Posted by: littlebitofparadise | August 8, 2013

CrossFit + Pregnant Mama: End or Pregnancy Evaluation


Many months ago I wrote about my fitness journey through postpartum (with baby #2) and pregnancy (with baby #3) with CrossFit. The CrossFit workout method totally changed the way I looked and felt as a busy stay-at-home mom, even during pregnancy. My story is “CrossFit worked for me, and if I can do it, ANY MOM can do CrossFit.”

You can read my journey in a 4-part series here: Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four.

CF-blogday2CF workout at 20 weeks pregnant with Bear Cub #2 “helping”

I still get regular comments and questions about CrossFit from women who read my story – and I’m thrilled that some of you have given CrossFit a try yourselves! I hope I can be as much of a support and encouragement to other Mamas as ya’ll have been to me during my fitness journey.

One of the emailed questions I’m frequently asked is how did CrossFit work for the rest of my pregnancy. Now that I’m 39 weeks and nearing the end (soon! at least I sure do hope!) of this pregnancy, I thought I should write an update on how CrossFit worked over the whole pregnancy. When I wrote the other CrossFit pieces I was only guessing how the full pregnancy picture would look with CrossFit. Now that I’m nearing D-day, I can give my full pregnancy eval.

First trimester:

My first trimester CrossFit workouts looked very similar to my non-pregnant CF workouts. The difficulties were the morning sickness and utter exhaustion (read: major lack of motivation), but I found that working out despite the sickness actually helped me feel better post-workout. I certainly couldn’t muster the energy to work out every day in the first tri, but I did keep up a consistent pattern, took lots of extra breaks to catch my breath and drink water, and I did not work out for time, just completion. The result was a lot of extra strength, stamina, and energy in the early days of pregnancy.

Second trimester: 

In the first half of my second tri, CrossFit remained similar to the previous months. I was still doing those dreaded Burpees and wall balls and pull ups and toe touches. The added perk was I didn’t feel nauseous all the time so I wasn’t battling against that during workouts. However as I began to really “show”, my ability to do sit ups and some other common CF moves went significantly down hill. I adapted by adjusting my workouts with other moves that worked similar muscles or muscle groups.

CrossFit really helped me manage my pregnancy weight in the second tri, and it also gave me the ability to maintain a level of physical strength I needed to keep up with my two crazy (and heavy!) Bear Cubs. At age 1 and 2 they weighed over 70 lbs. between them. I truly believe CF helped me keep up with the holding, carrying, lifting, swinging them in and out of car seats and shopping carts, etc. that I still had to do while pregnant.

Third trimester:

My third trimester looked very different than the first two when it came to working out. As my belly grew, so did my ability to do a LOT of the workout maneuvers I was used to doing with CrossFit. I did my last Burpees and toe touches in May at about 6.5 months pregnant, and after that, it just felt too awkward and uncomfortable to keep it up. We also moved to a new home when I was half way through my 7th month, so my “working out” literally became the daily packing, moving, unpacking routines that our situation in life required. (My Hubs would come home from work and we’d joke about my WOD (“workout of the day”) being “how many boxes did I unpack for time.” Besides the moving/unpacking exertion, climbing stairs or toting around my children felt like enough of a daily workout.

In a nutshell, I did NOT turn out to be this type of pregnant CrossFit mama in the third trimester. Or any trimester. Or any time in my life. Ever:


(HA! Not even close! But isn’t she awesome?!) Via

While I was hoping to be able to give more of a “I was able to do CrossFit through the entire pregnancy” report, I still feel like I had a successful, positive fitness experience during this pregnancy. And I feel a lot stronger than I did at the end of my other pregnancies.

I simply can. not. wait. to get that 6-week-postpartum green light to begin CrossFit after Mr. Baby arrives! I’m so ready to get moving again post-ginormous-belly. (Let me know if anyone wants to join me! I’d love the accountability and encouragement of sharing the journey!).

My CrossFit Pregnancy Eval: 

CrossFit helped me achieve the healthiest pregnancy I’ve had thus far. The way I’ve carried this baby compared to the others…the amount of weight I’ve gained (at 39 weeks I weigh about 5 lbs. less than my postpartum plateau weight months after my last baby was born) and the energy I still have in these final days of pregnancy is, I believe, a testament to the positive effects of CrossFit.

The “dual pillars” of healthy living for me this pregnancy were my workout regimen with CrossFit, and a nutritional lifestyle change the Hubs and I made in our home exactly one year ago. I don’t like to say we’re on a “special diet” because it’s really become more than a diet – it’s become a way of life in our home.

And next week, I’m going to tell you all about it. Hope you’ll stop back over here so I can share it with you next week!



  1. I nominate the top photo with Bear Cub #2 as Cutest Workout Shot Ever.

  2. I’m 3 weeks post-partum now and so very eager to begin working out again. This will be my first (official) foray into crossfit and this post has got me ready to go! Thanks for this. I’m going to be linking it on my blog today.

    • That’s wonderful Melody! Hopefully we can encourage each other 🙂
      And congratulations on your sweet baby – she’s beautiful!!

  3. Hello Stephanie,

    It has been such a long time since we last spoke! I love keeping an eye on your blog. I must confess I don’t read al posts but many have been inspirational. Congratulations on your 3 little boys and all God is doing in your life.

    Just a little update, I am married and have 2 children Therese and Augustine. They are gems! in a couple weeks Ellen Burns and I plan to road trip it out to see Andrea Swansan make her first vow, HOW EXCITING!!!

    One of your blogs I found “inspirational” was the one about the Learning Tower. My husband and I thought it was so cool, but we are one a tight budget (as I stay home with the children), so we decided to build one on a date night :). We successfully built it, for under $40!! Our 2 year old loves it!

    The reason I decided to write today was to tell you a piece of my story and ask your take on it; regarding, workouts during pregnancy. You may remember me going out on runs with Teresa Altman and enjoying regular exercise. This has not changed :)!

    While at Franciscan I learned a little weight lifting and maintained running as my cardio. Since then I have worked out at least 3 times a week, I guard that time, as important for my physical and mental health, love it!!
    During our first pregnancy, I hired a personal trainer, so that I would be certain to do only exercises safe for the baby. She helped me a lot and said i was safe to maintain running, as I’d been doing that pre-pregnancy. It was going really well, until about 10 weeks gestation, I miscarried! We were devastated!

    With our second pregnancy, I carried an amount of guilt and uncertainly about working out during pregnancy, I resolved not to work out, or even carry heavy groceries ;). Maybe took it a little far! That pregnancy was healthy and resulted in our beautiful four year old daughter!

    Two years later we were pregnant again! I still carried some apprehension about working out, so I refrained. In addition, I was so busy working full-time and caring for a 1 year old, many days felt like workout enough :). Our son was born happy and health via a home birth :), God is good!

    This past June, we found out we were expecting again. I had been working out previous to the pregnancy at home, following a website offering free workout videos. These had been so convenient and truly a blessing given our tight budget and my being at home with the children while my husband worked long hours! I had also been following your blogging about Cross Fit during pregnancy. As a result, I had made up my mind to work out during this fourth pregnancy!!

    While maintaining 4-5 workouts per week, I was feeling really good, lots of energy but resting when necessary, etc. The workouts I had been doing seem similar to Cross Fit, burpies, push ups, squats, crunches etc. I would appreciate you having a peek a the site, I would like to know your take on it. However, I will warn you- it seems the mind behind the site is not about God’s business, he is looking for beauty in ALL the wrong ways and places!! Yet, the workouts seem very solid to me, yet sad presentations. The site is called, or charliejames1975 You Tube channel. I want to know what you think, truthfully!

    Getting back on track, after a few weeks in to this pregnancy I went for an early ultrasound, it was a little bit concerning. After a second ultrasound and bloodwork it was determined that baby had passed away, around 6 weeks. I miscarried at 10 weeks.

    In conclusion, I can’t help but see a common denominator between my two pregnancies, working out. Let me give you another piece of the puzzle, I have a heart shaped uterus, which makes my pregnancies more high risk. This could be part of the explanation. Another part, or all of the explanation is simply that God is the Author of life; He gives and He takes away!
    In my finite mind, I still question – Could it be the workouts?

    How would you weigh in, Stephanie?

    I know God will show me one day! Yet, for today, I truly trust your judgement as a pro-life, faithful Catholic, smart, health-seeking wife and mother. Would you conclude that workouts and pregnancy are not a safe mix, for my body or would you give it another whirl next pregnancy?

    You are in our prayers in these last days of your pregnancy and God’s grace with labour and those first few weeks post-partum.

    Blessings to you and your family!

    -Ginnie (Woodall) Charlesworth

  4. […] How I Became a CrossFit Mom – End of Pregnancy Evaluation […]

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