One female pro (33), who asked to remain anonymous, shared her concerns about actively trying to become pregnant while negotiating contracts with sponsors.
While I would never withhold information from my sponsors should they ask, I certainly don’t advertise that my husband and I want to have a baby in the very near future. It’s a natural reaction for a sponsor to spend their minimal budget on athletes they know will continue to race, who are younger or who have no interest in having children. It’s hard to go back and forth with sponsors about my race schedule knowing that I may—or may not—get pregnant. Negotiating and “selling yourself” isn’t easy in general, let alone if they knew I want to have a baby. Unfortunately, unlike my last “real” job, this industry does not provide athletes with proper maternity leave. Basically, having a baby is almost like being injured.
In an ideal world, I would love to plan a pregnancy so that I only miss one race season. That would mean getting pregnant in the November–January timeframe and having the baby by September. If that happened to me, I know I would absolutely be race-ready by May. I really look forward to being a mom and there is never going to be a perfect time—fate must run its course! I have faith that my body will rally back stronger than ever post-baby. I would hope to race full-time for five to seven more years after becoming a mom, and I know my mental fortitude and gumption would support that journey.