Jana Pittman still sprinting at 8-months pregnant. Mums worldwide watch on in shock and awe.

Jana Pittman is track sprinting at 8-months pregnant.

“The size of a small car.”

That’s how a beloved friend described me when I was eight-months pregnant with my first child. And she wasn’t exaggerating. There was only one baby in there (and she turned out to be quite small), but I looked like I could easily house a professional couple, their fashionable only-child and a poodle.

I felt like my body took up every last inch of my clothes, my boobs were beyond restraint and my enormous, orbital shape took up every tiny skerrick of space in my world. And I was tired all the time.

And I felt like this even though I had no serious health complications, and I was reasonably “good” about not eating for two, going for walks, staying active (if, by active, you mean hauling my arse to and from work every day).

Let’s just be honest. Being very, very pregnant, is not a lot of fun.

Here’s another woman who is eight-months pregnant.

Don’t you, if you are pregnant right now, think that she must be a different species from you, some sort of magical, flying pregnancy unicorn?

That’s because she is.

This is Jana Pittman.

Elite athlete, mother-of-two (baby Emily was born on Monday, mum was still jogging on Sunday) training at eight months. Doing something called 200 metre tempo reps. One more look:

jana pittman running feature size
Jana Pittman running at eight months. As you do. Image via Fairfax.

I salute her, and all the other pregnant runners, because there was no chance of me being able to drag my swollen self up and down a track at eight months. Pigs would certainly have flown faster. I would high-five her. But I probably wouldn’t be able to catch her, even now.


But not everyone loves to see a pregnant woman exercising.

“You selfish cow!” British pregnant runner Jenny Wright told the Daily Mail a stranger yelled at her while she was jogging. “‘You should be ashamed of yourself, putting your own vanity before your unborn baby.”

Thankfully, these nutters are wrong. As Joseph Sgroi, Australian obstetrician told Mamamia, “Exercising when you’re pregnant is safe, and encouraged. If you’ve never exercised, you should start slowly, with 15 minute walks 3-5 times a week. But for seasoned campaginers like Jana, in the early stages of pregnancy she will feel like she can run harder and faster than ever, due to increased blood flow.”

Did you hear that? Pregnancy can give you super-powers.

So why are some of us so couch-bound, while others like, literally bound? “A lot of it has to do with your mindset about your pregnancy and the mindset of those around you about your pregnancy,” says Dr Sgroi.

Another magical pregnancy unicorn: “She ran a race while 34-weeks pregnant. This is why.”

Oh, so it was my MINDSET that made my ankles swell.

But he’s at pains to point out that the mortals among need not feel bad when we look at Jana. “It’s like when you have a child, and it seems everyone around you’s child sleeps and yours doesn’t. Every woman and every child and every pregnancy is different.”

Amen, Dr Sgroi. And some of them suck.

I know that I would rather watch the Incredible Wonder Jana run like the wind with her Lycra clad bump than gaze upon the impossible fantasy that is bikini model Sarah Stage, who posted this snap, the latest in a long line of pictures that – and I’m sorry, but they do – seem designed to make Ordinary Pregnants feel very, very Ordinary.

The caption? Only 10 days until we meet #BabyJames.

You are beautiful and lovely, Sarah, but no pregnant woman wants to see that.

I would rather know that for women who have dedicated so much of their lives to being fit and fast and strong, pregnancy and childbirth does not mean they lose anything.

In fact, it can almost make them better. Jana gave birth to baby Emily on Monday. Jana hopes to compete at the Rio Olympics next year, and why not? She’s done it before. A single mum, Jana’s son Cornelis, now 8, has been no impediment to her training.

Go, pregnant super-ladies. We hope you don’t mind, but we’ll watch from the lounge.

Pass the ice-cream.

Did you exercise while you were pregnant?

Come and Like Holly on Facebook. She needs people to eat ice-cream on the lounge with.