Being pregnant and a mum as an elite athlete?

Yes, you can… Many elite athletes have shown that, with the right support, your career does not necessarily need to suffer when you become a mum. 

Missy Parkin, a highly successful professional US bowler, had wanted to become a mum for a long time. Her husband and team colleagues were by her side as she had to deal with the devastating experience of two miscarriages in two years.

When she eventually fell pregnant again, they were also by her side as she fought her way through months of “afternoon” morning sickness that she lived on bread and smoothies.

Missy’s most effective treatment was—competing. The moment she set her foot on the alley and focussed on the pins, her nausea subsided. Nothing could more perfectly illustrate the meaning the game has for her.

A stellar bowling career

Missy’s life revolved around bowling from the beginning. Crying baby Missy would be instantly happy again at hearing the sound of crashing bowling pins on TV. Her bowling career took off after age 14. To her disappointment, just when she was set to join the professional women’s bowling tour after college, it folded.

But this did not stop her. Instead, Missy became the first woman to join the men’s Professional Bowlers Association (PBA). She later went on to become the first woman to win three PBA Regional Titles and earned the highest finish ever by a woman in both the 2012 USBC Masters and 2012 PBA US Open.

Given this determination, it might not be surprising that Missy did not miss a single competition when her son was born. Little DJ became the youngest and most loyal fan of his mum at 4.5 months of age.

Twenty years fast forward, imagine miracle baby boy DJ on the alley…


  • Behind ShePower Sport are two sport medical professionals, Yoko Dozono and Katharina Grimm. With their combined global sporting background, some of which include Director of Medical affairs at Aspetar, member of Medicine & Science at World Anti-Doping Agency, heading the FIFA medical office, and an international level athlete, they are strong advocates for clean sports and female athletes’ health and rights.