A new mum revealed her trick to a blissful labour and bouncing back to fitness was –POLE DANCING.
Incredible photos show heavily-pregnant Becky Hampson, 33, hanging upside down in gravity-defying poses right up until she was 35 weeks pregnant.
She took up the exercise after a traumatic birth with eldest son Myles, now eight, and claims it made her stronger “on the inside and outside” second time round.
The single mum only had “a tiny bit of gas and air” while giving birth to Vincent – and puts it down to the exercise.
Photos show her ‘relaxing’ in the birthing pool calmly sipping on a wine glass full of Lucozade between contractions.
And just three weeks after the three-hour birth, super-fit Becky from Lowton in Greater Manchester, was already back on the pole flaunting her enviably flat tummy.
The fitness guru said: “My labour was only three hours – I think it was because of the exercise.
“With pole dancing you feel stronger from within and outside. With the yoga, it is the techniques, you are strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
“In terms of pain relief I only had a tiny little bit of gas and air – I used calming oils, yoga breathing, and the support of my friends.
“It was major girl power.
“It was a very different experience the second time giving birth – the first time was traumatic.
“This time it was nice and calm with a home birth and a water pool.”
Becky believes the core strength which is developed through pole dancing made all the difference, as it trains the muscles used in childbirth – in the legs, thighs and glutes.
And breathing exercises used in yoga helped her stay calm during labour.
Becky’s first labour with son Myles was traumatic, lasting 24 hours, and leaving her in hospital for two weeks while she recovered from stitches from her induced labour.
She took up pole dancing and yoga in the weeks after he was born, when she was suffering from post-natal depression.
Every week she does five hours training in pole dancing, aerial and silks, and yoga, as well as the classes she teaches.
And she didn’t stop the exercises when she fell pregnant again, and despite gaining two stone was still performing upside-down positions two weeks before going into labour.
She said her yoga breathing and super strong muscles from pole dancing made all the difference when her second son was born on October 25.
Mum-of-two Becky said it allowed her to get through childbirth with only a “tiny bit” of gas and air for relief.
“Pole fitness works every muscle group in the body – it’s a great way of toning and keeping fit,” she said.
“They say post-natal depression is more likely second time around if you had it the first time, but I feel the fitness and placenta helped fight it off this time.
“I had more to deal with emotionally during my second pregnancy too, but I handled it all better with the yoga.”
“Keeping fit can really help with labour – it’s just a case of mind over matter.
“I totally put my all into my yoga breathing, and into the fact that this was going to be an okay labour.
“I used ‘Sheetali’ as you get a bit hot and worked up in labour.
“And I used the goddess pose, which is a squat, as well as the ‘bumblebee’ breathing technique, which is known to help with labour in India.”
A close friend chopped up her placenta and blended it with apples, blackberries, raspberries, goji berries and a banana.
It made smoothies and ice lollies that lasted Becky for three months and she’s convinced they helped her bounce back so quickly.
Becky said: “I Googled it after the midwife said you can make smoothies with the placenta.
“You are supposed to send it off and pay £170 to get it made into capsules but a friend helped me instead.
“We looked up a recipe online with organic blackberries and apples and put it all in a blender.
“It made four smoothies and eight ice lollies. They’re good for fatigue and post-natal depression.
“When I told people on the school run they thought I was mad. But I know my body and I knew it would do it good. It’s got a lot of protein in it.”