Professional ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers is 39 weeks pregnant – and still practising perfect pointe.
The creator of ballet-fitness craze Ballet Beautiful, who coached Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan, has continued to train throughout her pregnancy and is now advocating the benefits of pirouetting your way through those expectant nine months.
“Now that I’m pregnant, I’m finding that staying fit and active is more important than ever,” she told Elle US. “I’ve been doing a modified, prenatal version of Ballet Beautiful since the beginning of my pregnancy, and am amazed by how strong and healthy it has made me feel. I’ve worked with many women through their pregnancy but experiencing it first hand has been very special.”
Mary has worked closely with her doctor who is “incredibly supportive” of her keeping up her ballet regime.
“Pregnancy can be a really exciting and creative time,” she added. “There’s a lot of change involved and, of course, some discomfort along the way, but my approach has been to embrace the bump and my ever-changing physique.
“Rather than fighting the changes in my body, I’m celebrating them and I love seeing other women do the same.
“By continuing to work out and dance while pregnant, I feel a double reward from maintaining my normal routine – all the while knowing that my baby is sharing in my day. Ballet Beautiful has made my pregnancy a joy. I’ve avoided back pain and swelling by keeping my core strong and my body moving.
“I feel terrific and plan to work and work out until the end.”