During pregnancy, a woman’s body will change more in nine months than it’s likely to change during any other life stage. Because of these changes, pregnant women are generally encouraged to rest and enjoy “eating for two”. For dancers, taking it easy is not always ideal or even possible. Pre-professional and professional dancers often continue to train until their due date and will return back to the studio soon after delivery. What does training while pregnant involve? Will dancing while pregnant harm an unborn child?
Moderate exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for reducing the risk of clotting problems and improving maternal circulation likelihood of a smoother delivery. Conversely,, excessive or intense exercise that causes major fatigue or breathlessness can divert blood flow away from the placenta. Excessive exercise can interfere with achieving adequate energy intake and weight gain. If you continue to be active while pregnant, it is critical that you maintain proper pregnancy nutrition. Always consume a pre-training workout snack with 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrate (e.g., a banana or a few dates) and hydrate with at least 8 ounces of fluid. Blood sugar is more likely to shift out of the normal range due to the extra demands on your body. Adequate and well-timed carbohydrate intake is essential during pregnancy to sustain healthy blood sugar levels throughout a workout. Include a recovery snack after every training session that includes at least 100 calories per 10 minutes of moderate exercise from both carbs and protein. Hydrate daily with at least 80 ounces of fluid plus an additional 18 to 24 ounces per hour of exercise.
Here are some important guidelines to consider regarding exercise or dance training while pregnant:
Dancers are typically concerned about getting back into shape post-pregnancy, and most can achieve pre-pregnancy condition within 12 weeks of dance classes, Pilates, and cross-training. Pregnancy should be a time of joy and anticipation, not fear - so enjoy the experience and remember that with proper training and nutrition you can certainly return to your best dance shape after delivery!