A pregnant bodybuilder from California, Lea Anne Ellison, 35, caused an online uproar after she had uploaded images of herself on Facebook lifting heavy weights above her head at 8 months pregnant. Ellison, a mother of two, is due to give birth for her third within two weeks.
The Facebook post which went viral on Sunday had Lea-Anne's caption saying, "8 months pregnant with baby number 3 and CrossFit has been my sanity. I have been CrossFitting for 2 1/2 years and...strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body’s capabilities to kick ass.”
By Friday, the picture earned over 16,000 likes, almost 3,000 shares, and loads of negative reaction from angry commenters.
One of the detractors said that the post was "sickening" and "crap." Also a crossfit fanatic, she is against the image which offers a suggestive message that it is okay to lift weights while pregnant when it is really not.
Another comment said pregnancy is a sensitive period where it is not to be taken recklessly by doing foolish things. This person also warned about carrying guilt should there be any negative effect to the baby.
On the other hand, there were also some fitness buffs who supported Ellison who had a previous post saying that she aims to attain the "Hot mom" image by training.
The photos also caught the attention of a medical professional.
“The key is listening to your body! As a medical professional, I find it appalling the number of people who treat pregnancy as an illness,” another woman wrote. “Multiple studies have shown that you can continue to safely workout, including lifting weights as long as you did it prepregnancy!!”
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 30 or more minutes of daily work out is recommended but only in the absence of any medical illness or obstetrics-related complications.
The same agency highlighted on its online page that a medical professional should be consulted on sports-related activities and any of its potential risks. Scuba diving for example could cause fetal exposure and possibly lead to decompression illness. Other similar extreme activities should likewise be shunned from. But lifting weights is not included in this problematic list of activities.
Ellison was surprised to get such a barrage of posts on her photo. She thanked all the people who had posted comments and still continue to share their positive opinions. She further shares on her Facebook page, "I had NO IDEA what a stir this would create....It makes me feel proud and loved and STRONGER!!!!”