into our bodies, and if you intuit that something's not right, know there's no shame in stopping.

How do you feel about this book? Do you think even extremely fit women who do CrossFit while pregnant are taking too much of a risk?

by on Apr. 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM
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Replies (1-9):
EireLass
by Ruby Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 10:57 AM
My doctors told me tahat I could continue to do all that I've been doing, but to not take on any new adventures. So I did. Weightlifting, jogging, biking, water skiing, swimming, etc.....
littlepinkrose
by Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 11:40 AM
2 moms liked this

I think that as long as you talk to your doctor first you are o.k.  Fit women can do what they have been doing and non fit women should at least walk or do yoga but not cross-fit.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Apr. 12, 2014 at 8:12 PM

As a retired pediatrician, I have seen babies born prematurely from inappropriate activity by the mother. One woman went water skiing at 5 months gestation, fell, went into labor and lost the baby. 

I know of no studies on CrossFit training and pregnancy. But the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has guidelines designed to maximize the chances of the delivery of a healthy term baby. How would you feel if you did exercises that violated the rules and lost your baby as a result?  Most people think "it won't happen to me," but I am here to tell you "it" happens. No one is immune.


 

cheetah90210
by Bronze Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM
Thats their business
iamcafemom83
by Bronze Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 8:18 PM
I think exercise during pregnancy is great. I think if you can healthily and safely continue your workouts, go for it.
LokisMama
by Megan on Apr. 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM
1 mom liked this

this, exactly.

I wasn't that active, but I was riding my bike to and from work every day (about 6 miles round trip).  She told me that as long as my balance was ok that riding back and forth wouldn't hurt anything.  

Quoting EireLass: My doctors told me tahat I could continue to do all that I've been doing, but to not take on any new adventures. So I did. Weightlifting, jogging, biking, water skiing, swimming, etc.....


m.garcia21
by Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM
I think its fine as long as you use common sense and listen to your body, i also agree that if you havent been doing this already pregnancy isnt the time to start it, maybe afterwards
sarahfaith123
by Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 3:50 AM
I don't think a pregnant person should do cross fit, sorry
Momniscient
by Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 4:03 AM
1 mom liked this
Women need to have medical Opinion on this.

My doc okayed me to continuing cycling and weight training through pregnancy with modifications as pregnancy progressed. With the caveat that cycling could cause bleeding and to stop immediately if it did.

In his opinion after the first trimester lying flat on your back was a big no no. So I used a step bench to provide an incline. Perfectly acceptable to him and me. I've seen pregnant wen in body pump who were obviously well into second or third trimesters not making this modification though. I thought to myself that I would never take
That risk but I don't know what their doc told them.

Lifting anything over 10 lbs above my head was cautioned against as well. I could lift just lighter weight. I've seen pregnant women lifting heavier over their heads though. Squats were fine with a super focus on proper technique to brace the core. Etc

This is not generalized advice but rather the dictates I received from the doctor that knew me.
I didn't read everything this couple said but they should know better than to tell women what they can and can't do without express disclaimer that all women are different and should have the advice of their doctor before any exercise routine.
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