Pregnant woman and work

I still remember the excitement I felt a little over a year ago when I saw the video of cousin Ashley Bouder making fouettes when she was six and a half months pregnant. I was reviewing Instagram while my son Luca was enjoying his afternoon teat session, and the video appeared like a glass of fresh water between selfies and photos of cats. A belly dancer, bathed in sweat, during the final part of her daily class, spinning like before becoming pregnant was a scene I had never seen before (fouettes are pirouettes in which one leg propels the rest of the body like a whip to spin many times in a row).

this dancer, like several others who at the peak of their careers decide to have children, continued dancing on stage until she had four months of gestation and her belly began to become too notorious. She continued to make immense jumps and dance in demanding roles, such as Rocío's Gota de Rocío in the ballet Cascanueces, several weeks pregnant. She continued to attend ballet class every day, and recorded with photos and videos how her pregnancy did not prevent her from dancing and spinning until the fortieth week.

For medical reasons, when I became pregnant my doctor sent me absolute rest until we could prove that the pregnancy was viable, and then two months without strenuous exercise. I had almost miraculously become pregnant, as I suffer from endometriosis and polycystic ovary, so no preventative measure seemed exaggerated to me in order to protect my beloved fetus. But once they gave me the green light, I started exercising, especially walking and yoga. Many of their older mothers, aunts, relatives, and friends were impressed when I told them that I liked to walk all five floors up to my apartment, or that I was still able to split my legs and put my forehead against the floor in a yoga class. "I did take good care of myself during pregnancy, I hardly walked at all, because I was very tired," he said. "When moms move around a lot, babies get their umbilical cord tangled, and that's very dangerous," they told me again.

But pregnancy is not a disease. Yes, of course, it requires care and attention, it is an exceptional stage in which a woman's body goes through a unique process, in which her entire body concentrates on keeping alive and growing another being that lives inside. There are times when discomfort, especially in the first trimester, is strong, and nausea or dizziness can become incapacitating. There are also pregnancies of high risk, or that cross for difficulties that force the mother to be in bed during several months. But this is not the rule, it is the exception.

Perhaps the idea that a pregnant woman is unable to perform certain physical feats comes from a misunderstanding of the word gravidity. Perhaps more than one believes that this one comes from "serious", and does not know that pregnant means, according to the RAE, "loaded, full, abundant". And then when a few weeks ago it was known that tennis player Serena Williams won the Australian Open with eight weeks of pregnancy, the whole world began to comment with fury. Before the controversy, one of the answers that the sportswoman gave during a television interview was: "Pregnant or not, nobody knew it and I was supposed to win that tournament. Every time I play, I'm supposed to win. If I don't win, to tell you the truth, it's usually much bigger news.

The Williams not only won a major tournament pregnant, but it is today, with 23 Grand Slams in his suitcase, the active tennis player (yes, between all male and female tennis players) who has taken this type of prize more times. And instead of focusing on this fact, and how unfair it is that their male counterparts are recognized as better, for being men, and earn more money per tournament, what took all the attention was that she, pregnant, showed that a high-performance athlete is pregnant, her body is capable of achieving historic feats.

As has happened since the Williams sisters played professionally, Serena's body was once again questioned from all angles. On the one hand, the question of whether she was putting the life of her fetus at risk by continuing to play at that level. On the other hand, if perhaps pregnancy would not have served as a kind of natural doping that improved their capabilities, it is known that the body of a pregnant woman increases liters of blood in the body to ensure good oxygenation for the baby. There was no lack of those who, once again, questioned her femininity (because that seems to be the common place when it comes to these sportswomen sisters) for, precisely, remaining on the courts despite their state of pregnancy. And those who sought all sorts of explanations to justify that she, thus, could have played a perfect tournament.

Now that his belly is evident, as seen during the gala at the New York MET, the big question is whether he will be able to return to his previous level and maintain a place in the ATP ranking. It seems that somehow everyone is focused on seeing how, by what means, they can prove that in effect not only pregnancy but also motherhood diminishes the capabilities of women and turns them into mid-way creatures that are only used for the upbringing of their offspring. And the answer is: if she wants to return to the courts, as she has already announced, after giving birth she will surely continue to be the sporting wonder she is. As well as Ashley Bouder, who four months after having her daughter Violet Storm returned to the stage to the ovation of the audience. Because pregnancy is not an illness and neither is motherhood.

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