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USA Today's Rita Rubin went out on an edge and wrote about fit pregnancies in today's paper. She and I spoke after she saw my video "39 weeks"
We had a wonderful discussion. Her keen observations and interest were inspiring. We spoke about the growing number of women who are actively seeking (pun intended) physical fitness throughout their pregnancy. Obviously, this isn't the first time in history that women have been active during pregnancy or even rock climbed during it for that matter. The point she was most interested in is to our cultures mentality of shunning exercise during pregnancy and also the lack of research to back up anything to the contrary. While I was pregnant (and I have an entire 9 months of blog posts if you click along) I tried to be mindful. I spoke with my doctor. I used the amazing amount of knowledge that I have gained about my own body through 7 years of competitive gymnastics, 10 years of dance and Pilates, along with 10 more years of climbing and now, Physical Therapy school.
We spoke about how I came to decide to continue climbing. My reply was very simple. After a clean bill of health I made a contract with myself that the moment climbing didn't feel GOOD, I would stop. And I found that with a shift in mentality, it always felt good! Thankfully.
I've talked to so many women since making the film "39 weeks". I've heard stories of women who wished there was something like this that they had known about. I've talked to women who have gone the distance by themselves as I did. All these women had varying degrees of physical ability both before and after pregnancy but all were able to continue running, or climbing, or dancing, or swimming, etc. throughout.
Personally, I cannot imagine running a marathon pregnant, but that's my body. We are all different and exercise should be a part of every person's life. Pregnant or not. This is the point that should be focused on. Why are we not applying our understanding of the human body and it's healthful functioning to women who are pregnant. Doesn't this seem counter-intuitive. Wouldn't we want women who are growing our future in their bellies to be the healthiest they can be? I know there needs to be a protective layer to all this but not so much that it resists the mere idea based on fear.
This is an amazing time! Here is the opportunity for research. We have started the discussion, let's spread the idea: Pregnant women are strong! I only hope that Johns Hopkins discovers that this statement has meaning.