By Lydia Patrick via SWNS
A mom-to-be trolled by strangers who claimed she "didn't care about the baby" after pole dancing during pregnancy says it helped her labor go without a hitch.
Danielle Nicole, 36, started pole dancing seven years ago when she attended a private class for her 29th birthday.
She loved it and took it up as a hobby and has since won pole dancing competitions and taught pole classes to others.
Danielle used pole dancing to help her heal after suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage at 18 weeks pregnant in April 2021.
Danielle was delighted to fall pregnant in November 2021 with her son and she refused to give up pole dancing.
Seeking medical advice, her obstetrician told her it was OK to continue on the pole as long as she took safety precautions, and her pregnancy didn't develop any complications.
Danielle gave birth to baby Felix, weighing 8lbs 4oz, on Aug. 23, 2022, at 7:30 p.m.
The active mom didn't stop working as a nurse practitioner until one day before giving birth.
Danielle was trolled by strangers online who claimed she "didn't care about the baby" and "just wanted more Instagram followers" after she continued pole dancing as her bump grew.
But despite the backlash, Danielle felt it was important she continued her passion throughout her pregnancy and into motherhood but admits it was more difficult post-pregnancy because of how much her body changed.
Danielle, from Lancing, Michigan, said: "It was a piece of me that was important to continue.
"For the first 20 weeks, I didn't change a lot, I had a bit of nausea, so I didn't do spin pole.
"I taught pole dancing for up to 32 weeks and I changed from teaching a higher-level class to a lower-level class.
"I didn't do flips or climb high, and I wasn't doing upper pole stuff.
"I often dance barefoot and didn't do a lot in heels. I was mainly on the ground.
"I modified what I did for the baby's safety as I didn't want to hurt him."
The mom-of-one used pole dancing to heal after suffering a miscarriage at 18 weeks.
She added: "We really wanted to have a kid in 2021- I got pregnant and I lost my baby girl Ellen at 18 weeks in April 2021
"It was so hard.
"I had to give birth to her because she was so far along.
"The pole dancing was how I healed and it was a creative way for me to express my feelings."
After sharing photographs and videos of her pole dancing pregnant online, she received trolling as people commented "she didn't care about the baby" and that she "wanted more Instagram followers."
"It was hurtful, but I wanted to stick up for women in general," Danielle said.
"It's perfectly safe if you know what you're doing, I didn't do anything dangerous.
"I knew how not to hit my belly and fall.
"My obstetrician said it was fine to do anything that wouldn't have a direct impact on the belly."
Danielle insisted her pole dancing helped her give birth without any issues.
She added: "It was important I carried on.
"Giving birth is one of the most stressful things your body will go through.
"You have to have a good core and good pelvic muscles to be able to push and deliver a baby effectively.
"There was an emotional importance, too - it is my community, and I am surrounded by other women and we empower each other.
"I didn't want to lose my identity just because I was pregnant."
Danielle carried on working up until she gave birth so she could spend more time with Felix when he was born.
"I continued to work so I would get paid, and could use my maternity when Felix was here," she said.
"Climbing stairs in the hospital was more difficult than pole dancing.
"I worked Monday and delivered my baby the day after, on a Tuesday - my water broke when I had an appointment with my obstetrician."
Danielle pole danced three times a week before becoming pregnant, twice a week during pregnancy and now does it once a week post-partum.
She added: "I kept pole dancing a secret for five years because of the way it is perceived.
"It breaks my heart that it's that way, people don't understand what it means.
"They imagine a stripper pole.
"I just wish people would be less judgmental, most mums are doing the best they can and know their bodies.
"It's an important part of my identity and who I am."
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