Pregnant Woman Photographed Weightlifting Raises Controversy

After a photo of a pregnant woman lifting weights was posted on Facebook, it caused a slew of controversy but the woman told INSIDE EDITION she is not going to stop lifting.

The stunning photo of a pregnant mom weight-lifting has triggered a firestorm of controversy.

Thirty-five-year-old old bodybuilding champion Lea-Ann Ellison is eight months pregnant but still lifting weights way above her head in the gym.

Ellison told INSIDE EDITION, "For me it is completely safe because I have been doing it for so long."

When the pictures were posted on Facebook, there was uproar.  Among the comments:  "This is a good way to lose your baby."

Another said: “This is actually sickening."

“You could cause major damage," wrote another.  

The controversial images have gone viral.

Responding to the negative comments, Ellison said, "I actually feel really sad for those people because, obviously, they don't understand how the body works. They're not very educated in, maybe, what their own bodies are capable of."

INSIDE EDITION's Victoria Recano caught up with Ellison lifting weights at a gym in Los Angeles where Ellison does intense work-outs at a Crossfit gym in Los Angeles and she said she is not going to stop weight-lifting just because she's pregnant.

Recano asked, "We are due the same time, should I go on and take a Crossfit class?"

"Hell no! No way. Whatever you're doing is what you continue to do. It's what your body knows. It's what your body feels strong doing, and that's what's going to be best for your baby," said Ellison.

Ellison lifts a 45 pound bar with 15 pound weights on each side. So, Ellison is actually lifting 75 pounds.

Is lifting that much weight really safe for a woman who is eight months pregnant?

Dr. Jacques Moritz told INSIDE EDITION, "The take home on weight lifting is, if you're used to doing weight lifting, to continue. But, if you haven't been lifting heavy weights, please, don't go to the gym and start trying to lift heavy weights like the other people there. That doesn't make sense."

Ellison says that despite the barrage of criticism, many people are being supportive.