Yoga, triathlons and warfare training: Pregnant women can do it all

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After beach volleyball champion and mom of two Kerri Walsh Jennings revealed on TODAY this morning that she was five weeks pregnant when she won her third gold medal at the London Olympics, scores of women shared some amazing pregnancy feats of their own on theTODAY Moms Facebook page.

Like Walsh Jennings’ tough-as-nails example, many women shared stories involving athletics and physical strength.

NBC’s chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, says women usually can play most sports - except skiing and horse riding - while pregnant because the fetus is so well protected. “Sports themselves do not present much of a problem,” says Snyderman, adding that Walsh Jennings did not put her pregnancy at risk by competing.

Related story: Beach volleyball gold medalist was pregnant at Olympics

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That should be comforting news to women staying active during pregnancy.

“Did a 10-mile hike up the Na Pali coast on Kauai, Hawaii at 15 weeks pregnant. Swam with manatees who swam up to us while at the beach at home in Florida. Did ashtanga flow yoga every week, and continued running a few times a week up until 36 weeks,” Kelly Schwencke Thompson wrote on the TODAY Moms Facebook page.

Julie Ogden Thompson wrote: “I did my first triathlon (Olympic distance too!) when I was 10 weeks along - and finished in the top 25!”

For Mary Baird, her pregnancy accomplishment was yoga. “I was certified as a yoga teacher at 38 weeks of pregnancy!!! :) I practiced yoga right up to and after my due date (my son was 9 days overdue!) until the day before he was born.”

Erin Murphy Caylor, like Walsh Jennings, hit the volleyball court. “Coached and played indoor/beach volleyball through my whole pregnancy.... I just quit diving on the floor once my doctor recommended it,” she wrote.

Not all of the amazing accomplishments by TODAY Moms during pregnancy involved sports, though.

“While in the military I went through warfare training, wearing my chemical warfare gear and gas mask in the Florida heat while preggo!” wrote Katie Gill.

Giovanna Spano Couillard had a weekly date with a "push to make the blades spin" mower! "My husband bought an electric mower when I was about 36 weeks pregnant. I only got to use it 2 or 3 times before I went into labor while mowing the lawn.”

There were some great professional accomplishments as well.

“I am a classically trained singer, and have performed while pregnant with all three of my children, including professional orchestral gigs, and major choral works up to around 36 weeks,” Maya Craciun Clausen said.

Michele Gilbert Blum wrote: “Finished nursing school while preggo with Baby #4. My little man decided to make his appearance the night before my final exam -- I was studying like crazy trying to ignore contractions. He made his appearance and I graduated 9 days later!”

Ann Marie Mason Morrison beat some male co-workers to the punch. “Received a promotion at work, at 7 months. A lot of male coworkers were not happy that I got it over them!”

And what if you’re pregnant and already a mom? Well, there are the other children to care for, too.

“Most can't believe that after being in labor all night with my 3rd child I woke up cooked breakfast then took my oldest child to the pediatrician then ran errands,” Dallas N Kendra Savino wrote. “Met my grandma at the hospital where she took my oldest 2 children, wheeled my bag to the 3rd floor and gave birth one hour after arriving at the hospital. It was great!”

Candice Thimesch summed up a common theme among posters to the Facebook page, writing: “Never underestimate the strength of a pregnant woman.”



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