Bouncing back after baby - Sherone Simpson talks about return from pregnancy
Having made her official return to track and field this past weekend after giving birth to her first child, Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson said that a "good support system" is all that is needed for professional female athletes to become mothers while still competing.
Simpson, who ran a modest 55.45 seconds in the 400m at the Queen's Grace Jackson Track Meet, said that the help of her fiancÈ, mother, sister, and her nanny ensures that she avoids the sleeping troubles mothers usually experience as soon as she resumed training.
This, she said, helped her to make the transition back into training.
"I have to give God thanks that I have a good support system," Simpson said with a winsome smile.
"When she (daughter) just came, it was difficult because I wanted to do most of the work, the feeding and the changing. But when it was time for real hard training, I knew that I could not do it, so I have a very good support system, and I have to give thanks. I have my mother, my fiancÈ, my sister, and I have a very good nanny."
REST IS KEY
She continued: "They help me to get my rest at nights so I can train in the mornings. Most of the days, I have two training sessions, so I need that rest."
The coming of her daughter, Leanna, has also provided a new source of motivation for the former Manchester High School standout.
"I am really enjoying motherhood. I have an extra drive now. I know when I go out in the mornings, I think about Leanna. Coming here competing, Leanna is on my mind. She gives me that drive in everything that I am doing. She is my extra motivation," Simpson said.
A part of the joy that Simpson is now experiencing are the signs young Leanna is now showing when she visits practice.
"Leanna is going to be a very good sprinter. She has been to training with me and as you say, 'On your marks, set, go', she is off, and everywhere I go, people are saying that she is going to be a sprinter," Simpson said. "Leanna loves to run. It's a really good feeling, and she is going to do track and field."
Several high-profile Jamaican athletes have returned to competitive action after giving birth, including netballer Jhaniele Fowler-Reid. Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has also resumed training since giving birth to her first child. It is not clear when she will open her season.
Simpson urges female athletes, who may be eager to pass on their athletic genes, to ensure that a good support system is in place before taking on motherhood.
"It can work. You just have to plan. When you feel like the time is right, make sure that a good support system is in place and it can work," Simpson said.