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tjrpatt
November 27th, 2004, 08:37 PM
Does anyone know a woman who was able to swim at their top form after she had a child? In running, Marion Jones was able to come back in international form after giving birth. I was just wondering if swimmers are able to do this yet. This woman doesn't have to be an Internationally ranked swimmer as well.

I was thinking about this after a girl I knew was going to go under 5 minutes in the 500 free but she got pregnant in high school and she never got back to her top form. Where else could I ask this question than the USMS discussion board.

Alicat
November 27th, 2004, 09:30 PM
Angel Martino --spelling there...
She had a baby a few years ago and posted some awesome times in the Master's meets that followed. Not many women stay in US Swimming after a having a baby, I think this past Olympics there was a female from Europe who has a child and she competed and did very well --made finals in her events, however I can‘t remember her name or country.

I suppose that the level of training needed takes away from being a Mom. However, like the females swimming past 25 years old, I would think swimming competitively after having a baby would be next on the barriers to broken down..

just found this on the web:

Hayley Lewis
Swimmer Stats

Name: Hayley Lewis
Country: AUS
State: QLD
Club: Commercial SC Inc
Born: 74
Height: 170
Weight: 61Kg
Place of birth: Brisbane
Occupation: Athlete/Mother
Coach: Glenda Radley/John Carew
Interests: Family, reading, movies

Highlights

PROFILE:
Produced the most satisfying performance of her long and decorated career, to win bronze in the 5km Open Water World Championship at the 9th Fina World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan on July 16 - 10 years after winning her only world title, the 200m freestyle, in Perth, at the age of 16. Now the 27-year-old mother is swimming better than she has ever swum.
Returned to the pool after becoming a mother to qualify for her third successive Olympic Games team by winning the 800m freestyle at trials last year.Finished 13th in the 800m freestyle ( 8:38.75 ) event at the 2000 Olympic Games.Has continued her successful Open water swimming career by winning the 5km and 10km events at the trials in March this year.Finished 11th 5km Fina Open Water Championships, Hawaii, Nov 2000. Former world champion, 200m freestyle; dual medallist at the 1992 Olympics and seven time Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

Previous: Lewis confirmed her successful comeback to competition earlier last year after winning the Australian Open Water 5km. The Barcelona Games silver (800m free) and bronze medallist (400m free) Winner of five gold medals, 1990 Commonwealth Games, Auckland - 400IM, 200,400m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 4x200m freestyle relay; ABC Sports Star of the Year 1990; World champion, 200m freestyle; silver 400m freestyle, 400 IM, bronze 200m butterfly, 1991 World Championships, Perth Silver (800m freestyle) and bronze medallist (400m freestyle) 1992 Olympics, Barcelona; Gold 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle; silver 800m freestyle, 200m butterfly, bronze 400m individual medley, 1994 Commonwealth Games, Victoria, Canada; Silver 800m freestyle, 1994 World Championships, Rome; Represented Australia 1996 Atlanta Olympics and did not final; Retired to dabble in triathlon; Made her competitive comeback at the 2000 Qantas World Cup in Sydney 1st 800m freestyle (8:35.56), third 400 IM, Telstra 2000 Selection Trials






Another thought is to see if any triathletes have been successful and a athlete and Mom...

Alicat
November 27th, 2004, 09:33 PM
Here is an article on Haley from Australian swimming:

http://www.swimming.org.au/news/news_item.cfm?ObjectID=5610&from=news

laineybug
November 28th, 2004, 11:54 AM
My granddaugher swims on the a team Angel use to be associated with. Last fall, Angel was at an age group meet. Trying to explain her accomplishments to a 5 year old, we told my granddaughter that Angel had won 1st place at a meet where swimmers from all over the world had competed. My granddaughter went up to Angel and asked, "Are you really the fastest swimmer in the world?" Angel laughed and said, "Yes I was once, but not any more." It was just so sweet and wonderful to see a little one in awe of a great athlete and the athlete be so humble and down to earth.

Lainey

AnnG
November 28th, 2004, 01:24 PM
I think the key is whether the woman continued to swim at the same level during and immediately after her pregnancy - so many of us have to put other life obligations first and then lose the conditioning and muscle we worked so hard for. Sandy Nielson Bell is another female athlete who comes to my mind as someone who had a family and continued to swim at the same speed and level she did in international competition, so she didn't lost her speed. But she never stopped training. I am interested to see now that there is more opportunity to train for adult athletes, especially women, just how good we can be - I personally think we haven't begun to scratch the surface of potential - just look at the times in the 40-50 year old age groups for women - smokin!

USMSarah
November 28th, 2004, 09:02 PM
this could be a totally stupid question....

how "hard" could a woman who is "with child" actually practice? i haven't had kids yet... someday we will... but i was just wondering... when i am pregnant someday... how much can i swim in the pool?

S.

lapswimmr
November 28th, 2004, 09:17 PM
Bearing a child and birthing is as demanding a life event as there is..I can not imagine a mother whom would really be that interested in competive swimming as to actually participation. the child and its birth and health is formost in mind . Now I guess later on a swimmer could regain the former physical condition..but whos really got the time for competive swim training with a new born??? Or toddler?? Swimming for exercise is one thing.. serious competition is another. It could be done but the money pocket for the baby sitter has got to be deep. And there must be time sent with the child no matter what!

pooch1
November 28th, 2004, 11:15 PM
I am a mom to 4 children, 11,7,4 and 4 months. I hadn't swam in 18 years and hopped in the pool when this last baby was 4 weeks old. I swim at 5:30 in the morning when my family and baby is sleeping so not to take away any of my time with them. I was a 55 100 freestyler but distance was my thing 5:08 500 free. I am no where near my previous ability but can swim the 100 in 1:20 despite being 90lbs over my swim weight and only having swam for 3 months. I think the body is capable of a lot more than we give it credit for. You just have to be willing to put in the time and enegy. I am swimming to lose weight but am going to my first masters meet in February. I plan to be the fastest fat girl at the meet! (hoping to find a speedo that fits!!). I don't care if I'm first or last, I just want my children to know that you can do anything you want to. I can only get faster from here! I can't wait to hear my kids yelling for me...what a complete turn-around from my constant cheering for them.

aquageek
November 29th, 2004, 09:52 AM
lapswimmr:

In my USMS experience, the vast majority of swimmers, who are married, have children, many quite young. In my lane at practice, we have a total of 5 swimmers with 8 children, all under 5. Almost all of us compete. Go to a USMS meet someday and look at the family support, often times you will see more than a few strollers on the deck. Pooch1 is a great example. You might not be able to image it, but there are tons of competitive women swimmers with young, very young children.

justforfun
November 29th, 2004, 10:39 AM
Susan Williams won the bronze this summer in Athens in women's triathlon. I don't know how many children she has, but I know she's a mother.

I think the barrier for women competing again on an elite level is more due to time and energy restrictions on training than any physiological barrier. From reading articles on Susan, I understand that she had to spend significant amounts of time away from family for training...for example, months of training camp time in the year leading up to the Olympics. Most women can't or aren't willing to do this for an extended period of time, except perhaps for a one-time special opportunity like Susan had to go to the Olympics.

swimshark
November 29th, 2004, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by USMSarah
this could be a totally stupid question....

how "hard" could a woman who is "with child" actually practice? i haven't had kids yet... someday we will... but i was just wondering... when i am pregnant someday... how much can i swim in the pool?

S.

Good question! I am currently over 5 months pregnant. I have tried to continue to swim through the whole pregnancy but due to weight loss that my doctor didn't like, I was put on restrictions. First 3 hours a week, then 1 hour a week, now I'm finally back up to 2 hours a week (yea). This is a huge drop from my 4.5 hours a week I was doing as late as August. I competed at LC Nationals while pregnant and did personal bests in 3 out of my 5 events. I was only slightly off on the other 2.

In practice now I try to swim at 90% most of the time with small breaks to let my heart rate come down a bit. I do watch my heart rate, though. After all the time out of the water recently, I am only a few seconds off my pre-pregnancy 100 free time in practice. So, pregnant women can practice very close to top form while pregnant, with doctor's okay.

We did have a swimmer who was back in practice 6 days after giving birth. She swam the entire 9 months and competed only a few months after giving birth. It can be done.

lapswimmr
November 29th, 2004, 08:34 PM
aquageek.. I took the thread to be serious racing swimming training like Olympics teams. 4 or more hours a day.. . Not USMS ...I have swam with lots of lots of masters swimmers.. Its exercise and fun.. No problem with that after the babys born and things are settled down. Of course a mother can swim with USMS , its the best exercise there is.

SWinkleblech
December 1st, 2004, 08:49 AM
I swam the whole time I was pregant with my second child. I even swam up to two days before my scheduled c-section. Some thought I was crazy and some couldn't get over the fact that I could swim so much so close to giving birth. The only thing is that some strokes such as the butterfly got a little diffcult to do. Flip turns became a little hard to do, too. The benifits is that I stayed in fairly good shape and I didn't even gain half the weight that I did with my first daughter. Because I had a c-section I was not able to get back in the pool for several weeks after giving birth. I think a woman can stay in fairly good shape with swimming while pregnant but it can get diffcult later in pregnancy to keep up the pace.

aquageek
December 1st, 2004, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by lapswimmr
aquageek.. I took the thread to be serious racing swimming training like Olympics teams. 4 or more hours a day.. . Not USMS ...I have swam with lots of lots of masters swimmers.. Its exercise and fun.. No problem with that after the babys born and things are settled down. Of course a mother can swim with USMS , its the best exercise there is.

Just because we are USMS swimmers doesn't mean we aren't serious racers or take our sport seriously.

Guvnah
December 1st, 2004, 01:21 PM
Seems to me that swimming would be one of the best exercise routines for a pregnant woman -- especially late term. Wouldn't jogging or land aerobics cause a lot of uterine jarring and all? And wouldn't that belly get in the way of a pregnant woman's thighs if she were biking? But with the buoyancy of swimming, it's like having someone hold your belly for you while you work out. :)

I wonder if the baby would get dizzy from flip turns...

Actually I could imagine the in utero baby would find that all-around uniform pressure from the water rather comfortable.

Butterfly while pregnant? That's impressive! For most people it's hard enough to do it right with their everyday bodies. But to be able to do it with the added imbalance/weight so low on your torso, well, I just think that's impressive.

dorothyrde
December 1st, 2004, 01:53 PM
I did not learn to swim until my youngest was 7, so did not have the experience of swimming while pregnant. Did weight lifting and cardio machine though, and you do have to watch your balance on everything late term. It would seem swimming would be gentler, although the shift in weight would throw off some of the strokes.

As far as whether someone can compete at a high level after having children. I suppose you can, but the issue is not just what the pregnancy does to your body(you can get that back with time), but what having a family does with your time. Priorities shift and the "me" stuff just is not as important.

I think that is why the 40-50 age range is so fast. The children are starting to grow up and be on their own, so the women come back, because they have more time.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 1st, 2004, 03:33 PM
This may be strang-coming from a man. I swam the whole time my roommate was pregnant. It was one of the great ways to get rid of the stress & worry tht was almost constant.

Also, I swim currently with a woman who just had a bady. She swam slowly but really concentrted on technique.

msgrupp
December 1st, 2004, 05:59 PM
was a recreational swimmer. She did alot of breaststroke and was swimming up to about 2 days before her first child. She had an emergency c-section (unrelated to the swimming). Her child was born in early September.

The following summer, when she took the little boy into the water and swished him back and forth in the water (while holding on tight under his arms)---the look on the baby's face was pure bliss--like he was remembering something from the previous summer!

She also swam up to about 10-12 hours before her second child was born. She swam from 9-10 at night, took a shower and went home. Her water broke around 10:30 that night and by 7:45 the next morning she was calling people about the birth of her daughter!

Alicat
December 1st, 2004, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah

I wonder if the baby would get dizzy from flip turns...


Every baby is an Olympic swimmer in utero! My kid would do flip turns inside as I was trying to rest or sleep. The constant rocking motion of Mom's movements is thought to be very relaxing...

Maybe that is why we enjoy swimming so much, it was a great experience for us in the womb!

SWinkleblech
December 2nd, 2004, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by Guvnah
Seems to me that swimming would be one of the best exercise routines for a pregnant woman -- especially late term. Wouldn't jogging or land aerobics cause a lot of uterine jarring and all? And wouldn't that belly get in the way of a pregnant woman's thighs if she were biking? But with the buoyancy of swimming, it's like having someone hold your belly for you while you work out. :)

Butterfly while pregnant? That's impressive! For most people it's hard enough to do it right with their everyday bodies. But to be able to do it with the added imbalance/weight so low on your torso, well, I just think that's impressive.

Biking is not recommened for pregnant woman because you might loose your balance and fall. Unless it is a stationary bike.

Actually the Buttrfly wasn't really that tough. I thought it would be but I was still doing it when I was 7 months pregnant. I only did 50's and 100's. I did not try the 200 because I thought it would be to much stress on the body.