Or even worse, do you automatically assume when you see a pregnant woman who isn't working out, that she no longer takes part in fitness? Perhaps you are reading this and telling the screen "no."
Well, from my recent experiences, I would have to respond by saying that you are in the minority then, my friend.Over the past week I have had a few eye opening experiences that have made me realize that even in today's society, people are still clinging to ancient notions.
This weekend D and I, along with his dad and step-mom took part in the various races during the Victoria GoodLife Marathon (recap to follow).
When we went to the race expo on Saturday morning, I experienced something I have never been confronted with in my life - I was completely ignored.
A race expo is where people try and sell you their product. Vendors work the crowd trying to look someone into making eye contact with them so they can give their pitch. Yeah, I've gotten good at avoiding this, but I wanted to be sold something this weekend. In fact, I even stopped at a booth, just me and the vendor, to check out some fitness items and was completely ignored! Um, hello, I'm a customer you fool - sell me something!
I ended up walking away because of it.
No one offered me gel samples or Cytomax, no one asked me to try a product or sign up for a race. Nothing.
And I've gotta say, I was perplexed - at first. And then I realized I was the only pregnant lady in the joint. Even GoodLife Fitness, who had numerous booths lining both sides of the walkway, ignored me completely.
Hi, I'm pregnant, on my way to gaining some potentially serious weight, and you don't think you should try and sign me up?? Oh, right, I haven't popped the baby out yet. And I'm clearly not at the race expo for myself...I'm with someone.
Okay, so maybe I'm being a little sensitive about it.
But try and tell me I'm the only one who notices this, when at the marathon this weekend - a pregnant half-marathon runner wrote on her race bib:
"Yes I'm running a half-marathon pregnant, and yes, it's okay with my doctor."
Or the fact that I'll bet most of you reading this (grandma, are you out there?) have heard of the woman who ran the Chicago Marathon last year and then went and gave birth. What an uproar that caused!
It's a new world folks, us preggo folks like to stay fit. Not because we are vain, because we want our babies to be healthy, and we want to stay healthy for them.
But let's not stop at the opinions of race organizers - let's look at this in a more broad spectrum. How about I point out that no stores in my local area have pregnant fitness clothing - not even the main maternity stores? Well, unless we are talking lounge pants and yoga tanks.
Some of us like to do more strenuous activities and my freaking race tops will only fit this bump for so long, thankyouverymuch!
Of course there are some great prenatal fitness clothing sites online - but I'm not willing to spend $50 plus shipping on a cute tank top I will only wear to get sweaty in for another 3 months (and I'll still need a jacket for my running outdoors - it is fall after all).
But I've got to ask why the large maternity stores don't have dri-fit workout tops and tights? I saw Motherhood Maternity's workout clothing included a baseball-style cotton 3/4 tee - is that really what people work out in?
Is this a sign of society's general opinion? Am I reading too much into this? Most likely yes, to the latter.
My friends and acquaintances know that I run, they knew I ran before I was pregnant, and they should have known that I would continue to do so throughout my pregnancy. And being in the military leaves a certain requirement for me to uphold a basis of fitness, possibly self-imposed, if I'm being honest.
But what I never expected were those that knew the me before pregnancy, to start judging me instantly. Some (not all) women with children were actually the hardest on me in the beginning.
For work we would do ruck marches every week. When I just found out I was pregnant (at about 7 weeks) I completed a 5km ruck march. This was nothing new, and nothing strenuous for me. But instantly I had women furious at me. One even said that if I did it again, she would report me.
Um, what? To who? My boss gave me the ability to decide and my doctor said I could do things I did before pregnancy. Not to mention two weeks before I had run a half-marathon.
Another woman told me that I shouldn't be running because I was going to bounce the baby out.
Hahahahahahaha, are you kidding me???
Then as my pregnancy progressed, I've had male acquaintances with children tell me I'm not supposed to do isometric exercises like the plank.
Are any pregnant ladies reading this right now? Is that not one of the top recommended exercises? Yeah, eat shit. (sorry grams)
You're already being more active than my wife was during her pregnancy.
Did either of their wives run during pregnancy? No. Are either of their wives running now? Um, no.
So, where am I going with all this? Well, perhaps if you've never thought about any of this before, I will have shown you a little of the judgement that pregnant ladies face every day, just in the name of staying healthy.
Hopefully, I'll have told you enough to at least make you stop and think next time you see a lady with her bump bouncing in all its sweaty glory.
Regardless, I've made myself feel a little better, adding my name to the list of many women bloggers who are taking to the internet to show that we can grow babies and still take care of ourselves at the same time.
And maybe, just maybe, we can change the ancient opinions of those that believe fitness is bad for the pregnant woman. It would be amazing to have prenatal fitness be old news, to have maternity fitness clothing available everywhere. And to see more people promoting it, instead of beating us down for it.