Source: Natasha Hastings
Athletics star Natasha Hastings hid her pregnancy for five months before deciding to tell her sponsors. The two-time Olympic gold medalist had spent her entire life training, fearing that a pregnancy could derail her career.
"I knew I wanted a family," the 33-year-old athlete said in an interview with CNBC, "but I just didn't want it right now."
Hastings said she struggled to reconcile the feeling of tension and fear, and it took more than half her pregnancy before she could celebrate it.
"I was worried about what this meant for my fitness, what did this mean for coming back to the Olympics, I was worried about what it meant to my sponsors. I was even worried about letting people around me because it's this thing as a woman ̵
Fear of Hastings is not groundless. American sports teams and leaders are just beginning to give female athletes time and support to have a family. But the industry has not always been so understanding. Just months after Hastings' pregnancy announcement, several other high-profile athletes, including Olympic runners Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher, talked about the lack of support they had on Nike. The outbreak caused Nike to change its birth policy which now guarantees wages and bonuses during pregnancy.
This week, the WNBA and players announced a new tariff agreement that includes paid maternity leave, for the first time ever, and $ 60,000 toward fertility or adoption fees.
In November, USWNT football star Alex Morgan announced her pregnancy, saying she still plans to compete in Tokyo at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
For years, female athletes have sought higher salaries and benefits that are more equitable with men, but Now the benefits of family planning are becoming more important than ever in both the sports field and boardroom.
On Tuesday, Hastings showed up at Under Armor's Baltimore headquarters with the son in tow, for an event that launched their latest campaign – "The Only Way" is through. "It's her manta these days as she balances the mother role and career.
Hastings was five months pregnant and showed courage before calling her sponsor Under Armor. To her surprise, they were thrilled for her.
" It was almost like I had been torturing myself for five months thinking about every possible outcome, "she added. Hastings and the fiance, former Pittsburgh Steelers corner pitcher William Gay, delivered a baby boy they called Liam Aug. 6.
Today Hastings is back on the field training.
"It's been difficult training, I'm not going to lie," she said. "From every aspect. Physically, my body is different. I don't sleep all night with a new baby. I have to give myself time to recover and get back in shape."
But this Olympics, Hastings third, has new meaning that is more important than ever, she said. She won two gold medals as part of the women's 400 meters relay team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. After failing to set the US Olympic team in 2012, she took home the gold again as part of the same relay team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she also finished fourth in the individual 400 meter relay race.
"It's a different why," she said of her Olympic race today. "I will never look back on this year and say I did not give my all."
Hastings said that the mother role has also had positive effects on his career. With a busier schedule, she said that time management has really helped her maximize her efforts in training.
While Hastings is preparing for Tokyo, whatever the outcome, she said she hopes her dedication and hard work will one day be evident to her son.  "We bring life into this world and still do many other things. I am still a badass woman and can do anything I can."