Weightlifting and Expecting Moms

This is Angela Candage-Parra at the 2013 Alaska Weightlifting Championship. In this video she is 8 months pregnant snatching up to 66kg and clean and jerking 100kg. Angela had long been an elite lifter, including time as athlete in residence at the US Olympic Training Center. I do not know Angela personally nor have I met her, but from what I could find, mom and baby are (and were) happy and healthy!

In case you haven’t noticed there is a small baby boom at MBS (at both our Broomfield and Arvada locations!), with at least 7 moms and dads to be! In my 8 years as a coach I have worked with over a dozen expectant moms over the years. First borns, second and third babies; moms in their 20s others in their 30s. Some just starting CrossFit while others quite experienced. Planned pregnancies, some not so much, and some I knew before they told me. As a coach I often get asked, “what should I do?”, “what shouldn’t I do?”. My answer is always different because every one and every pregnancy is different. I’ve seen women hit total exhaustion 3 minutes into light warmup in first trimester, and 50# squat PRs in the third trimester. I’ve seen them do handstands, box jumps, pullups, deadlifts, snatches and even muscle ups (bar and ring!) at all stages of pregnancy. While we coaches often talk about good movement is good, and poor movement is poor movement and eventually run into a problem. Pregnant movement isn’t bad, it’s just different. There are hormones that stretch things, baby’s sitting and doing back flips on your innards, you have a whole other body (alien?) growing and doing it’s own thing independent of you and out of your control! Especially when you have fast changes like pants fitting on Monday that don’t fit on Tuesday. I bet there is going to be a least one movement that will be impact by growth spurt that changes your pant size over night!

My whole point of this post isn’t to tell you what to do, or make you feel like you should be like Angela. I am NOT a doctor, and I am NOT you. People have a lot of opinions for women and their bodies. What it should look like, what they should do with it, both while pregnant and while not pregnant. Not to mention all the uninvited belly touching from strangers, YIKES!  My advice (and yes, I know you didn’t exactly ask) is to educate yourself, talk to you doctor that you trust, and make the best decision for you and this pregnancy. For all the moms that choose to CrossFit all through their pregnancy, I support you. For all the moms that had to take a break at any point (or do something else), I support you. Whatever you decide I support you! As your coach, I may offer my opinion based on my experiences with other baby mommas. I hope you see it coming from a place of support and care. You are carrying precious cargo, and we want to see you all healthy for many years to come!

If you’d like to hear more crazy stories about some of the pregnant women, I’ve coached feel free to email me, Coach Meriah, at meriah@mbscrossfit.com.

PS. Postpartum recovery is a whole other animal of various experiences. Just remember it’s called LABOR for a reason. And while Getting your core put back together properly may take time, will be worth it in the long run! I highly recommending getting a good PT or medical professional that specializes in this type of recovery!