Emily Breeze Watson is a fitness trainer, former CrossFit Games athlete and soon-to-be mom-of-three, so she knows her body well — but she’s still getting criticism for working out at 7 months pregnant.
The bootcamp coach and influencer said she constantly gets judgmental comments on her Instagram posts about continuing to do CrossFit workouts and weight lifting, despite her credentials.
“I read some comments like ‘what is wrong with her — why does she workout. Only thing I did during pregnancy is lift cheeseburgers to my mouth.’ On top of this comment are others chiming in with support,” Watson, 34, wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “I’ll never understand why we bash someone for doing what’s healthy and positive. There is so much room for less judgement and just overall support on living healthy.”
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The North Carolina-based trainer said that it isn’t necessary to stop exercising during pregnancy.
“I’m always baffled when people judge other women for working out while pregnant. Do you really think pregnancy is a time to flip off your health and just stop doing everything that you did in your normal day to day life?” she said. “It’s a time when your focus really should be on health and wellness which includes sleep, good nutrition, mental clarity and exercise.”
Watson wrote in a post a week earlier that she is well-versed in pregnancy and exercise, and she and her doctor agree that she’s being perfectly safe.
“Y’all this is my third baby in the past three years and exercise is my career. I’m closely monitored by my doctor (who has been by my side for 13 years) and depending on the day or how I feel modify accordingly,” she said. “Shocking to some, but REGULAR EXERCISE during a NORMAL PREGNANCY is GOOD for parent and baby. Go figure!!”
Watson emphasized that she’s not trying to max out on weights or kill herself on the track during her workouts — she just wants to move and have fun.
“I DO NOT monitor my heart rate, I DO NOT change anything during the first trimester, I DO NOT stop exercising because of silly old wives tales or peoples nasty comments about me and my family, I DO NOT count macros or watch what I eat, but I DO enjoy my health and sweat it out with exercise 6x a week,” she said. “I lift, I run, I play with my kids, I walk the dog, I stretch, I just have fun and live my normal life. I think movement is key.. let’s celebrate that.”
And doctors agree that exercising during pregnancy is perfectly safe for most women. Dr. Joanne Stone the director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System, previously told PEOPLE that most pregnant women can work out without any issues.
“There’s no limit on women on how much they can exercise,” she said, “though some of it depends on if they’re having any complications, like preeclampsia, so there are different recommendations for those patients. But for people who are completely uncomplicated with a low risk of issues, there’s no limit on how much exercise they can do.”
Watson told PEOPLE back in Jan. 2018, when she was pregnant with her second child and getting the same criticism, that she wants women to recognize that every body is different, and the key is to do what feels best.
“It’s important to listen to your body. You’re going to have some great days and some low-key days,” she says. “Some days you’re doing to be doing high-intensity exercise and other days it’ll be a walk in your neighborhood. You have to listen to your body and stay true to whatever movement your body can handle.”
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