Pregnant weightlifter training just two weeks before due date provokes controversy
Photos of a woman weight-lifting whilst eight and a half months pregnant have caused an online stir after images showing Lea-Ann Ellison training were uploaded onto the Cross Fit Gym Facebook page.
Los Angeles resident Ms Ellison was pregnant with her third child when the pictures were posted onto the social networking site.
The 35-year-old said she strongly believed that pregnancy was not an illness, but "a time to relish in your body's capabilities to kick ass", although this was a not a view shared by everyone.
One Facebook user described the images as "sickening" and another argued that "weights are fine, but this is just plain silly".
However, many came forward to defend weight lifting when pregnant, with Carol Metzger Bolliger writing: "I'm 6 months pregnant with triplets and am still CrossFitting as much as I can!"
Another voiced support for Ms Ellison and wrote: "I think that we should all be more concerned about a mom who eats McDonalds everyday of her pregnancy, and doesn't exercise one bit. This woman is not just concerned about herself, she is concerned about her child [sic] future and the example she sets for her other children about overcoming adversity."
Responding to the comments, Ms Ellison said: "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."
As part of their guidance regarding exercise and pregnancy, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says there is some evidence "weight-bearing exercise throughout pregnancy can reduce the length of labour and decrease delivery complications", but stresses that women should choose activities that will minimise the risk of loss of balance and any potential trauma to the fetus.
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