01/02/2014 10:54 am ET Updated Mar 03, 2014

2013: The Year of Fit Moms

It seems the year 2013 is going down as the "year of super-fit moms."

In August a very fit Duchess Catherine gave birth, and within 10 weeks post-baby she showed off washboard abs during a volleyball game. In October, CrossFit-training mom Lea-Ann Ellison, nine months pregnant with her third baby, posted photos of herself lifting some very impressive weights, and Sacramento's Maria Kang, a mother of three small children, posted a photo of her super-fit physique next to her children with the headline, "What's your excuse?" Both of them went viral, getting some obviously jealous and nasty remarks, but both got a majority of supportive comments in addition to a lot of media attention.

Lea-Ann has delivered a full-term and very healthy baby boy via an easy, midwife-attended water home birth, and headed back to the gym three weeks post baby... so all comments on how she would lose her baby despite being a well-trained lifelong athlete have obviously been wrong, as I predicted.

And this December we saw yet another fit mom grace the media, Ms. Mary Helen Bowers, a professional ballerina, trainer to Victoria's Secret models and Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan. At 39 weeks Mary is still dancing en pointe, to help her alleviate pregnancy's notorious effects like back pain and swelling.

I pray these fit moms will start a new movement of more women not only, not being afraid of exercise during pregnancy but more pregnant women actually working out more. And also a new general awareness that not only is fitness during pregnancy OK but is a necessity for both a healthier pregnancy and baby.

According the American College of Sports Medicine, research suggests that "fit moms" who exercise at a higher intensity and volume during pregnancy, do make children that are healthier physically, mentally AND achieve higher both academically and athletically by college age. Exercise can also prevent prematurity, diabetes and depression. This should be a worthy and sought after goal by every mom and dad.