Lifting two weeks before due date

Last updated 15:38 20/09/2013
Lea-Ann Ellison
Facebook/Nick Stern

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH: While weightlifting isn't strictly prohibited when pregnant, many think Lea-Ann Ellison has taken it too far in these pictures where she's clearly lifting well over 40 kgs.

Lea-Ann Ellison
Facebook/Nick Sten
SQUATS: Lea-Ann Ellison lifting weights while heavily pregnant. Role model or irresponsible?
Lea-Ann Ellison
Facebook/Nick Stern
PRE-PREGNANCY: Lea Ann in her pre-baby body-building days.

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It's the picture that has people thinking: should a heavily pregnant woman really be doing that?

Fitness fanatic and female bodybuilder Lea-Ann Ellison has caused a neo-natal storm after she posted photos of herself lifting heavy weights on her gym's Facebook page.

Ellison, who is eight-and-a-half months pregnant and due to give birth in two weeks, believes her dedication to weight lifting poses no risk to her unborn baby.

Pregnancy, she says, is not an illness, but "a time to relish in your body's capabilities to kick ass".

Not everyone agrees with the 35-year-old Californian.

Here are some more pointers for 'how-much-is-too-much' when it comes to working out when pregnant: but remember, we're all different, and so check with a doctor first. 

Here's a sample of the outrage her picture has provoked:

"Actually not a good thing to do at 8 months. The added intrabdominal pressure isn't safe and its not good to promote this. Weights are fine but this is just plain silly."

"This is actually sickening ... Doctors always strongly suggest to not lift heavy because you can sever your placenta and cause major damage an early labour and a miscarriage .... Posting this picture goes people the wrong message that this is OKAY when it's not!!!!"

"Cross fit? This goes way beyond a way of life, and right into an obsession. She is very selfish for endangering a life for her own personal gains and achievements. This is not a proud picture to post. That amount of weight lifted above the head is extremely dangerous while pregnant."

Most health professionals don't specifically prohibit weightlifting, although many do warn pregnant women against skiing, horse-riding and scuba-diving.

There is evidence that weight-bearing exercise can reduce the length of labour but experts stress that women should avoid activities that could result in potential trauma to the foetus (and many doctors recommend pregnant women stick to weights of less than around 15 kgs)..

The best advice is that women may need to slow down as pregnancy progresses.

All this said, Ellison doesn't care too much about what the web thinks of her gym routine: "I want to thank everyone for their kind and supportive responses! Haters will hate and it's ok. My life is not their life thank goodness! Lol! Again, thank you! It means so much to feel this much love from a community I adore."

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- What do you think of Ellison's pregnancy workout? Too much? Or inspiring? Did you keep working out throughout pregnancy?

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