Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks


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Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby mooseking » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:27 am

Can we list some of the athletes who have made comebacks after childbirth.
Thanks
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby doug5321 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:32 am

the best known example is worknesh kidane who took 3 years off after being pregnant 2 times one right after the other, she runs the chicago marathon on october 7th.

ingrid kristiansen, lashinda demus, paula radcliffe and hundres maybe even thousands more.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby lapsus » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:49 am

For example Lebedeva had perhaps her best year the year after childbirth. This is not so unusual.

A successful comeback after having a second child is quite a bit rarer, I think.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:15 am

I heard the Octomom is into sports now. Maybe a marathon is in the cards.

http://wired965.com/videos/wired-events ... vs-octomom
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby mooseking » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:03 am

Thanks guys.
The more the better. I am in the early stages of research and want to see who all was successfull and who wasn't.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby polevaultpower » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:16 am

The most impressive, IMO, is gymnast Oksana Chusovitina.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby gh » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:30 am

The list is endless.

Note also that the subject is "pregnant" the original post switched to "childbirth," which isn't exactly the same thing.

In an athletic-aid sense, it might be though, if there's much truth to "abortion doping" theories:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_doping
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby rainy.here » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:14 pm

Issajenko
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby lovetorun » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:29 pm

Kara Goucher is doing quite well.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby nevetsllim » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:30 pm

Nancy Langat's eldest son turned six on the day she won her Olympic 1500m gold medal in Beijing. Francoise Mbango and Gulnara Galkina also won gold medals in Beijing after giving birth too and the latter set the WR which still stands. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Anna Chicherova is the only mother to win gold in London. As gh says, the list is endless.

doug5321 wrote:the best known example is worknesh kidane who took 3 years off after being pregnant 2 times one right after the other, she runs the chicago marathon on october 7th.


How is Kidane the best known example? :?
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby polevaultpower » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:31 pm

gh wrote:The list is endless.

Note also that the subject is "pregnant" the original post switched to "childbirth," which isn't exactly the same thing.

In an athletic-aid sense, it might be though, if there's much truth to "abortion doping" theories:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_doping



I am very skeptical that that has ever been widely used.

I am pregnant right now with kiddo #2, and just got through the first trimester. I feel like ASS those first few months. While your body may be producing more blood cells and blood volume increasing, it's USING them and then some to grow a baby. I can feel a huge difference just in my ability to hike up a hill, very early on in the pregnancy.

I know for me, I am EXHAUSTED all of the time. My brain turns to mush. The nausea varies a lot from person to person, but for many it's something that would impede training and performance.

I just can't imagine how an elite athlete could continue to train at their peak during that time. Sure, you hear stories about women who didn't know they were pregnant until very late in the game, but I've never heard of that happening to an athlete. I've heard anecdotally from distance runners that their performances and training tends to take a nosedive as soon as they become pregnant, for many they don't even know they are pregnant until later, then they look back and realize why things went downhill.

Perhaps if the pregnancy ends at the end of the first trimester, you would have a temporary boost from the extra blood and such your body produced... but for most women, their training in the months prior is going to take a negative hit. I just doubt that in most cases that the benefits would be worth it.

Regardless of where they stand on the issue, most women would not purposefully go through the experience of getting pregnant and experiencing the loss of the baby, just to gain an edge. Has it happened? Probably, but is it, or has it ever been, widespread? I seriously doubt it.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby nevetsllim » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:35 pm

lapsus wrote:For example Lebedeva had perhaps her best year the year after childbirth. This is not so unusual.

A successful comeback after having a second child is quite a bit rarer, I think.


Edna Kiplagat and Nancy Langat both have two children.

Okay, she not not have been at her best but I think Tulu had six children when she won the New York Marathon in 2009. :shock: She adopted a few of them but still a great achievement.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby gh » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:50 pm

Chaunté Lowe's American Records all came post-partum.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby 18.99s » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:57 pm

Svetlana Masterkova won Olymplic gold in the 800m and 1500m and set the still-standing world record in the mile after having a daughter.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby iain » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:06 pm

Tasha Danvers
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby leoesharkey » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:37 pm

There is a vast amount of track and field athletes who have come back after having children, it is normal and natural unless there is some unusual health complications. Especially amongst the power athletes, from Valerie Brisco Hooks, Flo Jo, Evelyn Ashford to Drechsler and natalya Sadove, from sprinters jumpers to throwers. For an athlete not to return to elite sport after childbirth would the exception unless there was age health issues. 8-)
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby 18.99s » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:50 pm

leoesharkey wrote:There is a vast amount of track and field athletes who have come back after having children, it is normal and natural unless there is some unusual health complications. Especially amongst the power athletes, from Valerie Brisco Hooks, Flo Jo, Evelyn Ashford to Drechsler and natalya Sadove, from sprinters jumpers to throwers.

FloJo had her one and only child after retiring from competition.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby mump boy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:49 pm

Liz McColgam Bronze at WXC 4 months after going birth and WC gold 4 months later :shock:
Sonia O'Sullivan
Lisa Ondieki
Fanny Blankers Koen
Mary Rand
Gwen Torrence
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Pego » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:15 pm

polevaultpower wrote:
gh wrote:The list is endless.

Note also that the subject is "pregnant" the original post switched to "childbirth," which isn't exactly the same thing.

In an athletic-aid sense, it might be though, if there's much truth to "abortion doping" theories:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_doping



I am very skeptical that that has ever been widely used.



Agreed. I heard rumors, but not one documented case. Furthermore, while I can appreciate some potential benefits, there are also many potential problems involved, physiological as well as psychological.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby berkeley » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:10 pm

Brisco-Hooks has to be once of the most notable in terms of improvement after childbirth. I don't remember exactly what her PRs were before, but they were nothing special, and afterward she won triple Olympic gold and ran 21.8/48.8.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby gh » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:55 pm

bottom line is that the default position is that world-class women who have children seem to be more likely than not to come back as good (or better) than ever afterwards. Indeed, I'm guessing that now that we're in the pro era that we see that those who decided to seriously get back into the sport have absolutely no problem making a "comeback"; so many that the term comeback makes no sense at all.

Not to diminish the physical trial that childbirth is, but in relative terms it's no harder to "come back from" than muscle pulls. Indeed, perhaps easier.

A final note: my high school coach (who was coaching world-class women as far back as the '50s) always insisted that pregnancy was nothing but beneficial in a woman's career.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Ned Ryerson » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:39 pm

Derartu Tulu
-Olympic gold pre-motherhood
-Olympic gold post-motherhood
-New York Marathon win after second child (via cesarean)
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby polevaultpower » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:12 pm

gh wrote:Not to diminish the physical trial that childbirth is, but in relative terms it's no harder to "come back from" than muscle pulls. Indeed, perhaps easier.

A final note: my high school coach (who was coaching world-class women as far back as the '50s) always insisted that pregnancy was nothing but beneficial in a woman's career.



Sure, if everything goes well, which it's more likely to for athletes, but there are no guarantees. My ab muscles separated during pregnancy (which is common) but they they never healed back together properly and my core strength is shot. Since I want to have several more kids, I am probably just screwed in that department. I'd like to do pole vault again someday as a masters athlete, but I don't know if it will be possible :(

I would be curious to know how many athletes returned to the elite level (especially in non-throwing events) after a C-section or two, or after other major complications of pregnancy/childbirth. I'm sure it's possible, but probably a little harder than recovering from a muscle pull...
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Powell » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:05 am

polevaultpower wrote:I am pregnant right now with kiddo #2, and just got through the first trimester. I feel like ASS those first few months. While your body may be producing more blood cells and blood volume increasing, it's USING them and then some to grow a baby. I can feel a huge difference just in my ability to hike up a hill, very early on in the pregnancy.


But obviously not all women react the same way. Evelyn Ashford set a WR at 100 while pregnant. I also remember Trine Hattestad competing at world-class level right up to five months pregnant in 1995.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Powell » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:57 am

berkeley wrote:Brisco-Hooks has to be once of the most notable in terms of improvement after childbirth. I don't remember exactly what her PRs were before, but they were nothing special, and afterward she won triple Olympic gold and ran 21.8/48.8.


Ingrid Kristiansen also made major progress after giving birth (although she had already been a world-class runner before). So did Ludmila Andonova, who set her HJ WR in the year following having a baby.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:36 am

Powell wrote:But obviously not all women react the same way. Evelyn Ashford set a WR at 100 while pregnant. I also remember Trine Hattestad competing at world-class level right up to five months pregnant in 1995.


I highly doubt that Evelyn Ashford was pregnant when she set the WR. She set it August 22, 1984 and had her baby May 30. If you plug the dates into a pregnancy calculator, a LMP of August 22 would give her a due date of May 29.

For the uninformed :shock:, pregnancy dating begins at the start of your last period. That is assuming a woman ovulates two weeks later. The egg can't be fertilized until ovulation, and it then takes a few more days to make it's way into the uterus and implant. It can take a few weeks for the hormone levels to be high enough for most women to start to feel a difference. In other words, no one is actually pregnant before ~ 3w, and most women won't have any symptoms until 4-6w.

In other words, it's extremely unlikely that Ashford was pregnant when she set the WR, though she probably conceived a short time later. That sounds like gossip started by people who know nothing about how babies are made.


Hattestad was a javelin thrower. Early pregnancy is going to have the biggest impact on your cardiovascular system. I would imagine a jav thrower during their competition season could get away with a reduction in running and not see a huge hit in performance the way a runner would.

Since the discussion relevant to this was about abortion doping... I would imagine a thrower would be the least likely to be adversely affected by a pregnancy, but they would also be the east likely to get any significant gains from the increased blood volume and such that comes with pregnancy.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Powell » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:16 am

polevaultpower wrote:I highly doubt that Evelyn Ashford was pregnant when she set the WR. She set it August 22, 1984 and had her baby May 30. If you plug the dates into a pregnancy calculator, a LMP of August 22 would give her a due date of May 29.

In other words, it's extremely unlikely that Ashford was pregnant when she set the WR, though she probably conceived a short time later. That sounds like gossip started by people who know nothing about how babies are made.


I don't know; the claim has been made in many different places. HERE, for instance, her coach is quoted as saying she was pregnant at the time.
Re your calculation: you're assuming the baby was born exactly as statistically scheduled. To my knowledge, it doesn't exactly work like that in each individual case.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:19 am

Powell wrote:I don't know; the claim has been made in many different places. HERE, for instance, her coach is quoted as saying she was pregnant at the time.
Re your calculation: you're assuming the baby was born exactly as statistically scheduled. To my knowledge, it doesn't exactly work like that in each individual case.



My baby was born 3 weeks late, and that is an anomaly and took a massive effort on my part to fight off the doctors who wanted to induce me. Even if they were less likely to induce in the mid-80s, it's unlikely she was more than 2 weeks overdue. At best she may have conceived around the time of Zurich, but any levels of pregnancy hormone in her body would have been so low that they would not have impacted performance (and it's really a stretch to think she was that far along).

Her coach's point in that article was that people believed steroids prevented athletes from getting pregnant. His athlete got pregnant right around the time of setting a world record, therefore she must not have been on steroids.

People are just counting backwards 40w from when she had the baby and calling her pregnant in Zurich. I find that highly unlikely, and at best she was so barely pregnant that it didn't affect anything at all. And that's only if her baby was born several weeks late, which I doubt.

I looked up some articles on her birth, and it said the baby weighed 5lbs 10oz. That's pretty small for a 40w+ baby, but would not be surprising if she was a few weeks early... which would put her not remotely pregnant in Zurich.

Can you find a quote from Evelyn herself saying she knew she was pregnant in Zurich?
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby leoesharkey » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:24 am

Wrong about Flo Jo, it was Brisco-Hooks that made the big improvement, How would Brisco hooks have fared on the hard tracks of today, 21.5/48.5s maybe? :D but mother nature designed women to be phtsically functional after childbirth for obvious reasons, maybe to be even fitter? but pregnancy is a natural process so an athlete should be able to resume unless age health issues arise also.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Smoke » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:04 pm

Women go through a miraculous change physically. They are stronger. There are some things you have to manage and barring setbacks, the physical change is amazing. Tasha could not feel it but her workouts and times showed it. She was a completely different athlete on her return. Not a new athlete but different. Some things that challenged her prior, were just workouts afterwards.
I did not read up on it extensively but the hormonal changes that occur through the pregnancy have a positive affect physically. Mentally, that is down to the person.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Gabriella » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:40 am

berkeley wrote:Brisco-Hooks has to be once of the most notable in terms of improvement after childbirth. I don't remember exactly what her PRs were before, but they were nothing special, and afterward she won triple Olympic gold and ran 21.8/48.8.


So many women have had children and come back strong, it would take forever to list them. But the interesting point is when in their career they had a child and whether it appeared to affect them, good or bad. If an athlete has had a successful career since a junior they may wish to have a child at 'peak sporting age' because they are already successful, but for the later developers it may be better to have a child earlier or later.

But I guess the thing about having a child is it's not always planned and it's far more important then any athletics achievement, so it's down to the individual :D
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Flumpy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:29 pm

berkeley wrote:Brisco-Hooks has to be once of the most notable in terms of improvement after childbirth. I don't remember exactly what her PRs were before, but they were nothing special, and afterward she won triple Olympic gold and ran 21.8/48.8.


WOW!!!

Who'd have thought childbirth could have such an effect!!! :shock: :lol:
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby skiboo » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:46 pm

Powell wrote:HERE, for instance, her coach is quoted as saying she was pregnant at the time.


A couple of points. First, related to the link Powell provided. Charlie Francis compared Evelyn's 10.97 (wind -1.2) in the 84 Olympics in LA, to her 10.76 (wind +1.7) in Zurich same year, and implies that the improvement was 0.21, to lend weight to his argument. Actually, you can use at least one online conversion machine - http://myweb.lmu.edu/jmureika/track/wind/index.html - to see that the 2 times come out virtually identical, after factoring in wind and altitude - 10.87 for Zurich 84 and 10.88 for the Olympic win same year in LA. Sorry , just had to get that out of my system.

Back to the thread at hand, Wilma Rudolph won her Olympic golds after giving birth.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby Powell » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:27 am

skiboo wrote:Back to the thread at hand, Wilma Rudolph won her Olympic golds after giving birth.


And Fanny Blankers-Koen was a mother of two when she won 4 golds in London '48.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby skiboo » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:05 am

Flumpy wrote:
berkeley wrote:Brisco-Hooks has to be once of the most notable in terms of improvement after childbirth. I don't remember exactly what her PRs were before, but they were nothing special, and afterward she won triple Olympic gold and ran 21.8/48.8.


WOW!!!

Who'd have thought childbirth could have such an effect!!! :shock: :lol:


Plainly, nobody - pardon me for answering your rhetorical question. :wink:
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby PZhelev » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:07 am

Indeed, the list is endless. We coild shorten it asking about the female athletes that won big campionships after giving a birth to a child.
In my mind appears Stefka Kostadinova – she was the best in women’s high jump in the late 1980-s but lost to Louise Ritter at 1988 Olympics (I believe, mostly due to psychological reasons). She won World Champs in 1995 and Olympics in 1996 after giving birth to his son in the early 1995.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby PZhelev » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:09 am

Sorry, to HER son. We are so much occupied by male ahletes :-)
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby tandfman » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:16 pm

polevaultpower wrote:
Powell wrote:But obviously not all women react the same way. Evelyn Ashford set a WR at 100 while pregnant. I also remember Trine Hattestad competing at world-class level right up to five months pregnant in 1995.


I highly doubt that Evelyn Ashford was pregnant when she set the WR. She set it August 22, 1984 and had her baby May 30. If you plug the dates into a pregnancy calculator, a LMP of August 22 would give her a due date of May 29.

For the uninformed :shock:, pregnancy dating begins at the start of your last period. That is assuming a woman ovulates two weeks later. The egg can't be fertilized until ovulation, and it then takes a few more days to make it's way into the uterus and implant. It can take a few weeks for the hormone levels to be high enough for most women to start to feel a difference. In other words, no one is actually pregnant before ~ 3w, and most women won't have any symptoms until 4-6w.

In other words, it's extremely unlikely that Ashford was pregnant when she set the WR . . .

According to her coach, Evelyn Ashford set a World Indoor Record after having a miscarriage earlier in the day.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby JayIsMe » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:46 pm

We are an unchivalrous lot. This is 28 posts too late in this thread, but congratulations PVP- health and happiness to both you and kiddo #2.
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Re: Pregnant athletes who have made comebacks

Postby polevaultpower » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:35 am

Thanks!
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