Pregnancy abs: Meet the Instagram mums-to-be who are ripped and expecting

Women are proving that pregnancy comes in all shapes and sizes

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Indy Lifestyle Online

For women who live and breath fitness, keeping active in the nine-months of their pregnancy is a no-brainer. 

And in a world where the bodies of women are constantly scrutinised – whether it’s speculating over Jennifer Aniston’s non-existant baby bump or Kim Kardashian’s post-pregnancy weight loss - women are celebrating their strong bodies online by sharing images of themselves alongside hashtags including #fitpregnancy. 

Such women have been criticised over fears that they are endangering their unborn babies, however, evidence suggests that exercise can help with pregnancy if done correctly and safely. 

"Here's to 31 weeks today! I celebrated with a huge plate of homemade shrimp fettuccine alfredooo!" wrote Sia Cooper, who runs the Diary of a Fit Mommy website, under a snap of her bump on Instagram.

"Yes, it had carbs. Yes, it had fats. Yes, it was amazing. No, I didn't feel guilty! Sometimes, you just gotta treat yo'self."

She added "By the way-this is me flexing. No, I don't just go walking around with abs!"

Earlier this year, former Miss Universe finalist and fitness model Chontel Duncan shared a photo of herself posing beside her friend Natalie Smith when they were both 21 and 24-weeks pregnant, respectively, to show how no two women look the same when they're expecting. 

Meanwhile in March, a Stephanie Rothstein, a professional runner from Phoenix, Arizona, was praised for sharing a photo of the loose skin on her stomach to highlight how women's bodies change after giving birth. 

 

I am truly speechless and humbled from all the love and support from my most recent post. A heartfelt thanks to reach and every one of you for your sweet comments and prayers. 💕 I've never shared that part of my testimony until now and I felt like I couldn't hold back; God is way too good and works in incredibly ways even when we cannot see. "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." -Romans 12:12 (my life verse, tattooed on my forearm) "For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." -Isaiah 41:13 I feel like I've been on a #transformation overload kick, so I apologize to those of you who are "over it"...but my sweet little angel is #12weeksold as of yesterday, and to see how far we've come takes my breath away as I consider all the ways God has worked in my life to bring me to this point. I couldn't be more honored, blessed, and beyond grateful to be the mother of my sweet #babygirl. I'm so in awe of her. Life is so beautiful; I never want to take a moment with her for granted. Happy 12 weeks baby girl!! 💕

A photo posted by Carissa Johnson WBFF Pro (@carissajfitness) on

 
 

I should do a another collage like this post Little D... But wow the human body is amazing!!!!! 💙🍼👶🏾

A photo posted by Chontel Duncan (@chontelduncan) on

While starting a new weight-lifting regime during pregnancy is not recommended if a woman is sedentary, it is safe for women to continue with exercise plans with the approval of a doctor. 

The NHS website advises that the “more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain.” 

“Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour," the website reads. 

However, the Baby Centre website warns that weight training that involves forcefully pushing or lifting heavy weights while holding breath is not advisable as it can increase blood pressure.

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