A professional ballet dancer of Canadian-Indian heritage, Tara has performed as a First Artist with London’s Royal Ballet both at their historic home in Covent Garden and in many of the most famous theatres around the World.
We spoke to Tara when she was in her third trimester about her pregnancy vlogs, dancing with a baby bump and why she supported our Pregnant Not Powerless campaign…
Why is it important for you to stay active during pregnancy and continue to dance?
I have always been an active person and dancing is my job. My body is used to it, I need to dance! I’d be lost if I wasn’t able to continue dancing, both physically AND mentally.
How have you modified your fitness regime during pregnancy?
Now I’m in my third trimester I don’t rehearse or perform anymore. The costumes aren’t designed for pregnancy and no longer fit, but also because of the intensity of the workload- it’s not uncommon for us to work up to 13 hours per day, 6 days per week! I’ve really scaled back and what I am doing has been gradually modified throughout my pregnancy.
Typically, I’ve stopped doing pirouettes because the bump can really alter your centre of gravity; and pregnancy adds a lot of weight, so I stopped jumping (allegro) in my third trimester.
Have you ever received any negativity about exercising whilst pregnant?
No, actually I think I’ve been pretty lucky! I’m not training as much as I did pre-pregnancy but what I AM doing feels right for both me and my baby.
Will you be taking time to recover before returning to professional dancing?
Of course! Once my baby arrives, it will be all about her, which is great because my body will undoubtedly need a rest and time to recover from the pregnancy. Once I’m given the OK from the doctors I will start dancing again postnatally, but very slowly and gently. I’m in no rush and I want to enjoy this special time.
What advice would you give to any expectant mothers who are unsure about exercising during pregnancy?
It is so good for you, both physically and mentally! Ideally you want to be doing some sort of physical activity prior to becoming pregnant and just continue during pregnancy. But there’s no reason not to take up a new exercise when you’re pregnant.
Tell us about any changes you’ve made to your diet during pregnancy. Have you had any pregnancy cravings?
I had severe morning sickness in my first trimester and had to take medication to keep it under control. Because I couldn’t keep anything down at the beginning I was desperate to eat anything, so once I could, I did! I put back on all the weight I’d lost and much more! I try to eat everything in moderation, but I must admit I’ve been a bit more lenient with my sweet tooth during my pregnancy, I find marshmallows and Haribo quite hard to resist!
I always try to eat fish twice a week, red meat at least once a week, and have lots of salad, vegetables and grains. I’m not super strict but do try to follow these guidelines. I’ve also been taking a prenatal vitamin throughout my pregnancy.
Do you think there is enough support and advice for women who choose a fit pregnancy?
I think there is if you know where to look. And I think if you truly want to have a fit pregnancy you will figure out how to do it. FittaMamma’s Pregnant Not Powerless campaign is so valuable in highlighting a fit pregnancy as a positive way to progress through pregnancy which benefits both mother and baby!
Thank you for supporting our Pregnant Not Powerless campaign! Why was it so important for you to be a part of it?
I would hate to feel powerless during my pregnancy. Growing a baby is such an amazing thing our bodies do, but I don’t see it as a time to sit back and relax, I see it as a time to celebrate and enjoy, and a fit pregnancy is part of that joy.
Why did you start your pregnancy vlog?
I watched a lot of You Tube vlogs when I was trying to get through my morning sickness. I tried everything and was very grateful for the ideas even though sadly none of them worked. It made me want to give back to the vlogging world and I thought maybe I can help some people with my experience. There’s also something quite intriguing about a ballet dancer growing a bump, so I thought it would be great to show the world what it’s truly like!
Dancing with a baby bump must be VERY different – what advice would you give to Mammas who are looking to continue dancing during their pregnancies?
If you are dancing already, then keep it up! Your body will tell you when something is becoming too much, so always listen – only you know how you truly feel.
We’d love to know your three top tips for safe prenatal exercise?
- Listen to your body. It’s doing a lot of hard work to begin with during pregnancy, and it will tell you when something is not right, and you’ll feel great when you’re doing something your body loves!
- Wear comfortable clothing. The last thing you want as your body and bump are growing is for clothes to feel too tight! The FittaMamma range accommodates for these prenatal changes and gives you all the support in all of the right places at the same time.
- Have fun! Choose an activity or pregnancy exercise you enjoy and the benefits will rise even more!