Local News

Pregnant Woman's Exercise Outfit Draws Criticism

Posted August 6, 2000

— Seven months into her third pregnancy, Sharon Feiler works out regularly for the sake of her baby and her body.

She also wears the latest fit pregnancy fashions.

But, after a recent workout at the Finley YMCA in North Raleigh, she got a call from a staffer.

"She said, 'Well, people are uncomfortable with you not wearing a shirt.' "Because I'm pregnant?" And she said, 'Yes.'"

"It seemed so matter-of-fact to me. It shocked me that anyone would complain. And that the complaint would be passed on to us," Rick Feiler said.

"Then I got really angry because I thought this isn't right," Sharon Feiler recalled. "Because I work out with my girlfriends and we're wearing the same things. Just because they have a flatter stomach than I do doesn't mean I should get a call."

The Y responded with a letter.

It states that while Sharon never violated the dress code, staffers only wanted to pass along the criticisms to prevent any future embarrassment.

"I was just like, did this just really happen? It just seemed almost like I was in another time," Sharon said.

"If big bellies were unacceptable, there'd be a lot more room at the pool on the weekends!" Rick laughed.

When Sharon's pregnancy plight turned up inThe News and Observer, her workout buddies encouraged her to keep carrying to torch for proud mothers -- and she will.

"They should be comfortable with their condition because it's natural. It's just part of life," Feiler said.

Sharon says she has no intention of leaving the Y, and she will continue to wear her sports bra and shorts.

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