Pole Dance and Pregnancy: Can I Continue Training?

Congratulations! You’re having a baby! And if you’re a pole dancer you might be wondering if you can continue with your regular training. How could you possibly stop? It would be super hard to quit training for nine months… or more!

Since I haven’t had the chance to test the theory that you can still do pole with your baby bump, I decided to ask several poler friends that have been pregnant. I spoke first with Majito Gómez from Ecuador. Majito is a national champion and also known worldwide for her pole achievements. Last year she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and she told me that she never stopped doing pole, not even the day before she gave birth naturally.

“My doctor never said I couldn’t do sports. He considered me in good shape”, says Majito. “He told me to go on with my normal life, even though I never admitted I was a pole dancer”. Majito felt pretty confident about what tricks she could do, even though as her belly grew bigger, there were movements that obviously interfered with the pole.

Majito Gómez

Jessie Pericas from Venezuela is currently six months pregnant but quit doing pole two months ago. “Up until two months agot I felt really comfortable practicing and teaching pole”, she admits. Jessie owns a studio in Caracas with her pole dancer boyfriend, Guillermo “Gato” Tovar. They have competed both separately and as a couple nationally and internationally.

Jessie Pericas and Guillermo Tovar

In this case, Jessie did decide to quit for now. Because pole dance is a sport that requires a lot of abdominal control, she feels that dancing while being pregnant could get risky. “Your blood pressure could rise from pole dance if you’re expecting a baby”, she says. She also thinks that you have to listen to what your body is telling you in order to know how far you can go. “I have known pole dancers that haven’t quit throughout their pregnancies — they just lowered the intensity. In my case I preferred to focus on flexibility and put pole on hold.”

Jessie Pericas

There’s a lot of opinions out there about poling while pregnant. If you go online there is mostly criticism towards women who decide to climb the pole while being pregnant. And don’t even ask what happens if you come across pictures of these women upside down! I think belittling dancers is a normal reaction for a non pole dancer because they might think the future mom could easily fall off the pole. And it’s true, you could fall. So perhaps it’s better to not try complicated new tricks until after your baby is born.

Majito says she received positive and negative comments about her pole dancing with a baby belly: “It was alarming to some people”, she tells me but she also says that she didn’t let anyone spoil moments that were “spectacular” for her.

Mary Ashton Kolacinki is a professional pole dancers with an impressive resume. She was the 2014 California Pole Dance Champion and her latest achievements including performing in Pole Show LA while 27 weeks pregnant. Here’s what Mary had to say about her experience poling while pregnant:

Mary Ashton Kolacinski performing at Pole Show LA 27 weeks pregnant. Photo by Alloy Images

“This is my first pregnancy and when I found out I was expecting I was a little nervous about continuing to pole dance. Do people pole dance when they are pregnant? Is it safe? Can I hurt the baby? I had so many questions and hoped I could still keep pole and dance apart of my life and workout regiment. I have been poling for 9 years and it would be sad not to have it in my life, even if only for 9 months. So I asked my doctor at my very first appointment (in fact it may have been one of my first questions) “Can I still pole dance?” After explaining exactly what I meant by “pole dance” he responded, “I’m not sure that’s such a great idea. Just be really careful not to fall.” This sounded contradictory to me to say the least. Was that a yes or a no? So at my next appointment I showed him a video of me doing some simple combos on spin pole and he said, “Wow, how do you get your legs to do that? This is amazing. I think it will be okay as long as you’re careful not to fall, but all in all it’s not hurting anything. But you do realize it will get harder the bigger you get?” To which I answered “Yea, I realize that.” With slight disappointment. But I am just about 29 weeks pregnant now and I am still poling!!! I can’t say it’s been the same as before the baby came on board. My abs don’t work too well now that they are stretching apart with my expanding belly, but I have found things that I can still do: Climbing, pole sits, descending inverts, leg hangs, any dancing around the pole (as long as I’m not rolling over my belly), static spins, static holds, simple spinning pole combos, using the pole for conditioning and much more have all been possible! I can even still handspring (strangely this is easier than a regular invert)! The most important thing to me is to keep up my strength and enjoy dancing with my changing body. I am not trying any new tricks, I only do what I am comfortable and familiar with. It’s about maintaining, not necessarily growing my trick repertoire at this point. I have thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant! I have had a very healthy pregnancy, no health issues or problems, and I really feel that staying active and eating healthy has helped immensely. I am a pregnant poler advocate!!” — Mary Ashton Kolacinksi

Ethy Oziel, a Sports Medicine Doctor in Caracas, recommends not doing any pole dance before the first trimester (12 weeks), because this is when the baby has fully formed. Afterwards, according to her, you can take your normal classes, but it’s better not to do inverts or drops.

Another tip she has for future pole dancer moms is to do a very good warm-up and if you’re a beginner in pole, it’s best if you sit these classes out. “It’s not a good thing to combine an inexperienced mother with an inexperienced pole dancer”, she says.