How much is too much exercise when you're pregnant?

Former bodybuilder Lea-Ann Ellison lifts at a CrossFit gym in Los Angeles this week. Her baby is due in about two weeks.

Story highlights

  • Mom who is 8½ months pregnant posts photo of herself lifting weight
  • Exercise is encouraged during pregnancy, but moderation is key, experts say
  • Lifting too much weight could put mom and baby at risk, doctor says

(CNN)The caption on Lea-Ann Ellison's photo says it all: "8 months pregnant with baby number 3."

"I have been CrossFitting for 2½ years," Ellison posted on CrossFit's Facebook page, "and ... strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body's capabilities to kick ass."
The photo of the 35-year-old former bodybuilder from California prompted a slew of comments -- both positive and negative.
    "This is shocking and not in a good way. Lifting heavy things during pregnancy is dangerous to you and your baby," Natalie Rose wrote.
    "Why would you risk hurting your baby just to stay in shape?" Stephanie Herrera asked. "This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
    Others jumped in to defend the fit mom.
    "I'm 6 months pregnant with triplets and am still Crossfitting as much as I can!" Carol Bolliger shared.
    "Doctors say it is perfectly fine to stick to your exercise route while pregnant, in fact it is encouraged," Kristen Funk wrote.
    Exercise is encouraged during pregnancy, says Dr. Siobhan Dolan, an ob-gyn and medical adviser for