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  • Writer's pictureA.D.

Power of M.O.M. Embracing the power of motherhood with Judo Athlete, Hannah Martin-Ogando


When you first learned that you would become a mother, did you have any concerns about how to balance motherhood with your athletic career?

Of course, I had many questions and concerns, however, my husband is super supportive. He is a judo coach and believes that I can come back even stronger than before. Since we live in Germany and both our families live in different countries it is going to be difficult to schedule training. I already have a feeling my little baby is going to be joining me in all of my trainings!

How did you prepare for maintaining your fitness level throughout your pregnancy? Were there any helpful resources you found that you'd like to share?

I continued the same strength and conditioning program for as long as I physically could. Once I could no longer run or lift as heavy, I started modifying my workouts. For example, instead of running, I started biking and running more. Instead of doing heavy bench press, I switched to incline dumb bell bench and adjusting the weights according to how my body was feeling. I started doing more body weight movements and a lot more circuits. Towards the end of my second and third trimester, I started walking more and incorporating Yoga into my training plan. I’ve had to learn to listen to my body and not “push” through my workouts.

What is a word of advice you might give a mom-to-be as they are early in pregnancy and hoping to maintain their fitness?

#1 listen to your body. You and only YOU know what’s best for you and your baby. Also, if you take a day or week off don’t be too hard on yourself, REMEMBER you are growing a beautiful baby inside of you and it takes a lot of energy!

Hannah trying a new role in the commentary seat

Were there personal or emotional challenges that you have faced during pregnancy?

I am living in Germany and my family is in the USA. Germany is still on lockdown and it has been a very lonely and long pregnancy. The winters are long, cold and dark, and the Spring is not much better. Personally, this pregnancy has been very hard mentally and emotionally for me because I am not used to staying home. As an elite athlete before COVID times I basically lived out of a suitcase, almost every other weekend I was traveling to a different country for a competition or a training camp. Now, I am sitting at home watching my fellow teammates compete to try and qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The pandemic is mentally draining and as a social person it has been extremely hard for me to deal with, add in a mix of seasonal depression and pregnancy hormones and bammm it really hits you all at once.

How do you feel about the social "norms" or perceptions of motherhood and athletes? Is there anything you'd like to change in terms of the conversation or social support for Mom/Athletes?

When I tell people that I want to compete again after having my baby girl, so many people tell me that it is going to hard and almost impossible to do. I don’t understand where all the negativity comes from, especially when you see strong athletes like Serena Williams and Natasha Hastings come back to sport and dominate. I think there should be more social support when it comes to motherhood and athletes. Your dreams, goals and life do not stop just because you become a mom!

Did you craft a progression/training plan with specific post-partum /return to training goals or have more of a less structured approach?

I have an idea in my head about what I want to do post-partum. My baby is due at the end of May and my plan is to be start competing again in February 2022. The most important thing is to stay positive and not stress if things do not go according to plan. I hope to be fit enough to be able to qualify for events like the Pan American Championships and World Championships next year.

Any favorite exercises or routines that you have during pregnancy?

Deadlifts and squats have been my go- to during this pregnancy! I do not have a set workout plan or routine at this stage in my pregnancy. With only 5 weeks to go, My workout schedule is constantly changing depending on how I am feeling.

Have a word of inspiration you'd give an athletic mom-to-be?

Embrace the moment!


Follow Hannah!


"I love taking baths to recover and I love that iON has made products specifically for athletes to help our muscles recover and relax! I love how these products make my body feel and help me to recover faster so I can get up the next day to continue to perform at a high level."

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