Research suggests that exercising during pregnancy, as long as the woman has the okay from her doctor, is associated with healthier pregnancies and better delivery outcomes. This knowledge is not keeping some gym members from harassing pregnant trainer, Sara Haley, who has experienced bullying while she keeps exercising.
Haley, who is 35 weeks pregnant, is a personal trainer and mom of a three-year-old boy, Landon. Haley’s current exercises include push-ups, dead lifts, tricep dips, lunges, step-ups and more. Haley works out six days a week. Not only is Haley a person trainer, she specializes in pregnancy fitness.
Haley says she has experienced bullying at the gym because of working out while she is pregnant. She said that this has included everything from stares, whispers, rude noises, and comments made directly to her. Haley spoke of how some gym goers seem to lack a filter when they see a pregnant woman exercising. Haley said the comments that have been made to her are varied, and some have included remarks about her stretch marks, as well as comments on how big her butt is.
Haley keeps the comments from bothering her, although she did say that “It’s an element of bullying.” Haley continued, “Sometimes it’s like going back to high school, where people gang up and make nasty comments.” Haley holds fast to her knowledge that “Exercising during pregnancy is highly recommended by all sound fitness accreditations.”
Personal trainer Haley, who keeps working out amid the bullying, did say that there have been positive reactions she has experienced during exercising while pregnant. She said that her favorite reactions include another individual making eye contact with her and giving her a big thumbs up. While Haley appreciates the encouragement, she does note that she is “just pregnant, not trying to save the world.”
Haley finds herself in a similar position as another mom who was bullied for working out while being pregnant. Lea-Ann Ellison came under criticism last year for participating in CrossFit while eight months pregnant. A photo of her lifting weights caused internet bullies to attack. Ellison wrote in her defense about how CrossFit has helped her and her strong belief that, “pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body’s capability to kick a**.”
The benefits of exercising while pregnant are vast, so long as the exercise is approved by a health care provider. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists has said that many pregnant women can safely swim, walk, participate in aerobics, and if the woman was a runner before becoming pregnant, even continue to run during pregnancy. Shahin Ghadir, who is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility summed it up by saying “the general rule of thumb is, if it’s a healthy pregnancy with no complications, we recommend that patients resume their pre-pregnancy exercise routines.” Dr. Ghadir did add that a new workout routine which is started during pregnancy can come as a major shock to the body.
Haley did say that spending a lot of time in the gym while pregnant can have some unexpected side affects. She worked out during pregnancy with her first child, and said that the only thing that would calm Landon’s crying was when she turned on hip hop music. Haley, who was named one of the 50 hottest fitness trainers by Shape magazine, is not letting the bullying experience while exercising get in her way. As a personal trainer she understands the importance of being fit while pregnant.
By Ashley Campbell