Fit Pregnacy Interview Part 11

Aimee climbing while 5 months pregnant - this photo caused quite a stir!

Aimee climbing while 5 months pregnant - this photo caused quite a stir!

Hi Fit Pregnancy Readers!

I’ve got another great Fit Pregnancy Interview for you today.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a woman named Aimee Roseborrough who is currently pregnant with her second child and is a very fit and talented rock climber. Aimee climbed all through her first pregnancy, and is again climbing through her second. She wanted to share her unique fit pregnancy story with everyone like the other ladies did as they have inspired her to stay fit again during her second pregnancy, but also to show everyone that even rock climbing is safe for pregnancy and the baby when you’re experienced and take caution.

Aimee is also no rookie when it comes to exercise knowledge: She is a Physical Therapist living in Bend, Oregon and is a rock climber of over 10 years with published articles and pictures in Climbing Magazine.  For the climbers out there, she’s red-pointed 8a (5.13b) since having her daughter.  She also runs, mountain bikes, hikes, and lifts weights.  Her daughter is 4 years old and her personal blog of her families travels is  She also answers questions about climbing injuries on her site

Thanks Aimee!

Readers: Enjoy her interview!


Aimee, this interview is for you to share your fit pregnancy experience with other women to both help inspire them and ensure them that exercising hard during pregnancy is not only safe, but good for baby AND you.

Unfortunately so many women are scared to exercise while pregnant for fear it is harmful for their unborn babies. How do you feel about this now that you’ve had your own fit pregnancy? Please tell us a bit about your first pregnancy and your current pregnancy.

First, let me say that my main form of exercise is rock climbing.  I’ve been climbing for over 10 years.  My first pregnancy I climbed until I was 36 weeks pregnant then continued to hike, walk and do easy gym workouts.  This time around (I’m 11 weeks now), I’ve been climbing, hiking, mountain biking and lifting weights.  


Aimee climbing while 36 weeks pregnant

Aimee climbing while 37 weeks pregnant

How hard were you exercising before you became pregnant? First time? Present time? What were you doing?

Before I became pregnant I was climbing 4-5 days a week and running 3 days a week for 30-40 minutes.  I would also lift weights 2-3 times a week.  I was doing the same thing the first time I got pregnant as well.

When you found out your were pregnant, did you modify your workout routine? How & Why? What are you doing this time around?

The first time I stopped lead climbing (where you are at risk of taking bigger falls, but still caught by the rope) as soon as I found out I was pregnant.  This time, I’m continuing to lead as inspired by another climber (Monique Forestier) who continued to lead hard climbs until she was 14 weeks pregnant and her baby turned out fine.  I had decreased my cardio and weights until I read the blogs here, which inspired me to go to the gym today and push it a little more.

When you first found out you were pregnant what was your primary concern with respect to your exercise routine?

This time around I’ve felt more concerned about getting my heart rate too high and getting out of breath.  Now I’m not so sure I should be so worried.  It seems all the women here on these interviews have gotten their heart rates high and surely gotten out of breath and their babies were unharmed and healthy (note from Cassandra: this is true). 

Overall, during your pregnancy, briefly describe what you did for exercise?

The first pregnancy I climbed, hiked and did light gym workouts of easy cardio and light weights. 

This time I’m climbing, hiking, mountain biking (the mountain biking where I live now is super easy- no chance of crashing), and doing more regular gym workouts with harder cardio and heavier weights (again as inspired by these interviews).

How did other people around you react to your fit pregnancy? Was it positive or negative?

Well, the first time I posted a picture on of me lead climbing at 5 months pregnant (see picture at the top of this interview) and I got insane negative comments from people calling me a selfish pig and saying my husband shouldn’t have let me lead climb.  It was pretty crazy. 

I also got supportive comments, but the rude, unsupportive ones were the most shocking.  The picture might look scary to non-climbers, but rest assured, I have a rope and I’m on a climb that was well within my ability level, even 5 months pregnant.   

What was the most supportive thing someone told you about your fit pregnancy? The most unsupportive?

The most supportive things people said were when they were impressed at how well I could still climb up to 7 months along.  The most unsupportive were as mentioned above- people calling me a selfish pig and saying I had no regard for my unborn child.  

Aimee 38 weeks

How was/is your first trimester, with respect to exercise and how you feel overall?

This time around I’m exhausted and often nauseous, but I push through and climb.  I’m still managing to climb relatively well.  So much so, that sometimes I’m surprised I’m pregnant!

Second trimester?

Not there yet this time, but last time around it was the best!  My husband and I went on a month long climbing trip to Spain literally the day I entered my second trimester.  I had so much energy and climbed a ton.  It was a great trip.  (and yes, I did sample a little wine and all was fine)


Not too bad until the last month when I was so big (I gained 40 pounds and I only weigh 100 pounds to start with) and I had so much pressure on my pelvic floor that I had a hard time even walking around the block.  Three weeks before my due date my husband and I went for a 2 mile hike and I was so slow, he kept having to wait for me every few hundred meters. 

How did you know what you were doing for exercise during your pregnancy was ok/safe? Did you ever doubt your decisions? Were you worried during your pregnancy that you were exercising too hard?

My first pregnancy I didn’t doubt anything I did except one time at 8 months along I fell pretty hard while hiking down a mountain.  After that, I decided to stick to more level hikes.  This time around I’ve been worried about getting my heart rate too high and getting out of breath, but after reading these blogs, I’m going to worry about it less and just pay attention to how I feel. 

During your first pregnancy (or now), did you have any complications such as hypertension or extreme water retention? Please describe why/why not?

No.  My MD was impressed by how little water I retained.  I could still wear my wedding ring and see my ankle bones when I delivered. 

If you could do things differently for your fit pregnancy, what would that be?

I’m going to exercise harder than I did the first time around for as long as it feels good, especially lifting heavier weights.  I’m also going to try to keep doing pull-ups as long as I can. 

How much total weight did you gain during your first pregnancy? Now?

I gained 40 pounds the first time around.  So far (at 11 weeks), I’ve only gained 4 pounds.

Did you get any stretch marks? If you didn’t, why do you think this happened? If you did, do you think they could have been prevented? Do you think creams or oils stop them?

No, I was lucky to not get any stretch marks.  I think it’s genetic.  I have a theory that depending on the elasticity of your skin you’re either cursed with stretch marks or cellulite.  My skin is more elastic, so I get the cellulite instead of stretch marks.   

How was your labor and delivery? --  Natural or Assisted? – Long or short? Briefly describe your birth story.

My labor and delivery was not too great.  It was long- about 20 hours.  I had an epidural, as planned (I’m not really into pain), which was fine until it wore off.  I pushed for 2.5 hours and the last half hour I could feel everything.  They had to use the vacuum extractor to get her out and so I needed an episiotomy, but I was happy I didn’t have a c-section and my girl came out healthy.  I hope the next time around is easier and my epidural doesn’t wear off!

What was the weight/height of baby on its birthday?  APGAR scores (if you know)?

Ella was 7 lbs even and 19 inches.  I’m pretty sure her APGAR was a 9.

How is the health of your baby now?

She is a healthy 4 year old girl who loves to dance, ride her bike and has started rock climbing.  She recently rode her bike 9 miles (without training wheels) in a local fundraising bike ride.

How much of your weight gain did you lose after having your first baby? How long did it take?

I lost all the weight.  I’m not sure how long it took because I didn’t really keep track, but I know I was fitting in my regular clothes after about 5 months.  I also climbed my hardest climb (at the time), a 5.13a, 10 months after I had her.

How do you feel about your body now (after baby)?

I was feeling good about my body until I got pregnant again!  Now I’m starting to show, so I’m adjusting to the mentality of getting bigger again.

What advice would you give other women who want to have a fit pregnancy?

Do what feels right to you.  Listen to your body when you push yourself and don’t listen to the naysayers.  You will know what’s right for your body and your baby.

Thank you!!

(note: if you are reading this from Facebook, please be sure to click the link for the full interview so you can see all the great pics of Aimee!)

Posted Aug 21, 2011 by Cassandra Forsythe.
This entry is filed under fit pregnancy interview.

Comments for This Entry

GravatarAndrea11:04PM on August 22, 2011

Great! Excercise is great when you are pregnant. You do what you have been doing and you will be okay. I played tennis when I was pregnant with my children. Being healthy during pregnancy is great.

GravatarMiranda01:56PM on August 26, 2011

Go girl! I was downhill skiing until I was about 32 weeks along and my coat would no longer zip. I did get some disapproving comments, mostly from my very horrified grandmother, but most people thought it was awesome. I certainly wouldn't recommend that someone begin learning rock climbing, skiing, surfing, etc while pregnant, but the typical 'don't do this' list doesn't apply to every skill level. You know your limitations and your body - pregnancy certainly doesn't change that - you just modify as needed.

GravatarKalli Reinheimer05:48PM on August 31, 2011

I love that this blog continues so that pregnant women can continue to be inspired to stay fit during pregnancy!

GravatarAimee Roseborrough12:50PM on September 08, 2011

Just wanted to let you know I started a blog about climbing and staying fit while pregnant. It's Thanks!

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