Mother of four criticized for lifting weights while pregnant

Oxana Rumyantseva from Russia has given birth to four daughters. She is a fitness instructor with quite an online presence. Oxana posted several photos on her Instagram account during her fourth pregnancy that got thousands talking.

If you browse through Oxana's Instagram profile, it's hard to believe this woman only started working out 10 years ago. When she was 22 and pregnant with her first child, Oxana suffered from severe health problems.

She gained close to 40 lbs during the pregnancy and could barely move. "I was scared to carry the laundry or even lift my arms. I had fluid buildup and pain in my back and legs," said Oxana.

After she gave birth, Oxana was still in pain and often wasn't able to lift her own daughter. Her doctors offered no help, so Oxana decided she'd have to try something else: she began strengthening her muscles with exercise and weightlifting.

Ten years and two pregnancies later, Oxana has learned that she is able to maintain a strong body throughout pregnancy. When she was expecting her fourth child, she decided to keep training until the very last moment. "I'm not as young as I was before, and I have three other children to look after, but I have so much more energy, no fluids and no pain," she wrote on Instagram.

When she proudly posted a photo of herself lifting weights with her pregnant belly exposed, she caught the attention of thousands.

"People started saying horrible things about my stomach," said Oxana. "They called me conceited and said I was hurting my baby." Her critics were certain that her baby would be born with injuries or worse if she didn't stop lifting weights.

People blamed Oxama for setting a bad example for other pregnant women. Others asked her for advice on staying fit during pregnancy. Her only advice: listen to your own body and your doctor's advice, then pick an exercise program that meets your needs.

Oxana's youngest daughter was born perfectly healthy and the mother proudly showed how her body looked afterwards.

Looks like Oxana's eldest daughters are following in their mother's footsteps!

If she's found a way to feel happier and healthier, there isn't much anyone else can say. "Listen to your body!" That is advice that we could all remember more often, don't you think?

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