Had an appointment with the midwives back in March,
This was the appointment where they ask a million questions about family history and health, like:
Do you smoke? ew, never
Do you drink?before I got pregnant, yeah, but not since
Do you wear your seat belt every time? what, are we weeding out the stupid? Of course! Duh!
Do you exercise regularly?
I was like, “Yes! Ballet twice a week and I go running about once a week, would go more but I get home after dark on weekdays, so, like, that’s right out, but I figure as I get bigger running might get kinda uncomfortable anyway, might switch over to walking…and the ballet class is not pointe or anything but it Is strenuous, I Always sweat and I’m usually a little sore the next day.”
And Midwife was like, “yeah, running will become uncomfortable, walking is great exercise during pregnancy, walking and yoga are the ideal combo for pregnancy.”
And then she was like, “So, the ballet, have you been dancing for a long time? Since you were a kid?”
And I was like, “oh heckbutt no, I just started like two years ago and got kind of totally obsessed. I love it but I’m not an Experienced Dancer or anything.”
And then she Dropped The Bomb: “Ok. The thing is, ballet is really not great exercise for pregnancy.”
And I was like, ” O_o “
Because, dude, Gentle Reader, I’ve been hearing all these happy stories about women doing ballet right up to labor and people taking class with the pregnant ladies left and right and everything online seems to be all Whatever You Did Before You Were Pregnant, You Can Keep Doing During, with the minor exception of the big ballet jumps and leaps, and, like, probably if your thang before pregnancy was mud-wrestling alligators you should maybe stop or at least downgrade to smaller lizards,
So I totally figured I’d be That Person.
-I mean the ballet right up to labor person, not the mud-wrestling one-
And I was even totally excited and looking forward to Showing Up the Other Pregnant Girl in class because she doesn’t come very often anymore and I was gonna be a Better Pregnant Ballet Student than her.
(This is also why I’m bad at yoga: Too Competitive)
So I was like, “OMGWhy?!? Is is the jumping? Is it risk of falling?”
And she was like, “Well, no, it’s that ballet training is counter-productive to the changes you need to allow in your body during pregnancy. Ballet is all about a strong core- which is why it’s such fabulous exercise. Ballet requires you to pull up, keep your abs zipped and strong, even just standing properly in ballet… (she puts down her clip-board, stood up, took first position, pulled up her abs, dropped her shoulders, kinda like transformed into a ballerina right in front of me) …is all about keeping your core strong and engaged and in. But while you are carrying a baby, you need to allow your abdominals to relax, become flexible, allow your uterus to move upward and forward, to not be restricted.”
And I was like, “oh.”
And she was like, “in our experience as midwives, women who are dancers have abdominal muscles that are So Strong they resist the expansion that needs to happen.”
And I was like, “OH.”
Never occured to me that ab muscles could ever be too strong. For anything. Ever.
And she was like, “Tight abs can cause a lot of problems. Like, if the baby settles into a breech position before labor, it can be very difficult to turn the baby into a head-down position, and the State of California does not legally allow breech position delivery in the home. We have the knowledge, and used to perform them, but the law no longer allows for it, and that means a hospital birth and most likely a cesearean.”
And I was thinking, yeah, I can definitely take a break from class, but ugh, Smirnoff is so not going to understand.
He will be disappointed in me.
And what about the blog, I mean, ugh, the blog will be Disappoint.
And Midwife was saying, “Now, if you feel like you’re an experienced enough dancer that you can modify you ballet practice, and if your teacher is sensitive to this kind of thing and can guide you-”
And I was like, “No. No and no!” and then laughed and told her the most guidance I’ve ever seen Smirnoff give a pregnant student was to call out, “lean back my dear! Lean back!” which seems like it would just engage the abs more.
So she was like, “if ballet is something you can step away from during this time, you’re really going to have a better experience. And then go back after the baby! Get that core tightened up again! Ballet is really fabulous exercise. What I recommend while you are pregnant is that you walk for an hour every day, or hike, or do yoga.”
And I was like, “dang, an hour every day, that actually more exercise than I’m getting now. Less intense, but more consistent.”
And she was like, “yes, we find that our mothers are happier when their bottoms don’t get too big.”
And I was like, “hee hee, bottoms.”
And then I asked about belly dance and she said go for it, that’s also great exercise for pregnancy.
And I’ll be damned if I wasn’t reading Allegra Kent’s Once A Dancer… later that week and she actually said, right there in print, with no prompting from my midwives, that NYCB called her a month after she gave birth to her first baby and asked when she’d be ready to start dancing again, and she basically said, Jeez, gimme a minute here! And then said she hadn’t even started practicing yet and was still recovering because, “My muscles were so strong that they had resisted the expansion.”
- got a question? I might answer with a post! email@example.com
- @UKBalletGirl I dream of five hours of sleep. 22 hours ago
- I love shopping for things in Ballet Pink. 2 days ago
- @CloudandVictory will totes look for Chacott! In the meantime, have ordered a pair of convertible Capezios. 2 days ago
- "You must spend x amount more dollars to qualify for free shipping". Perfect. Pink tights added to cart. 2 days ago
- Need new tights. GRUMPY FACE. 5 days ago
- May 2013 (7)
- April 2013 (3)
- March 2013 (7)
- February 2013 (10)
- January 2013 (9)
- December 2012 (4)
- November 2012 (4)
- October 2012 (7)
- September 2012 (6)
- August 2012 (10)
- July 2012 (18)
- June 2012 (13)
- May 2012 (9)
- April 2012 (9)
- March 2012 (12)
- February 2012 (14)
- January 2012 (20)
- December 2011 (25)
- November 2011 (18)
- October 2011 (10)
- September 2011 (15)
- August 2011 (9)
- July 2011 (13)
- June 2011 (25)
- May 2011 (24)
- April 2011 (13)
- March 2011 (15)
- February 2011 (12)
- January 2011 (5)
- December 2010 (13)
- November 2010 (20)
- October 2010 (18)
- September 2010 (8)
- August 2010 (11)
- July 2010 (20)
- June 2010 (7)
- May 2010 (10)
- April 2010 (4)
- March 2010 (8)
- February 2010 (6)
✱ you might have missed…
✱ break it down: