Pregnant or Breastfeeding and the Olympics


When I was pregnant, I could barely walk from my car into my work building without taking a break. And I counted that as my exercise for the day.

But when it comes to Lindsay Flach – she’s a bit (a lot) more inspirational than I.

At 18 weeks pregnant, she competed at the track and field Olympic trials.

Lindsay is a heptathlete. That’s seven competitions: the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter sprint, long jump, javelin throw and 800-meter run.

Did I mention she’s pregnant?

Did I mention she has competed in 100-degree temperatures?

When it came to her final event, rather than run all the 800 meters, Lindsay agreed to step off the track after 100 meters to ensure she and her baby were safe. She placed 15th out of 18 competitors, so she’s not going to Tokyo. But, that’s not the point.

Lindsay telling Yahoo! Sports, “I just wanted to prove what women are capable of. To end one chapter and begin another on my terms was amazing.” 

Pregnant, breastfeeding and the Olympics

Being pregnant doesn’t take hopes for Olympic gold off the table.

Beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings won her third gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics while five weeks pregnant with her daughter. Canadian curler Kristie Moore earned a silver medal at 2010 Olympics while five months along. Malaysian shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi competed at the 2012 Olympics while eight months pregnant.

Eight months!

And then there are the new moms.

Aliphine Tuliamuk is a Kenyan-born American long distance runner. She had a girl in January and will be breastfeeding her in Tokyo. Nursing is hard enough, and on top of that, this mom will be preparing to run a marathon. And then actually running a marathon.

Aliphine telling The Washington Post, “I am still nursing Zoe and cannot imagine her not being with me.”

As of this writing, it looks like Aliphine should be able to bring her baby with her, even with Covid restrictions.

Pregnant, breastfeeding and the OlympicsClosing (ceremony)

There are many things you’re advised against doing when you’re pregnant or nursing, but with guidance from a medical professional, competing for, or at, the Olympics doesn’t have to be one of those things.

Pregnant, breastfeeding and the Olympics. Women like Lindsay Flach and Aliphine Tuliamuk are inspirations. They’re a reminder that whether you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or chasing after a little one, it doesn’t mean your dreams outside of motherhood have to come to an end.