Mum-to-be pole dancing her way through pregnancy

Pole dancer Jill MacLean.
Pole dancer Jill MacLean. Photo: Instagram

It's not the type of activity that comes to mind when most women think about ways to keep fit during pregnancy. But soon to be mum and two-time Miss Pole Dance Australia winner Jill MacLean, known as "Cleo the Hurricane", 36, has not let a baby bump get in the way of her love of pole dancing.

In her latest blog post Jill explained that while she stopped doing the more difficult intricate tricks during pregnancy, she continued to pole dance as a way to feel sexy while her body changed.

"Well I'm going to be completely honest here... I absolutely LOVE being pregnant (for the most part)... but I have also never felt so unsexy as I do today (especially in the last trimester).. womanly - DEFINITELY, feminine - YES, confident - YES... but sexy? That's a big NO!" she wrote. 

"I am literally ABOUT to give birth and can see that my body has changed significantly. I have put on just under 50lb (22kgs) and when I stand naked and look in the mirror I love what I see (my baby belly) however it is in a completely different light to what I'm used to.

 

Pretty cool my story got into the #dailymail in the UK!

A photo posted by cleothehurricane (@cleothehurricane) on

"As much as I have enjoyed this journey, preparing for motherhood, watching my baby belly grow, I have been CRAVING and LOVING that feeling of putting on my heels, a sexy song and pole dancing just to feel sexy again."

Jill, who documented her pregnancy in a number of pole dancing photos as her baby belly grew,  said she was glad she did not give up her passion while expecting. 

"I'm so glad I didn't hang up the heels completely during my pregnancy. I'm not really 'pole dancing' that much (definitely no tricks or inversions) but I have been taking flexy pregnancy pics nearly every month in my pole gear as it is such a significant time in my life and what a better way to document it - in the splits or on the pole!"  

"I'm not only doing this to share my journey with you, but I do it for me. To feel sexy again! Like a hot mumma! And how much fun it's been!  

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"If anyone knows me knows that I don't take life too seriously and always love a good laugh (but) I take my pregnancy VERY seriously and would never put on a pair of 7 or 8" heels if I wasn't completely comfortable and confident in them.  

"To be honest I am more clumsy at home barefoot than I am in a studio with sky-high stilettos on."

Shot at Cleo's Rock N Pole BRAND new location in Los Angeles! Watch out pole world, I'm competition ready with my new signature move - the baby belly rub!Wearing Sonic Siren #cleohotpants in turquoise coming out real soon! <3www.cleothehurricane.com

Posted by Cleo The Hurricane on Monday, 25 January 2016

While most people have been inspired by Jill's pregnancy workout, she has had to deal with a few detractors who have criticised her choice to pole dance while pregnant and suggested it was not in the best interests of her unborn son. However Jill is unapologetic.

"I am not going to write a speech justifying what I do, as a pole dancer and now as a soon-to-be-mother," she wrote. 

"But I will say this... As women we all want to feel sexy, this is how I feel sexy... YES.. dressing up as a cop in 8" heels and posing for a picture, or doing the splits. YES... girls ALSO just wanna have fun! Well, I certainly do!

"This is how I express myself and I'm sure my son is gonna think his mum rocks when we bring out these pics on his 21st birthday! My husband also thinks I'm pretty cool!" 

Jill is not the only mum-to-be who has continued pole dancing through pregnancy.

In China fitness instructor Zhao Yitong, 27, has sparked debate after competing in a pole dancing competition while four months pregnant.

"At that time no one knew I was pregnant. If they did, no one would allow me to participate in the competition," she told the People's Daily.

Zhao said her family members were initially concerned about her plan to continue pole dancing during pregnancy, but are now supportive after doctors said it was safe for the baby.