The Pregnant Ballerina
Forget the controversial CrossFit mama-to-be.
The true pregnant athlete has to be Mary Helen Bowers, former professional ballerina in the New York City Ballet for over ten years. If you haven't seen her viral photographs and the debate about her choice of fitness during pregnancy, you've missed out on a lovely phenomenon – and a bit of a debate on whether she should or shouldn't be practicing her beloved ballet so late in her pregnancy.
Bowers is actually one of the ballerinas who helped train Natalie Portman for her famous (or infamous?) role in the movie Black Swan. And that's not her only claim to fame. She also trains Victoria Secret models so that they are runway ready. (Hey, a little help over here, Mary?)
With dance being such an important part of her life, it's no surprise that the ballerina wanted to remain active in the art form that she has always known and loved. With her doctor's clearance and supervision, Bowers continued to practice ballet right up until she gave birth.
Bowers maintains that pregnancy is one of the best times in a woman's life to stay active. Not only does she run a ballet-based exercise company for women, but she designed a special prenatal workout specifically for women that are trying to stay healthy during their pregnancies.
In fact, Bowers says that her ballet routine has actually helped her avoid most of the common ailments of pregnancy like back and hip pain.
“I’ve really been amazed by how active I’ve been able to be and how much my body has been able to do,” Bowers told USA Today.
“It’s a beautiful time. You feel connected to your body on a level like never before.”
And while I definitely agree with the ballerina on that level, I have to admit there are definitely some times in pregnancy that I feel a little too connected to my body. Perhaps if I could be as graceful as her, I would be singing a different tune, though. Who knows? Maybe I”ll take a turn in my 3-year-old's ballet class during this pregnancy…
To see some incredible pictures of the beautiful dancing mama, visit her Instagram account at balletbeautiful.
What do you think – would you give ballet a try while pregnant? What has been your chosen exercise routine during your pregnancy?