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Jess Ennis-Hill tells Sky News pregnancy was the ‘toughest time” of her life | UK News

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Olympic winning athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill has told Sky News that there is not enough support in place to help female athletes who fall pregnant.

Ennis-Hill gave birth to her first child in 2014, and went on to win the heptathlon at the athletics world championships in Beijing a year later, and came second in the Rio Olympics in 2016.

She retired from her illustrious athletics career at the end of 2016 and was made a Dame in 2017.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Jessica Ennis-Hill poses with her award after she was made a Dame CBE by the Duke of Cambridge during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on April 19, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Ennis-Hill was made a Dame in 2017

Speaking to Sky News’ Sarah-Jane Mee on Wednesday’s Sunrise, she said that there is not enough to help athletes who fall pregnant whilst they are training or competing, saying: “It’s just about providing that support.

“When you become a mum for the first time, your life changes so much and you don’t know how it’s going to change or how you’re going to feel physically and mentally and your job is essentially physical, it’s your body.

“If we can just provide support to relieve some of that extra pressure that you feel once you’ve had your baby then that’s a massive part of it, so mums don’t feel like they have to rush back,they can do it at their own pace, and they will get back successfully.

“If you put your mind to something, you can achieve such great things.”

Ennis-Hill added: “It puts your body in a much better position, taking your time and not rushing that process because it can be quite damaging.”

The world champion athlete also broached the subject of Caster Semenya, who is currently appealing a ruling that she has to take hormone blockers to reduce her levels of naturally-occurring testosterone before she can compete.

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 23:  Jessica Ennis-Hill of Great Britain celebrates after winning the Women's Heptathlon 800 metres and the overall Heptathlon gold during day two of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 23, 2015 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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She has won world and Olympic titles in heptathlon

Ennis-Hill said that it is a “complex issue” when it comes to the discussion around her right to run.

“There’s no right and wrong here, it’s so confusing.

“I’m not in the thick of athletics… I’m not amongst that community anymore but I’ve read and I’ve heard different arguments and different sides and it’s still very hard to understand fully and hard to make an opinion and say vocally what you think.

“You can see both sides. You can see the difficulties.”

She added: “There’s so many different levels to it, to understand it firstly and then implement change where Caster feels supported and her human rights are protected but also the other athletes are competing, they feel they’re on a level playing field.”

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