Pregnant and Powerful

Being a mother is full time job. Being a mother and an elite athlete? Superwoman. More and more we see female athletes coming back to their sports after having a child. Which is awesome!

Although, the pregnancies are planned out a little better than most. Because our society does not focus on maturity leave, especially in the sporting world, these women have to fit pregnancy into their schedules.

They look at when the next Olympic and World Championship competitions are for their sport. Then they find a gap year, which gives them enough time to be pregnant, have their baby, and get back to training.


Today, in an article for ESPNW, USA Olympic Runner Allyson Felix announced that she gave birth to a baby girl in November. She kept her pregnancy private so that she could enjoy this whole journey. It was different that anything that she had done before. More difficult than any training session or Olympic race that she has won. Her daughter, Camryn, was born 3 pounds and 7 ounces on Nov. 28.

Felix plans on returning to track and attempting to make her fifth Olympics in 2020. She acknowledges that there are tough roads ahead but is looking forward to this new challenge.

“If I come back and I’m just not the same, if I can’t make a fifth Olympic team, I’m gonna know that I fought, that I was determined, and that I gave it my absolute all. And if it doesn’t end up the way I imagined in my head, it’ll be OK.” -Allyson Felix

Here is a list of ten other female athletes that have come back to their sport after pregnancies!

  1. Wilma Rudolph: Track (1960 Olympics)
  2. Kim Clijsters: Tennis
  3. Dana Vollmer: Swimming
  4. Kikkan Randall: Cross Country Skiing
  5. Sydney Leroux: Soccer
  6. Alysia Montaño: Track
  7. Victoria Azarenka: Tennis
  8. Kerri Walsh Jennings: Beach Volleyball
  9. Candace Parker: Basketball
  10. Serena Williams: Tennis

Sporting organizations are starting to recognize the trends of women returning after childbirth and they are adjusting their rules. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has started to redefine the ranking system for their athletes so that pregnant players can save their rankings until they return to the game.

Not many viewers think of the athletes’ private lives when they are watching them compete. But the next time you watch a sporting event, check to see if there are any mothers on the field or court. This will add to your level of amazement.

There are so many female athletes that have come back to the sport after pregnancies throughout history and so many who are on the fields or courts today. We are so proud of all the mothers out there!

Thanks, mom.

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