Oxana Rumyantseva is 38 weeks pregnant with her fourth daughter — a happy occasion by any measure. Except, people will not shut up about her baby bump.
The personal trainer and former fitness competitor is used to public scrutiny — she competes in bodybuilding competitions, and she still posts gym selfies on her Instagram feed on the reg. And while most of her fans are supportive, her commitment to staying fit throughout this pregnancy is bringing out the worst in some people.
“There are so many haters who don’t understand fitness during pregnancy and call my pregnant abs ugly or think I’m too skinny,” Rumyantseva says.
In the hundreds of comments her posts garner, people accuse of her of “being selfish,” “starving the baby,” and make countless uneducated guesses about her health. One troll even said her tiny tummy is evidence she’s faking her pregnancy and planning to adopt a baby, which seems pretty improbable after looking at any of her maternity pictures.
All the speculation about how her workouts hurt her or the baby are not only untrue, says Rumyantseva, but it gives people the wrong idea about prenatal exercise. “A lot of people think that pregnancy is like disease and think you should spend it lying in bed, but that’s not healthy,” she says.
She learned that from experience. Rumyantseva was used to being athletic, but during her first pregnancy she was told to take it easy. “I ended up with serious back problems, making it difficult to walk and even lift my child after she was born,” she remembers. “It was awful, and the doctors couldn’t help me.” So she went back to what she knew: fitness. Slowly she got her strength back, training harder as her body allowed. Not only did it cure her back pain, but she discovered a passion for weight lifting and it launched her career as a fitness competitor.
This pregnancy, Rumyantseva stuck with her usual four workouts per week, split between cardio and lifting days. But now that she’s almost reached her due date, she says she takes it easier, doing just two or three workouts a week and sticking to low-impact exercises like walking on the beach.
For the record, her workout schedule is in line with the recommendations from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which state that healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies “should be encouraged to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises before, during, and after pregnancy, aiming for “20–30 minutes per day on most or all days of the week.”
It’s certainly working well for Rumyantseva. “I’m feeling really good; I sleep well, have lots of energy, and have no pain,” she says. (Something not many women at 38 weeks pregnant can still say!) And as for her baby? She’s perfectly fine too. “No one has to worry. My doctor says my baby is a normal weight and doing great.”