Ballet While Pregnant - Yes You Can

Tuesday, April 25, 2017




One of the big contradictions in pregnancy advice surrounds exercising while pregnant. Generally everyone accepts that exercise of some sort during pregnancy is to be encouraged. Where the disagreement happens is when we try to decide what we mean by "exercise". EVERYTHING is, apparently, potentially dangerous.

Yoga - might stretch something wrong

Running - might fall

Pilates - might use your core muscles

Biking - might bounce too much

The list could go on and on. Some of these fears are valid and some are due to outdated understandings of pregnancy. But what, especially first time, pregnant moms hear is "this is something that could potentially hurt my baby" so they don't do it.

Y'all most pregnancies are not that fragile.

Birth is a marathon of an event. I can guarantee you it will be much much harder than necessary if you have not allowed yourself to maintain strength and flexiability.

18 weeks pregnant.
Some have been surprised that I have still been taking my regular Ballet classes - even well into my second trimester. Most are a little shocked when they hear that I fully intend to keep dancing through my third trimester too. When I push a little about why they find this surprising they mention that they assumed it would be too hard to do Ballet while pregnant, especially showing. Some insist it is dangerous.

I suppose it is dangerous, but so is crossing the very busy streets around here. I have yet to hear anyone suggest I avoid doing that.

Last night I had my last in-studio class. Not because of the pregnancy but because we're moving. I fully intend to keep training on my own. I can give myself a barre and center fairly well at home.
I don't do pointe work on my own (nor to I encourage anyone to do so, pregnant or not), but I can certainly keep up the training exercises that will allow me to get back to pointe work when I pick a studio.

I believe pregnancy is actually an excellent time to be dancing Ballet. Pregnancy forces me to pay much more attention to how I'm holding my center and turn out. I cannot cheat strength when my center changes so much from week to week. Being forced to be honest about my current abilities can only lead to better work.

Yes, exercise can be dangerous during pregnancy, but I believe most women have the common sense and wherewithal to listen to their bodies and be honest about their limits.

If you did not have a regular exercise routine pre-pregnancy, don't be afraid to start movement now! You will need to start slow and steady, preferably with a teacher, but there are certainly more choices available to you than just walking the entirely of your pregnancy.

How did you keep moving during pregnancy? What is holding you back from starting movement?

7 comments :

  1. Such great insight and advice! Keep rocking the ballet!! I will admit, I would be one of those "how could you do that," people, but not out of meanness... more because I know nothing about ballet, and wonder *how* physically, it works having the belly in the middle of the poses. That said, your explanation would suffice for answers, if I were close to be able to ask you.

    Thanks for the insight into your sport! 🤗

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    1. Thanks! There will be some physical adaptations, but I find that they happen naturally just focusing on the appropriate movement technique. For example, it's a standard part of barre to have combre - which is basically a forward bend that should ideally get your upper body flat against your legs. Obviously not happening with a huge bump, BUT combre is really about lengthening, reaching, and extending from the waist. If I am doing that to the best of my abilities I am working all of the right muscles and the exercise still works and adjusts itself.

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  2. you are crazy inspiring girl!!! wow!!

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  3. My idea of exercise during pregnancy was walking to the bus stop to get my daughter! 😳 I love that you're still dancing! That's amazing!!!

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    1. Sometimes you just need to do something that makes you feel pretty and confident while growing a little person. ;)

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