4 Inspiring female athletes who dominated post-pregnancy
Female athletes devote their entire lives to their respective fields. They don’t clock in and out like they would at a desk job. Everything from when they get up in the morning to what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is engineered to help them be the best at their chosen sport. Their body is their livelihood and their performance is quite literally decided by their performance on the track or field.
With so much riding on their physical selves, it’s so inspiring to see female athletes who ‘have it all’: motherhood and a career. Motherhood does change you. Whether that’s physically (like the exhaustion of waking up with a newborn) or mentally (mum brain is REAL – pregnancy can decrease the grey matter in your cerebral cortex. Check out more info HERE*.) And, while being physically fit can help with a lot of issues during pregnancy, and make the bounce-back shorter, there’s still a lot of people who believe women are less physically capable than men even without the added stressors of pregnancy and motherhood.
After all, it’s been less than 80 years since Katherine Switzer defiantly became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, despite officials attempting to physically stop her. And it was only in 2012, with the introduction of women’s wrestling, that women could compete in all the sports on the Olympic programme. So, to see any female athletes dominate is not only inspirational, it’s a show of strength. And to see a mother compete and thrive in their field after giving birth is a testament to how powerful and resilient the female body is.
Here are just 4 female athletes who came back after pregnancy to achieve great success:
Double Olympic champion and three-times world champion, Helen Glover is no stranger to success. She one of the most decorated athletes in the GB Rowing Team. After stepping away from the sport to get married and have three children, Helen returned to the sport in January 2021 with the goal of being the first mother to compete for the GB Rowing team. And in April, Helen Glover won gold with teammate Polly Swann at the European Championships taking her one step closer to her goal. What’s next for Helen? We can’t wait to find out!
Find out more about Helen:
Paula Radcliffe is a British distance runner who set world records in the marathon, most notably winning the 2003 London Marathon. She’s a six-time world champion and competed in 4 consecutive Olympic Games from 1996 – 2008. In January of 2007, she welcomed her first child, Isla, but by November of that same year (barely 11 months later), Paula was back in the race finishing first in the New York City Marathon. Clearly, motherhood was not going to slow this female athlete down…
Find out more about Paula:
Dara Torres is one of the most decorated US Olympic female athletes of all time. She’s won a whopping 12 Olympic medals (4 Gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze – just to keep it nice and even… ). But that’s not all: At 40, 16 months after giving birth to her daughter Tessa, she won the 100 m freestyle and broke her own record in the 50 meters at the 2007 USA Swimming National Championships. And it’s no wonder when, according to her website, she didn’t stop training through her entire pregnancy. That’s dedication!
Find out more about Dara:
Serena Williams is a well-known name in the world of tennis. Having won 39 grand slams (23 singles, 14 women’s doubles and 2 mixed doubles). She even won the Australian Open (against her sister, Venus) and earned her 23rd major championship while pregnant! Following a complicated birth involving an emergency C0section, the then-35-year-old began experiencing shortness of breath, which led to the discovery of a pulmonary embolism, where at least one artery in the lung s is blocked by a blood clot. Despite these setbacks, and a knee injury, she’s reached the finals in both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, she won her first singles title as a mother at the 202 ABS Classic and became the first woman with at least one title in four decades: the 1990s, the 2000s, the 2010s and the 2020s.
Find out more about Serena:
Head to social media let us know who we missed: Which female athletes have inspired you?