hey pregnant women at the gym, nobody cares

Every now and then (or just often enough to make it moderately blogworthy) I come across some pregnant healthy living or running blogger who claims she was scolded or criticized for working out with a fetus inside her. Or that everyone stares. Or that she overheard someone talking smack in the locker room.


I just want to go on the record and reassure all of you that nothing like that’s ever happened to me. The only person at the gym who’s ever said anything remotely related to my fetus was this nice old dude who just seemed kind of amused that I was running. He gestured toward my belly and was like, “Running hurts my knees!” And that was the end of it.

So when people say their gym activities are scrutinized, I am sincerely baffled. I’m not saying these people are full of shit, but…I can’t think of a way to finish that sentence.

And I live in a state that’s not exactly known for being progressive ( HB1210, HJR-3, Richard Mourdock, this) or fit, so if people were going to get all preachy and judgmental about women being too active during pregnancy, I think Indiana would be a likely place for that to happen.

fat in indiana

There seems to be a false perception, perpetuated by the internet, that pregnant women everywhere are catching shit for their brave, inspirational workouts. My (fat) gut instinct is that it doesn’t happen all that often in real life. But it’s so fun to get righteously indignant about the idea that people might be talking about you behind your back, isn’t it? We’re not. (Unless you’re doing gratuitous headstands at 40 weeks, in which case we are judging the fuck out of you.)

I think we’ve reached an age where pretty much everyone understands that a pregnant woman does not have to sit at home all day with her feet up sipping hot lemon water and hiding the abomination she made. (But don’t think this idea discredits my earlier #fatpregnancy and #transfatpregnancy posts! Indeed, the hashtags are meant to poke fun at those people who seem so desperate to demonstrate how fit they are, as if that title were being challenged. Donuts!)

If you’ve been pregnant, did you feel like everyone was staring you and judging you? Did people say weird or rude things to you about working out? I’m genuinely curious!

If you’ve never been pregnant, do you stare at pregnant women and judge them? 

If you feel like reading any of my other obnoxious posts about being pregnant, here they are:

Hey breastfeeding moms, nobody cares

Some complaints, with a happy ending

What’ I’m hating: maternity leggings edition

Anatomy reveal


RIP the 8:XXs

A Thanksgiving race report only four days past relevance


40 thoughts on “hey pregnant women at the gym, nobody cares

  1. People would look at me when I was knocked up like “oh, that runner is knocked up”-but not in a judgey way, more in a “oh, that exists” way. My mom asked me if I should be running, no one else cared. I think I had some random people tell me I was doing good things for the baby? Just in a passing way, like in the split second where you cross paths with another runner and say hi. I’d get a “way to go!” instead of just a hi. (I don’t run at the gym which maybe changes up interactions with people. Treadmills there always full, and it’s so freaking hot in there I can’t deal.)

    However if you go to zumba pregnant people will tell you you’re amazing. A lot. And it’s super funny to watch your pregnant self in the mirror. So if you want an ego boost/good laugh zumba is where it’s at for pregnant people.

    • Ha, I had a similar experience- I jazzercised my entire pregnancy (there were 3 of us who were really pregnant in there). Everyone was sooo complimentary, and the instructors called us out in a positive (although embarrassing) way. Now, I just got cleared to exercise and am back- all the compliments on postpartum figure really are a boost. So basically cheesy aerobics classes for the win?

  2. I will never get to be a pregnant blogger and I’m so pissed that ship has sailed 😦 #PAGEVIEWS

    I only ran pregnant during my second pregnancy, but no one knew because I still looked normal until 5+ months when I stopped because of the peeing all the time thing. I got some grief for doing yoga during my third pregnancy. Of course it WAS Bikram yoga. And I did it a lot. The kid turned out pretty normal so it must’ve been okay. That was the only place I ever got weird comments, but I imagine that’s to be expected from super skinny 20something yoginis who’ve never had babies? Then again, it’s not often you see a very pregnant person in tiny shorts and a sports bra ;-/ I never exercised again during pregnancy. My hip didn’t like to.

  3. Yeah…I was at the gym several times a week during the last few months of my pregnancy and I never had anyone say anything to me other than typical polite pregnant-lady questions (when are you due? is it a boy or a girl?) or generic encouragement (good for you for working out, you look great, keep it up!)

    I guess my 30-min elliptical sessions and heavy lifting of 15-lb dumbbells just weren’t #soinspirational enough to create controversy! Next time I will incorporate some headstands and overhead squats for sure.

    • well then my 7.5 lb dumbbells are REALLY not inspirational. I’m telling myself I don’t want to overdo it and turn into a beefcake. BEEFCAAAAAAAKE.

      • Somewhat unrelated but I’m jealous that your gym has 7.5# dumbbells! I wish mine had 7.5 and 12.5.

  4. I’ve never been pregnant, but I’m totally judging you if you’re pregnant and you’re NOT running. Or doing handstands. Or, you know, being athletic and shirtless in some way.

  5. lol lol lol u inspire me, sister hero.

    Personally, I love when I see a fast bitch knocked the fuck up. Well..when I was able to race I did. Because suddenly I had a fighting chance at beating her. I don’t give a fuck whether or not she’s knocked the fuck up, it’s all about meeeeeeee.

  6. There were a few (older) women who come up to me and ask if I was allowed to work out when I was pregnant this last time. I just said, yep! There was also one woman who rubbed my belly mid squat. She didn’t say a WORD, just came up and rubbed. That was seriously one of the biggest “what the fuck” moments of my life.

    The best was watching men’s faces when I was in my 3rd trimester. Let’s just say they always gave me a lot of space. Maybe they thought I was just going to pop out the baby then and there? Whatever it was, I enjoyed it.

  7. I got a few head tilts, but that was likely because I looked and measured “full term” 6-7 months. #twinmomproblems I did a 5k around 27 weeks, and everyone I passed was very encouraging. I even made the cover of the local sports page. That’s how much of a spectacle I was that day!
    I don’t belong to a gym, and it would have taken a lot of balls for someone to roll down their window at a stop sign to judge my running along the sidewalk. Although I’m sure the neighbors were talking shit from their kitchens. That’s how the ‘burbs role.

  8. Never been knocked up so OF COURSE I stare at pregnant women and judge them. But then I do that to everyone, pregnant or not.
    In all seriousness, I’ve seen some preggos at my gym. I usually just think, “Wow, good for them.” and then go about my workout. I should note though that I workout at LA Fitness; I’m not a badass crossfitter so maybe it’s different there? Cause they’re so awesome to begin with?

  9. I think you’re right. I feel like I’ve known enough super active / runner types that have been pregnant that if pregnant-workout-shaming was a thing that happened on the regs, I surely would have heard about it. I’m sure there is the occasional nutjob out there (Kara Goucher’s post about her neighbor who got on to her about carrying a small box in from the mailman while preggers & she was like, “Glad she doesn’t see me at the gym…” cracked me up), but by & large I think people either a) are like, “Oh, she’s keeping fit, good for her,” or b) honestly don’t care. Probably mostly b).

  10. I’m 13 weeks so you can’t even tell. I just “announced” at work, aka told my boss and a couple others so of course everyone knows. I’ve already had a coworker tell me she saw me running down the street and almost pulled over and put me in her car, and 3 others did the “are you sure you should be doing that?” when I was on my way to our after work boot camp. But I work in a special place where tact doesn’t exist. I was asked if I was pregnant due to my bump loooooong before I was actually pregnant, so I’m hoping these questions don’t exist in the real world.

    • Ha! I worked at a special place like that. A guy touched my belly and asked if I was pregnant. (I WAS, but the belly was just bloat at that point, not even a real bump yet.) Congrats!

  11. There was a woman at my gym that worked out up until the day before having the baby. I might of given her a side glance, mostly because she looked terribly uncomfortable and I didn’t want to be the one beside her when her water broke. I’m all for woman who are regularly active to keep up a level of fitness during their pregnancy. I just don’t want to drive anyone to the hospital at 5:30 in the morning…

    My question is… when are you cleared to go back? I thought it was after 4-6 weeks, but I’m pretty sure she was back after about 10 days. THAT is what concerned me. I mean… there are stitches and shit going on down there… like woah.

    • Yeah, I thought the standard was 4-6. That freaks me out a little too but maybe it was like her 3rd baby or something.I hear they just slide right out at that point.

  12. I got very few comments from strangers about my pregnancy but was actually pretty lazy and my only exercise was walks here and there*. The only concern troll comment was from a plumber who thought I was using too strong of a cleaner. He was probably right.

    The other comment I got was when I was a week late and on my way home from a 5-mile walk. A woman who seemed to be on her way out, leaving her kids at home with a sitter or spouse told me to “enjoy my freedom”. I wanted to shout back, “that’s the problem!” being all emo about being a little late.

    *I don’t get women how say they’re taking long ass hikes at 30-something weeks pregnant. I’d be 20 minutes in and looking for a bathroom. This was okay walking around my work — a college campus — ’cause there are decent bathrooms everywhere.

    • I know the due date is just an estimate, but every day after that date seemed unbearable. And yeah, I’m not even 30 wks and can’t go more than a mile or two without having to pee.

  13. First, you have a new reader for life. This was…spectacular.

    Second, I worked out through both of my pregnancies. The first one, I ran and did triathlons. I raced my last tri at 24 weeks and no one gave a single fuck. Except my mother. I just lied and told her I was doing prenatal yoga. It kept her calm. My second, I ran until I almost peed my pants one day on my treadmill at 32 weeks and did CrossFit until the day before I went into labor. Again, no fucks given by anyone except my mother (who, again, was told I was doing prenatal yoga). My coaches and doctor helped me make intelligent choices and my husband frequently asked if I was still feeling up to it and if he could rub my feet. Oh, and a nurse mentioned that I must have done lots of squats while I was in labor. That was awkward. Otherwise? It wasn’t really that big of a deal. No one lavished me with praise for being an #omgfitmom and no one came after me with pitchforks for endangering my baby. Probably helped that I made intelligent modifications…but that’s another story.

    I think pregnant women (myself included!!) sometimes feel more special and more..obvious/out of place/glaringly noticeable…than they really are. Truth is, most people aren’t nearly as preoccupied/obsessed with other folks’ pregnancies. Just is what it is 🙂

    • lol about lying to your mom! I am visiting grandparents next month and i’m wondering what they’ll say when I go for a run. And I think you’re absolutely right about feeling more special and noticed. That’s a good way of putting it.

  14. No one ever said anything to me, but I have serious bitch face. I did have one woman just crack up when I was doing race day registration for a 5K that was 5 days before my due date. I’m not going to lie, I felt true pity for the people that I beat for that race, especially since I had the jogging stroller too. God, I’m so hardcore. WORSHIP ME MINIONS

  15. I can’t believe I am just discovering your blog now. Anywho, when I ran while pregnant, people encouraged me – gave me hi-5’s, said things like “You go, girl”, etc. The only people that ever questioned it were my husband’s grandmother (I can’t blame her – she’s 88 and she definitely did not run while pregnant with her 7 kids) and my students, who are teenagers and just don’t know any better:)

  16. All my pregnancy working out was yoga, which is judgey mom approved. However, I got a ton o’ stink eye when I had a cup of coffee or drank a nonalcoholic beer while pregnant. I could eat a deep-fried stick of butter and no one would care, but I’m a terrible mother if I have some coffee.

  17. Pingback: A Thing I Find Annoying | Life with Lyn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s