Five-time national champion and former Olympian Alysia Montano ran the women's 800 meter race yesterday at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
That wouldn't be unusual, except for the fact that Montano is eight months pregnant.
The mom-to-be, 28, finished the race last at 2 minutes, 32.13 seconds, but got a big cheer from the audience when she crossed the finish line.
“I know there is a lot of stigma and really, the word is ignorance, behind pregnant women and exercising. And the truth is, it’s good for the mom and the baby,” Montano told CBS Los Angeles.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, explained why Montano can keep running this far along in her pregnancy.
“The amniotic fluid provides cushion for the fetus and blood will not be shunted away to other parts of the body enough to harm mom or fetus,” Dr. Snyderman told Today.com. “Even the issue of stamina is a moot point. Balance may be affected a little from a shifting weight load but only minimally.”
Montano and her husband planned the pregnancy for 2014 so that she can compete in the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics.
“That took away any fear of what the outside world might think about a woman running during her pregnancy,” Montano told the Associated Press. “What I found out mostly was that exercising during pregnancy is actually much better for the mom and the baby... I did all the things I normally do... I just happened to be pregnant. This is my normal this year.”