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Woman Sparks Controversy for Pumping Iron While Pregnant

Elisenda Roig/Bongarts/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Controversial photos of a pregnant California woman lifting 75 pounds for exercise have ignited a flurry of Facebook comments as some call into question the practice of pumping iron while expecting.

Lee-Ann Ellison started training for weightlifting figure competitions at the age of 20.

Now she's along 33 weeks in her pregnancy, and told ABC News she is keeping up with her practice, which makes her "feel really confident and really good" about her body.

"Weightlifting, is not a joke, it's not for newbies," she said.

Ellison has been known to lift as much as 190 pounds before her pregnancy but is seen in photos hoisting just 75 pounds out of an abundance of caution.

While her pictures, which have gained more than 16,000 comments online, have some complimenting her strength, others question if her practices are hazardous to her pregnancy.

"A super STRONG and INSPIRING mom and woman," Evelyn A. Deming wrote.

"I would not put my baby in danger," wrote Iryna McCraw.

ABC News medical contributor Dr. Jacques Mortiz said that Ellison's choice to lift "is okay," but there are some limitations.

"The main thing with all exercise is listen to your body," he said. "Things have changed a lot in terms of what [pregnant] women can do in exercise."

Ellison refuses to let the detractors influence her decisions, and plans to stick with her favorite workout routine.

"It's completely acceptable and healthy for the baby if you keep doing what your body is used to," she said. "Life is dangerous, but I'm not going to stop living it."

Ellison is due at the end of October. She said she has not any any issues or complications with this pregnancy, which she attributes to her workouts.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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