Weightlifting mom-to-be stirs health controversy

WASHINGTON — A California mother-to-be is facing backlash after posting photos of herself weightlifting while eight months pregnant.

Lea-Anne Ellison, 35, from Los Angeles, was two weeks from her due date when the pictures were snapped.

“8 months pregnant with baby number 3 and CrossFit has been my sanity. I have been CrossFitting for 2 1/2 years and … strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body’s capabilities to kick ass,” Ellison is quoted as a saying in the photo caption, which appears on a CrossFit Facebook page.

Since the photos went viral earlier this month, Ellison has received public criticism over her continued fitness routine:

“That can’t be healthy,” writes Facebook user Octavio Duarte.

” That is soo unsafe. I’m all for staying in shape while pregnant but this is just careless,” writes Bree Sopko.

Countless others defended Ellison’s decision, pointing out that the mother of two regularly practices CrossFit and is capable of lifting even more weight when she is not pregnant:

“Everyone commented when I was pregnant and running miles or at the gym. It wasn’t right or good for me. I did CrossFit up until month 8 and loved it. Had I been eating McDonald’s no one word have said a word. Our society has the worth ‘healthy’ confused,” writes Natalie Janik.

“You are inspirational! I am 23 weeks pregnant and CrossFit 5 days a week. It makes me feel amazing and strong,” writes Michelle Gray.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that healthy pregnant women get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise a week. As a general rule, expectant mothers should continue with their regular routine unless they start to experience pain or discomfort.

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