Illinois-based mom Amber Miller gave new meaning to the term “marathon labor” this weekend, when the 27-year-old joined 45,000 other runners in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and then gave birth just hours later.
With her doctor’s permission, Miller, who was almost 39 weeks pregnant with her second child, ran the first half of the 26.2-mile race (which she had signed up for days before learning she was pregnant—and which she hadn’t even planned to finish, thinking that she’d skip the second half and just walk across the finish line) and then walked the second half of it, all with her husband at her side, reports ABC News. This was the eighth marathon for Miller, an avid runner who had continued running throughout her pregnancy, and her third marathon while pregnant.
During the second half of the race, Miller’s contractions started. It took the Millers 6.5 hours to finish, about 3 hours longer than Miller’s usual marathon pace. After she grabbed a bite to eat, the couple headed to Central DuPage Hospital, where daughter June was born at 10:29 p.m., weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces.
Although running a marathon while heavily pregnant is considered outside of the norm, new recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists allow for moderate, strenuous exercise during pregnancy, provided the mom can hold a conversation (and thus is taking in sufficient oxygen).
We’re impressed with Miller’s feat—which, again, she accomplished with her doctor’s OK, as well as that of marathon officials—but comments on the Chicago Tribune’s article about Miller are a wide-ranging mix, from supportive to highly critical, calling the new mom, “selfish,” “foolish,” “irresponsible,” and a “narcissist.”
What’s your take on this? Did you exercise while pregnant?