Pregnant mom sparks firestorm with CrossFit workout photos

© Nick Stern via

35-year-old Lea-Ann Ellison is 8 1/2 months pregnant but is committed to her CrossFit routine. But when pictures of her were posted to Facebook, the social universe reacted.

CrossFit posted a picture with this status:

"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."

- Lea-Ann Ellison

Photo: Nick Stern

Ellison was immediately center of a storm of negativity. Several comments were berating her for her continued routine.

"If anything happens to your baby due to your stupidity, I hope you'll be able to handle your guilt. Pregnancy is NOT the time to be taking stupid risks."

"That can't be safe"

"Sure you look and sound cool, but we're only human...why would you risk hurting your baby just to stay in shape? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It's not a time to kick ass, it's a time to be protective of your unborn child. Normally I'm for crossfit, but this doesn't make any sense to me"

In just two hours, the post picked up 451 shares, prompting Ellison to comment herself: "I can't believe this photo has caused this much stir but it makes me hopeful that it will inspire other strong healthy moms to continue on doing what they love."

But was she deserving the criticism? Obstetrician Brittany Stofko, DO, of Penn Medicine told the Huffington Post "The Mayo Clinic advises pregant women to avoid certain physical activites - scuba diving, contact sports, or anything to force her to lie flat on her back - but exercise is generally deemed safe and encouraged."

Every woman is different and no two pregnancies are alike, but Stofko told the HuffPost those who exercise before pregnancy are usually able to continue working out at the same level. That's something Ellison said when she wrote she's been doing CrossFit for 2 1/2 years.

Read more from the Huffington Post here.

Click here to see more pictures of Ellison, all courtesy of