Female athlete who won SEA Games gold medal becomes a mother: “Afraid of hurting the baby while breastfeeding”

In the recent 31st SEA Games, the Vietnamese sports delegation achieved a total of 181 Gold medals, topping the medal table. Athletes couple Tran Hoang Duy Thuan and Bui Thi Thoa contributed 1 prestigious gold medal in the mixed doubles bodybuilding competition category. Returning home after a glorious victory, the female athlete from Dong Nai received a lot of attention. Few people know, Ms. Thoa (born in 1991) is married and has a 2-year-old daughter. She herself confided: Actually, many people still don’t believe that they have children. They think that if female athletes train and gain muscle like this, it will be difficult for them to get married and have children, and perhaps many Vietnamese guys are still a bit “afraid” of female athletes.

Pursuing muscle training like bodybuilding, athlete Bui Thi Thoa not only faces prejudices but also sacrifices a lot of effort, training her mind and body. time with family. Just 3 months after having her child, Thoa returned to training. After 6 months, she “tightened” her muscles to prepare for competition and won 1 gold and 1 silver medal when her daughter was 10 months old. To facilitate her work, Thoa currently lives far away from her husband and children and only comes home every weekend. Luckily, she received the absolute support of her family, with her biological mother helping to take care of her grandchildren. Her loving husband and understanding young daughter.

Talking with athlete Bui Thi Thoa, one can easily feel Accepting femininity with a bit of shyness is completely different from the stereotypes that many people impose on female athletes. Returning to the family home, Ms. Thoa is a wife and mother who, like many other women, also had moments of surprise because she was a first-time mother and worried about taking care of a small child.

Hello, after receiving the gold medal at SEA games 31, how has your life changed?

I started my career as a professional athlete at the end of 2012. This SEA Games held in Vietnam was the first SEA Games I was lucky enough to attend and win a gold medal for. mixed doubles content. Before that, I participated in Asian tournaments.

When I returned home, my neighbors and siblings all came over and sent their congratulations. People who know me more often say hello when they meet me. For example, now when I go to the market to buy things, people recognize me (laughs). Winning also somewhat makes work easier. My family made a small tray of rice to invite everyone to enjoy.

Did your daughter react to her mother’s victory?

My daughter is still very young, just over 2 At his age, he still doesn’t understand clearly. When standing on the podium to receive the medal, the daughter was happy because it had been a long time since she had seen her mother. While training to prepare for competition, I don’t have much time to spend with my children. I miss my mom so much, I keep asking for her.

Van athlete is a special job, so she must have Have you thought a lot about having children? 

I plan to have a child in 2018 while taking the National Congress exam. After 4 years of wedding, my husband and I decided to have a child. When I first got married, I still focused a lot on competing, so I “planned” and waited for the right time. At the beginning of 2019, I found out about my pregnancy so I was very happy.

Why do you think the 4-year milestone after marriage is the right time to welcome a baby member?

In general, I’ve been married for a long time and my husband’s family doesn’t put much emphasis on children, but people around me still often “ask questions”. I also feel pressure. At that time, I was able to arrange my time and wanted to have a child, so I decided to have a baby.

Will having a child interrupt your competition and practice work?

The practice was not interrupted much because I still practiced until the day I gave birth. When I was pregnant, I reduced my weight by half and exercised moderately according to my strength. Because when I had a baby, my breathing was very heavy. When I can’t breathe, I stop to catch my breath and continue practicing.

However, I have temporarily stopped competing. If there wasn’t a pandemic, every year I would compete in nationals and Asian, Southeast Asian, and world tournaments… but when I had children, I had to take a break and only recently rejoined major tournaments.

During the time preparing to welcome her child into the world, did you experience a good story? What is an interesting concept?

When I went for a prenatal check-up and told them my weight, many people thought I was obese or had gestational diabetes. When I took off my shirt, the doctor was surprised:“Oh my god, why are you so muscular?” The doctor examined me and my health was completely normal. I look so “big” but actually weigh the same as another pregnant mother about to give birth. I walk lightly while others are heavier.

In general, when I go to the hospital, many people look at me and are curious. asked: “Athlete?” The funniest thing is that when I exercise, I’m used to breathing through my mouth to scream for strength, but when I was giving birth, the doctor wouldn’t let me. The doctor said: “Push and hold back, don’t scream.” So I had no strength. Luckily, my body is healthy so I didn’t encounter many difficulties.

When you decided to become a mother, were you worried about “out of shape” or losing muscle that could affect your work?< /em>

When I was 4-5 months pregnant, many people didn’t realize it. Normally my weight is about 70kg, so people think I’m just “losing” my figure. By the time I was close to giving birth, my belly had grown a lot. I had gained about 15kg by the time I got on the birthing table.

About 3 months after giving birth, I went back to exercising and eating according to my regimen. I breastfed my baby until 6 months old, then weaned her off breast milk to prepare to return to competition.

You must have encountered many difficulties when you first returned to work? Have you ever wanted to give up?

After giving birth, my body was very bloated and fat. During pregnancy, I continued to exercise but my body was still not the same as before. My tendons are much weaker. During the first 1-2 months, I was very tired and could only practice slowly. It wasn’t until my baby was 6 months old that I “tightened” it again.

At that time, the Covid-19 epidemic broke out, so I was very discouraged. I wanted to give up, but my family, friends, and siblings also encouraged me:“If you’ve come this far, stop trying.” I also tried my best to go to the year-end competition and was lucky to win a silver medal. singles for women and gold for the doubles category. When I won the medal, my daughter was 10 months old.

Did you encounter many difficulties or surprises when you became a mother for the first time?

A lot (laughs). Because I’m a first-time mother, there are many things I don’t know. However, I was very lucky to have both my grandmother and baby’s grandmother come in to take care of my baby for the first month. The two ladies showed me so I was a little less confused.

At first I was very scared when breastfeeding. Because I’m used to using strong force and my baby is so small, I’m afraid of hurting him. Gradually, I also learned to get used to and take care of my children more proficiently.

Many audiences are familiar with the image of strong athlete Bui Thi Thoa on stage, but it’s hard to imagine. When you return home, what kind of mother are you? Can you share more?

Actually, many people still don’t believe that they already have children. They think that if female athletes work out and build muscles like this, it will be difficult for them to get married and have children, and perhaps many Vietnamese guys are still “a bit afraid” of female athletes. Some people even discriminate. But when I return home, I am just like any other woman, just a wife and mother of the family.

Becoming a mother while pursuing a career as a professional athlete Surely she has sacrificed a lot?

Currently, I rent a house in Tan Binh (HCMC) to live and work, while my husband, children and grandmother live there. Dong Nai. I only go home once on weekends to visit my children and don’t get to spend much time with them. I miss my husband and children very much, but because of work, I have to accept traveling like that.


Gia Does my family have plans to reunite in the future?

I really want to, but the current situation doesn’t allow it, so I’ll just try slowly. . I try to spend the entire weekend with my family. Every day during the week I call my daughter.

During the time you lived away from your family, who took care of your daughter?

Most of the child care The girls rely on their grandmother because my husband also works so he can only come home with the children at night.

Because I am passionate, my family wholeheartedly supports and creates conditions. While I was competing, both my grandparents encouraged me to try to take care of everything so I wouldn’t have to think too much about my children. Thanks to that, I can focus more in practice. In almost every tournament, the family is a solid rear base, adding strength but never creating pressure.

A little self-assessment, what type of mother do you feel you are?

Because of life, sometimes I feel I feel like I haven’t fulfilled my role as a mother to my child. I live too far away from my child and can’t be near him much, so I always have to rely on my dad and grandmother to take care of him. However, I am very understanding and always close to my mother.

When I was about to go to school, my child cried and did not let me go. But as long as I explain: “Mom goes to work to make money to buy milk for me” , my child won’t whine anymore. I will wish: “Be careful, Mom” and wait until I see you this weekend.


(Laughs) Actually, she’s quite young to understand and know ask questions like this. However, from time to time I still tease my child:“Mom, don’t you think it’s creepy?” At that time, the child will answer:“Mom, you’re beautiful.” I’m very happy.

Both my husband and I have a sports background. and she herself has achieved excellent achievements. Do you want your child to follow in your mother’s footsteps?

I can’t say this in advance because I don’t want to impose on my child. Whatever you like, I support you in pursuing it. If my child is older and he wants to practice like his mother, then I will agree. However, following this career is very difficult (laughs). If you want to practice to stay in shape, that’s okay, but competing professionally is very difficult and requires intense training, muscle contraction, and even starvation to force weight.

Thank you for sharing!