Pregnancy is often considered a time for women to put their feet up and take it easy. But hip-hop dance teacher, Christina Litle, is continuing to teach her vigorous body-popping routines – despite being seven months pregnant.
Heavily pregnant dancer Christina has been criticised by strangers online, who have suggested her baby will be born disabled because of her energetic hobby!
But despite a lack of medical assurance, the 28-year-old insists she isn’t putting the baby at risk and says there is a ‘stigma’ around pregnant women.
Christina, from Napa, California, danced through two previous pregnancies, and believes that being active helped her through her births.
And now she has encouraged other mums-to-be to stay active by teaching a hip-hop dance class to other pregnant women.
Christina, who has been with her husband Jordan for 12 years, says: ‘I’ve been asked if I’ve sought medical advice while pregnant and the answer is that I’ve never had to ask my doctor what I can and can’t do. I’ve had textbook pregnancies every time…so I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.
‘There’s such a stigma about pregnancy making you so vulnerable,’ continues Christina. ‘Our bodies aren’t made of glass. We can handle a lot and so can the baby.’
Christina, who owns her own wedding and portrait photography business, started dancing when she was just 5 years old and now teaches a hip-hop class to teenagers.
She posted videos of herself online dancing during her first two pregnancies, but after posting a video on Facebook during her third pregnancy, she was stunned by the response.
Christina – mum to Lailah, 5, and Lynlee, 3 – says, ‘I didn’t even post it for the internet, I posted it for my friends. It was private and I was asked to make it public.
‘First it started on Facebook then it started going viral and it went all over the internet.
‘People are just random screen names, they get to say whatever they want and they can’t be held accountable and so the crazy commenters came out of the woodwork.
‘There are just insinuations that are completely inappropriate.’
But despite the backlash online, Christina’s family and friends are supportive.
Husband Jordan says he would be more worried if Christina stopped dancing.
The 30-year-old deputy sheriff says: ‘Watching Christina dance puts a smile on my face. It would be slightly awkward if she didn’t dance, quite honestly. She’s danced with all three of the kids so it’s pretty normal.
‘We have two healthy babies now – not to say that’s a guarantee of anything – but I know that movement and dancing and working out is all good for your core and all good for the birthing process.
‘She’s very conscious of what she’s doing. She would never do anything to harm herself or the baby.’
Christina is an advocate for staying active during pregnancy. And she’s encouraged other mums-to-be to continue any exercise they were doing before falling pregnant.
‘The level of health that you have directly reflects onto your child. You’re not disabled, you’re not being held back by the child unless you have morning sickness or complications with your pregnancy,’ she says.
‘I’d advise every woman to speak to her doctor and get medical advice but generally speaking you should stay healthy. There’s no reason to become sedentary, depressed, eating unnecessary foods. Physically, mentally and emotionally it’s fantastic for the mum and the baby.
‘Stopping dancing completely never crossed my mind. It’s just a part of who I am.’