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Are Pregnant Athletes Selfish?

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Olympic curler Kristie Moore is five months pregnant. Is this okay? Our OB/GYN reacts.

kristie moore
Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz: Kristie Moore is the first Olympian in 90 years to compete while pregnant.

I can tell you with confidence that of all the Olympic sports, this one might actually be one of those best suited for a pregnant woman! Exercise and fitness are encouraged during pregnancy. Regular, moderate exercise is known to decrease fatigue and nausea during the first trimester, and to increase stamina, flexibility and potentially endurance in later trimesters -- possibly even during labor!

Exercise is best started well before pregnancy as part of any woman's healthy lifestyle. But even for fit women, the types of exercise that are safe can change during the course of pregnancy. As a pregnancy proceeds, balance can become an issue; aerobic exercise that is lower impact -- such as walking, gym machines, swimming, stationary cycling, yoga or strength training -- is generally safe.

To be clear: No-nos include downhill skiing, contact sports, surfing, horseback riding, skateboarding and scuba diving. Obviously, most X-Games athletes would probably need to take a break. I usually advise my patients, "If you fall, will you freak out? Then don't do it!"

Olympic athletes are presumably some of the most fit people on the planet, so it's absurd to think that curling when you're five months along would do anything but benefit mother and baby. A happy, fit, endorphin-filled mom is a great place for a baby to grow! Besides, lugging around an 8-pound kid after birth should be easy-peasy for a woman used to shoving a 40-pound weight across the ice.

Sound off
: Do you think competing in the Olympics while pregnant is dangerous and selfish ... or no biggie? Comment below.

next: My Tween Likes a Boy with Green Hair
47 comments so far | Post a comment now
Canadian February 17, 2010, 10:28 AM

Is this because she is Canadian? Maybe not ok for someone who hasn’t curled much might wipe out on the ice but this women knows what she is doing

M.A.P February 17, 2010, 10:51 AM

I think as long as its something that would not be harmful to the mother or the baby, then I think it is great. Not selfish at all. She could slip on the ice and fall but so could any other pregnant mother that lives in any part of the world where snow and ice happen. No difference. Good for her!

Hazel February 17, 2010, 10:55 AM

Obviously her doctor has given the ok for her to compete….she is healthy, the babe is healthy, why not.

arisma February 17, 2010, 11:47 AM

If she’s cleared by her doctor to do what she’s doing passing an opposing opinion on it is just being judgmental.

Meredith February 17, 2010, 2:54 PM

Oh my goodness. She’s a curler. Curling involves skill, yes, but not necessarily a ton of physical prowess, and it certainly doesn’t present a concerning amount of physical strain.

Have this debate about skiing, or speed skating, sure. But curling? That’s just silly.

N. Flusche February 18, 2010, 9:04 AM

Really. It has been 90 years since Diana Sartor took fourth in the skeleton in 2006? She was her first trimester and did just fine. I am quite certain that Miss Moore, who has been curling her whole life, will be perfectly fine.

Helene Byrne, BeFit-Mom February 18, 2010, 11:48 AM

The more fit that mom is, the healthier, stronger, and possibly even smarter her baby will be. How can that be selfish?

Cat February 18, 2010, 2:41 PM

I don’t see what the big deal is. I jogged 3 miles a day right into my 3rd trimester of my first pregnancy and had an absolutely healthy baby. It’s night like she’s doing back flips or anything.

angie February 21, 2010, 7:11 PM

She is one of the best in her country or she would not be in the olympics. The olympics is a once in a life time opportunity for a chosen few. Imagine her being able to tell her child the he/she was with her while she competed in the olympics. And to be fair, this woman was an alternate. I know my doctor and much literature states you can continue your normal exercise routine just nothing danger IE: horseback riding, cliff jumping etc, and not to start a new exercise routine.

Katie October 30, 2010, 10:32 AM

She’s extremely fit and that will always help during your pregnancy as well as after your pregnancy. I know that she will also be one of those women who will make losing baby weight look really easy, but it’s because she is in shape already… we should all remember that.

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Robin January 24, 2011, 10:10 PM

Yeah, the article lists some activities that should be avoided. If you’ve seen curling competitions, you’d probably agree that she is fine competing in the Olympics at 5 months. It’s probably very healthy for her.

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