Pregnancy and Poling by Andi Active Cherry

So like most pregnancy blogs I’ll have to start off by saying that I am in no way a doctor or midwife and am no medical expert on pregnancy but I have had 2 babies and am happy to share my experiences with you 

Poling whilst pregnant is a hugely controversial issue. Some people are all for it (mainly the people that have poled whilst pregnant) and others are avidly against it. What do we really know about it to have such strong opinions? Well, apart from personal experience and the experience of any other brave mothers that have shared their stories, not a lot! In essence for me, the decision to pole or not to pole, comes down to a few things;

Your doctor and your midwife HAVE to be on board with you and tell you you’re safe to continue. Being safe to pole will depend on how long and at what level you are poling at and whether your pregnancy is safe or “high risk”. If you have health issues around your pregnancy, any exercise is probably not recommended. Pole is strenuous and hardcore! And most doctors still don’t know what it involves so to be on the safe side, show your medical team pictures and videos so that they know what they are dealing with in order to advise you correctly!

Whether YOU feel comfortable and safe doing it. You need to listen to your body and get in tune with it now more than ever. Chances are if you’ve been doing pole for a long time now, you’ve hopefully learnt a few things about yourself! Listen to that. 

What support you have around you, this could be your teacher, your students, your staff and your family. I would not have been able to continue working and running my business if it wasn’t for the AMAZING staff and students that I have on my side at AC! I love them. My family are also hugely supportive of me. Especially my Husband who helps so much at home so that I can concentrate on myself and baby. (and work but shhhh don’t tell him that)

So what’s it really like poling whilst pregnant? HARD!

In my first pregnancy I didn’t really pole that much. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I started taking it super easy and stopped inverting completely at 5 months and after that only really did the odd spin. After I had baby number one I was almost straight back on the pole and luckily I was super healthy and didn’t damage myself! (Be cautious here! Make sure your medical team clear you for training before you do anything) 

Since the first time round, lots of things changed. The business grew, my status grew, I got more advanced, performed and competed more, so this time I was determined to do more pole during the pregnancy. Not just determined but destined! When I was still in the early stages it wasn’t so difficult. Just got tired quickly and had the worst nausea to deal with so inverting was interesting but I could still pull off a championship winning style performance so that wasn’t the worst of it. Once in the “golden” second trimester it was actually ok! I could still invert/handspring/shoulder mount with straight legs so felt like I was totally winning at this whole pregnant poling thing. I stopped doing flips, drops and anything directly on my stomach area though. (Not that I really did that many hahaha) towards the end of this trimester though leg hangs were becoming pretty hard and doing anything jade/duchess/hip hold REALLY pinched and bruised like a mofo as I had the extra love handles developing!! I was also needing more breaks and it was beginning to get difficult but I was still pleased that I could still do an iron x!

Coming into the third trimester, all the nausea from the first trimester came back. And with the extra weight I was carrying, plus the pain from a torn ab muscle (this was from the last pregnancy and the stretching, long story!)  and extra fatigue pole was just too much of a mission! I still taught my classes and masterclasses. I demonstrated a lot less though. At this point I couldn’t do a pike on the hoop (bump got in the way) and my inverts were no longer “professional looking”! It was a lot easier to spot people and show them how to get into position than to do the move myself. I learnt in my first pregnancy how to do AWESOME floor demonstrations of moves and my verbal teaching skills developed hugely. This time round that’s REALLY come in handy and I would invite all you pole instructors out there to test your verbal coaching skills! I am blessed with the most amazing students so they took my instructions gratefully and had no problem understanding instructions. My staff were also awesome at this stage and did a lot of demoing and spotting for me so I didn’t have to. 

Now I’m nearing the stage where I will be leaving for maternity soon (8 months pregnant) and to me that means not taking on my private lessons and group classes at the studio. I will

Still be glued to my phone and the booking system no doubt until the day I pop. But after that it’s total rest for a little while so we can focus on being a family  

So what have I learnt this time round? DONT put pressure on yourself to pole for a certain amount of time. Every person is different and every pregnancy is different. This one was hugely different to the first so I massively overestimated what I would still be able to do late on! If I could have taken my maternity from the start of my 3rd trimester I would have been happy. So no more booking lessons so far in advance!

And the baby is here…

Baby has arrived! Happy and healthy and HEAVY! My last pole/aerial experience was at 36 weeks pregnant where I judged Solent pole and hoop competition and taught an aerial masterclass afterwards. It was bitter-sweet saying goodbye to pole and aerial for a while but it won’t be long before I can get back to it. I have another truly amazing miracle bundle to concentrate on and keep me busy whilst my body recovers from the LONG and strenuous pregnancy and birth. Happy times! During this time I plan to dedicate myself totally to my family until I am ok by the medics team to go back to training. The last thing I would want is to injure myself and set my training back further. I will keep you all updated on my training progress!

Thanks for reading. Please check me out on Facebook and Instagram (ActiveCherry) and remember to be safe!

Images by Simon Hooley The Image Cella

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