Many pregnant women who head to the gym experience being shamed by strangers who believe they are “harming their baby”.
And expectant mums who document their workouts on Instagram open themselves up to more criticism.
Fitness blogger Sophie Guidolin was shamed for weight lifting while pregnant and personal trainer, Chontel Duncan, was told she was “damaging” her baby.
But as Janet Fyle, the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) professional policy advisor, puts it: “Shame on those people that shame these pregnant women.”
Fyle told The Huffington Post UK there is “nothing wrong” with exercising while pregnant, adding: “When you are pregnant, you are not ill. Our population think it is an illness, when it isn’t.”
Alison Whitehouse, 29, mum to 20-month-old Rupert, said: “Someone in the gym said to me: ‘Do you know what you’re doing? Don’t you think you’re too big to workout?’”
Mum-of-one and Actively Balanced blogger Alison Whitehouse, 29, from London, has firsthand experience of being shamed while working out.
She explained: “Someone in the gym said to me: ‘Do you know what you’re doing? Don’t you think you’re too big to workout?’”
“The ‘advice’ I heard ranged from: ‘Do you think you should be doing that?’, ‘Just be careful,’ and even ‘I don’t think you should be doing that anymore’.”
Mum-of-two Stephanie Baroni, 33, from the US, overheard someone criticise her for working out while pregnant.
“No one directly shamed me to my face,” she explained. “It was only talk that I heard behind my back.”
“[The woman’s] words and speculation really hurt my feelings, especially since we lived in such a small community.
“It made me wonder who else she might have expressed these feelings to and if other people in the community felt this way, but never said anything.”
Baroni worked out three times a week while…