19 December 2006

birthing boost

I was just reading that Jana Pittman had her baby, Cornelius (what is it with famous people and obscure baby names?!)

Read about it here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/people/janaa-baby-joy/2006/12/15/1165685877310.html

Then I saw this article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the benefits of 'heightened fitness' postpartum

Supermums are on drugs, naturally/Jacquelin Magnay/December 9, 2006
AFTER giving birth, mothers have a six-week rush of extra red blood cells, a hormonal cocktail that aids endurance and strength, and a gobsmacking jolt of awareness of their toughness in surviving childbirth.

Physiologically elite athletes can benefit from this window of heightened fitness, presuming of course that the late-night feeds and disjointed routine are as under control as the leaking of all things from all places and the sore back from softened ligaments caused by the pregnancy hormone, relaxin.

In the East German doping regime of the 1970s and 1980s, and in the Russian gymnastic program in the 1970s, there were reports that coaches encouraged athletes to get pregnant up until the 16-week mark and then abort, so that the athletes could train harder and perform better from the supply of another pregnancy hormone - human chorionic gonadotropin.
HCG boosts the production of steroids in women. Pregnant women also have extra erythropoietin (EPO), which helps supply oxygen to the body and enables athletes to train for longer periods.
(I seriously hope this isn't true.....)

But it is more well known that the East German doctors would induce abortions in their athletes because of the birth defects caused by female athletes taking steroids.
There have been many examples of supreme athletes bouncing back from motherhood quickly.
Olympic champion Marion Jones had a son in June 2003 and was back in training four weeks later.

Irish runner Sonia O'Sullivan resumed training 10 days after giving birth, at the urging of her coach and partner Nic Bideau, and then backed up to win silver in the 5000 metres at the Sydney Olympics.

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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.