Forums > Technical Discussion > Pregnant Fire Dancer Seeks Advice

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Brightspark
newbie

Member Since: 13th Jul 2005
Total posts: 2
Posted:
I've been spinning professionally for the past six years, and love it more than ever. I'm growing a fire spinner of my own at the moment (four months pregnant) and so limit my spinning to practice sets, and am taking a break from performing.

While basic common sense tells me that fumes from fuel cannot be good for me and are therefore best avoided while pregnant, I am trying to find further info on the long term effects of fume inhalation. My midwife (not surprisingly) wasn't sure what effect fumes would have on breast feeding. I have to choose between performing (making a living) and breastfeeding my baby. Fair enough - but it got me thinking. What will ten or twenty years of breathing fumes actually do to a girl?

I already have fire safety training, first aid training, risk assesment sheets for shows, MSDS for all fuel and equipment and I studied chemistry in uni. I'm wondering has anyone come across reports directly related to long term exposure to fumes, as ooposed the the safety info I already have. A brief scour of the internet didn't reveal much, but then - you're a clever bunch!!


Kind regards,

Emily
www.brightspark.ie


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VampyricAcid
VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House
Member Since: 27th Jun 2005
Total posts: 1286
Posted:Im pretty sure this has been comvered in abother thread, but i couldnt find it, basically, stay away from kero/parafin, cant remember the science-y bit but im sure that was the advice given

Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

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Richee
HOP librarian
Location: Prague
Member Since: 15th Jan 2002
Total posts: 1841
Posted:I found three threads about it. You may stop fire for that

time.



Poi while pregnancy

Baby and fumes?

Consequences Of Fumes?



Wish you nice time, healthy and beutifull child.



love and light,



:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:One of Aussies top firespinners, Suzi Scrimshaw, was participating in occasional fire shows up till a few weeks before her baby was born in February this year, including fire hoop (an amazing sight!) She had a totally fine natural birth and both mum and baby are completely fine and well. Gorgeous in fact. So far as I know the photos etc have only been released privately or I would post a link to the healthiest looking newborn I have ever seen!



This is not 'scientific' evidence that it is fine for everyone... no anecdote is. But to assume that the occassional fire spin is so terribly bad is not evidence either. People love laying it on pregnant women! I remember being pregnant in Greece and having the locals really concerned that I was swimming whilst pregnant!

I would want to know for instance, how these products metabolise into the bloodstream, and whether any of them actually cross the placenta.



Brightspark, you are not talking about ten or twenty years of intensive fuel inhalation... the sort of horrors that people put up with in industrial situation. Even as a fire dance professional, generally, I presume, outdoors, the actual minutes per year do not add up very high... and the effect on breast feeding? Not being able to breast feed? That seems a very drastic fear!! One of the generic 'will this be a disaster' fears that assail almost every woman in pregancy...



Adequate nourishment, lymphatic draining exercise, active birth with minimal risk of oxygen deprivation are probably more useful things to think about, for your health as well as the baby's. Are you vegetarian? It could be more useful to give that up while pregnant! I have certainly noticed the difference (in myself and other women) between being a pregnant/breast feeding/active woman whilst vegetarian and eating some meat again. (The number of people I've met with 'chronic fatigue' who still insist on being vegan/tarian and talk about needing to 'purify' rather than get adequate nutrition!!) Bringing this up might be regarded as off-topic, but as Brightspark is concerned for health and welfare, maybe not!


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Brightspark
newbie

Member Since: 13th Jul 2005
Total posts: 2
Posted:Dear All,

Thanks for the above - it's been really helpful. I'm not all that hot at posting so I really appreciate the links to threads! I'm trying not to overreact to the advice (well meaning but often wrong) that I've been given. It's really nice to hear of other happy motherspinners. I can't wait to have someone to teach ;-)

Thanks again!

Emily Brightspark


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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:So, I followed some of the links there and I have to point out that what FF said about me fire spinning while pregnant is actually not true.

I didn't.
I wouldn't.
I wake up the next morning with a soot filled nose and cotton mouth from the fumes.
I don't need science and studies to tell me that it is a wrong choice for me and any baby I would carry.

But that is the point. It's a choice you make.
There are other jobs that can be done during pregnancy. I did.
It's a choice on what you feel is right in your life.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted:Hmm. I'd agree with Pele on this one.



I wouldn't.



Too much spinning, especially with the fumes of snakes does give me headaches, and sometimes a couple of days later I still feel it. Not to mention the weird feeling throat, taste buds not as sharp, an affected nose etc. I know it affects me, but it's a risk I take for me and only myself.



I wouldn't test it especially if I were pregnant (I'm a guy but this is hypothetical anyway).



I did some light research, and came across people afraid of the fumes of painting nails, painting, being exposed to neighbours' renovations, car exhaust etc.. I think fire performing while pregnant might come in at a notch above that..



I came across this in an article



 Written by: article

"Some evidence suggests that exposure to chemical solvents during pregnancy may increase your risk of having a baby with birth defects. One study, by the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, found that women who regularly engaged in hobbies that used solvents such as repairing cars, painting, and furniture stripping had a two to four times higher risk of having a baby with gastroschisis (an opening in the abdomen through which the intestines protrude). In other words, these women had a one in 1,250 to one in 2,500 chance of delivering a baby with gastroschisis, compared to one in 5,000 for women not exposed to solvents.



Of course, the degree of chemical exposure is much higher for someone inhaling solvents on a regular basis. Researchers don't know what the effects are on a pregnant woman who just wants to paint the nursery. Although it's best to avoid these types of exposures, don't worry if you were exposed to painting chemicals before knowing you were pregnant. The possibility that you've caused any harm to your baby is quite small.







http://www.babycenter.com/expert/9484.html
br>


I'd rather err on the side of caution on this issue.



I know it's hard facing the prospect of a keeping away from a flame for 5 months more.. but when it comes down to it, it's the mother's decision.



Here's the initial search I did, in case you're interested:

http://au.search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF...fr=sfp&b=11
br>


Take care and be well hug hug hug


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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:I'm still breast feeding at the moment (yes I know the baby is a year old - i'm trying to stop it tho - with no luck!) and I've never really thought about this. I never take the baby with me when I'm having a burn so I don't see any immediate danger. I never feed her directly after a spin anyway.

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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Ry
Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 4496
Posted:More discussion on a previous thread. http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/show...5/o/all/fpart/1


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lilith_in_london
member
Location: floating about
Member Since: 29th Jun 2005
Total posts: 149
Posted:hmmm... just thinking about the risk of birth defects: these are at their highest during the first three months of pregnancy, while the embryo is being made - that's when you really have to be careful: gastroschisis, for example, can only happen up till week 12.

based on my uni course in fetal med (but i'm no doctor), i would avoid fire spinning for this period of pregnancy at least... then again, the chances of anything going wrong are mighty slim anyway.

congrats, and have fun!


c'est pas nous qui sommes la rue, c'est la rue ktanou!

1st official camden town (uk) meet 21st october! see the events bit

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:You're absolutely putting your baby at risk.

The question is how much risk is it and how much risk are you willing to subject your baby to.

I reallize that's the question you're asking but I know that things like mercury levels in tuna fish are in the parts per million but pregnant women are strongly urged to avoid those as well.

And remember that a third option is not breastfeeding. As horrible as that may sound it might be better than contaminated breast milk.

I have no facts and lots of conjecture. But if you're posting to a discussion board I guess that's what you were looking for. wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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misscorinthian
misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 27th Sep 2005
Total posts: 784
Posted:I am 21 weeks preg at the moment. I have hardly picked my poi up since christmas though as it has made me way too dizzy.

I decided that spinning fire was way too dangerous for me, firstly because of the fumes, secondly because there is no way I could "stop drop + roll" if I had to, and thirdly because any burns I may sustain and the possible complications from them could be likely to affect my baby.

I have been around fire spinners, but not very closely for prolonged periods of time. I think if I could smell the fuel I would move away.

Good luck with everything smile


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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pop_n_fresh
member
Location: Scotland
Member Since: 19th Apr 2006
Total posts: 48
Posted:anyone thought about wearing a face and nose fume maske with some high quality filters? i was only skimming so i dont know. also i have absolutley no idea if it would work or not, im 18 and have no medical training and have never gotten anybody pregnant, so i am no expert.



EDIT: i use a face mask when stripping and painting guitars, and i have had no health problems, although that is only short term.

EDITED_BY: pop_n_fresh (1145769951)


Just call me Pop.

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:I hate to sound like a jerk, but I think the *LAST* thing you should do is trust a bunch of strangers on an online message board.

Seriously.

If you're posting this here to simply provoke conversation, thought and awareness, bravo... but, nothing posted here should be taken as definitive in any way.


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pop_n_fresh
member
Location: Scotland
Member Since: 19th Apr 2006
Total posts: 48
Posted: Written by: MillenniuM


I hate to sound like a jerk, but I think the *LAST* thing you should do is trust a bunch of strangers on an online message board.

Seriously.

If you're posting this here to simply provoke conversation, thought and awareness, bravo... but, nothing posted here should be taken as definitive in any way.


probably very good advice, also the "better safe than sorry" aproach is better than my mask idea. i wouldnt risk it.


Just call me Pop.

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Melemel
Melemel

member
Location: South-west,UK
Member Since: 26th Jul 2004
Total posts: 114
Posted:I just hope you still find the time to spin when your baby's born! Mind you - i hadnt started spinning when i had my son, but i reckon it would probably have been a great tension reliever. And in a few years time? Like you say, a little spinner of your own! Congratulations - and good luck!

Tomorrows World isnt on anymore...Does that mean its tomorrow now?

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Motley
Motley

addict
Location: UK
Member Since: 9th Oct 2005
Total posts: 434
Posted:Hi Brightspark, This is an interesting one for me as I'm a toxicologist. I havnt really looked into the harmful effects of paraffin in any great depth but suffice to say its not particularly nice stuff. Personally I would tend to err on the side of caution and not go too over the top with the burning and the fire and the heat and the ooooh so prettttty.... err i digress.


Anyway, I'm planning to look into this whole subject in a lot more depth and try to do a risk assessment type document for fire spinners, I'll try to make this as complete as possible and bring in as many aspects as I can, I'll probably try to put in a section on eco tox as well, tho I shall have to ask my colleague at work for help with that as its not my area. Hopefully this will become a one stop shop for people concerned about these issues. I suspect this is going to be rather a big job to dig out all the data and such so it probably won't help you directly but I thought I'd mention that I'm working on it for others who are interested.

Anyway, as I said, I'd tend to err on the side of caution on the basis that you dont know what the risks are and as such cant make an informed decision


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firespiral
firespiral

member
Location: Sunny Coast, Qld
Member Since: 15th Feb 2004
Total posts: 21
Posted:hi Brightspark
congrats on your pregnancy .. i hope you're having an amazing journey!!
i'm suzi, and as gabe mentioned i kept playing and doing gigs whilst pregnant.

the most challenging thing i found with my pregnancy was the amount of advice other people tried to give me -whether i asked for it or not!- so i think you're pretty gutsy with your initial post!

i grew a baby in my tummy as naturally as i could - for the most-part wink
i didn't get ultra sounds, go to doctors or hospitals or let anyone talk their own fears up in relation to my own personal experience. most people in this TV lovin' McDonald's munchin' world can't comprehend a healthy body doing what comes naturally .. one of my favourite memories was a 'simple' teenage girl who asked me (when i was heavily pregnant),

"do you know if the baby is a boy or a girl?"

i told her i don't know ..

she asked "why .. haven't you been to the doctor's?"

me .. "no"

her .. "why not?"

me .. "because i'm healthy"

at that moment i could almost hear the little clogs ticking in her mind ..
"oh yeah" .. she said with a smile. hehe .. ..



what's this got to do with fire dancing? .. you may ask .. well .. HEAPS!!
firedancing is just one aspect of pregnancy where you have decisions to make that are yours .. and yours alone (with the exception of your partner of course .. but even then it's ultimately your body)

i went to yoga classes (for pregnant women) .. the last one i went to was 4 days before Bluqi was born! i didn't firedance casually as often as i did before i was pregnant .. but i continued to do gigs. i went to woodford and performed in 6 fireshows, took 4 workshops and organised 15 newbie twirlers to have a part in the BIG BIG SHOW .. and 5 weeks later i had a baby!! i wouldn't change a thing!

my midwife came to see one of the shows and loved it. inspiring and empowering, she tells me. the crowd loved it too .. one crowd was cheering for the baby! my advice would be not to hide that you are pregnant, or ignore it and play 'same old same old' .. but to use it. the female body in all it's changes and forms is an incredible piece of art .. dance thru the changes and live every moment! you are so beautiful

I'd walk the streets of wonderful woodford and people would make comments like .. how you handling the heat? i'd agree it was a hot festy .. they'd say 'better you than me' and nod to my belly .. i'd tell them i'm having a great time and i sit under a shady tree when i need to. i never knew how fit i was until the last couple of months .. and the labour and birth.

as for the fumes and stuff .. yeah, that's pretty real. i had a great team who looked after me. they did the bumping in/out of 'toxic' stuff .. meaning i picked up my toys to dance and put it down when i was finished and that was it. i also got into my costume for the show ONLY and showered shortly afterwards.

i also avoided hangin with smokers .. oh, and doctors .. i avoided them too .. the way they wanted to prod at me .. well that can't be good for bub!!

i had a natural homebirth .. in my forest home by the creek .. my midwife, jenny, and my partner, matty were there with me for the 12 intense hours. jenny (who has been present for nearly 1000 births) told me my fitness and movement during labour was .. well .. when your midwife tells you "you're the bomb, girl" at your one week check up .. it's all good.

once i had my bub i found myself wanting to be pure for her .. i didn't even use soap for a week! she has had a slow introduction to the world around her .. i know her well enough to know what pace to take regarding car trips, outings, hula hoops and fire dancing and parties!! she loved her first bush doof!!

my gorgeous HEALTHY girl is now 3 months young. she is fully breast fed and becoming quite a chubby bubby! i got good milk biggrin (and yes, i had to change my vegetarian diet to include a little meat during the last trimester of my pregancy .. although the natropath helped me with trying a few things first ..) .. i'm still eating organic free range chicken -especially during her growth spurts!

but! now we're onto the next debate .. immunisation!! people are still loving throwing their fears at us .. we've started homeopathically immunising her .. and will get her immunity checked when she's had a few more doses of her 'flower power'

.. ultimately trust your own instints .. they are growing so much right now and will continue to do so. we live in a society that is based on fear and control .. listen to yourself .. and ask your bubba what s/he thinks .. wink

have an amazing pregnancy .. i'm based on the sunny coast .. where are you?


Art is neither a profession, nor a hobby.
Art is a way of life.

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firespiral
firespiral

member
Location: Sunny Coast, Qld
Member Since: 15th Feb 2004
Total posts: 21
Posted:here's some pix ..


Non-Https Image Link
woodford folk festival (5 weeks before giving birth)


Non-Https Image Link
birth day bliss


Non-Https Image Link
Bluqi ~ one day young


Non-Https Image Link
snuggly after her first shower

and some smiles
smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile smile


Art is neither a profession, nor a hobby.
Art is a way of life.

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:On ya Suzi!!! hug hug hug And some for Matt and Bluqi as well hug hug hug

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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firespiral
firespiral

member
Location: Sunny Coast, Qld
Member Since: 15th Feb 2004
Total posts: 21
Posted:and hug to you gabe!!
EDITED_BY: firespiral (1146972496)


Art is neither a profession, nor a hobby.
Art is a way of life.

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jeffhigh
Member
Location: Caves Beach, NSW
Member Since: 15th Oct 2005
Total posts: 89
Posted:Thanks Firespiral for sharing those beautiful pictures with us.

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Sixth
Sixth

Devil May Cry
Location: Manchester / London
Member Since: 31st Oct 2005
Total posts: 327
Posted:Congratulations biggrin shes beautiful ! guess youll be teaching her whatever you know when shes older weavesmiley ubbrollsmile juggle

I give hope to others but I keep none for myself.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I love those photos!
I love when women are proud of being pregnant. I *never* had the belly to show off proudly. frown

I know bellydancers who dance til birth and are constantly reprimanded for it, which I think is aweful.

I agree.
I didn't do doctors.
I didn't do prenatal crap.
I took care of myself and lived my life like I always did.
If I felt there was some problem, I would have though. I do have to say that.

But Noah was born happy and healthy and pretty easily without all the stuff the books and tv and whomever else decides to voice up said.
He is 11 now, and still happy and healthy.

Women all over the world still have healthy births everyday in "primitive" ways, relying on instinct and nature. I figured if it is good enough for them, it was good enough for me.

It is not right for everyone. My friend would have died recently in child birth if she was not in a hospital. It's a personal choice, and whichever you make, it will be the right one for you and your baby.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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firespiral
firespiral

member
Location: Sunny Coast, Qld
Member Since: 15th Feb 2004
Total posts: 21
Posted: Written by: Sixth

... guess youll be teaching her whatever you know when shes older

hehe .. that's for sure .. anything i can .. maybe even some fire n circus stuff wink

matty and i joke that she'll rebel and become a lawyer of something .. though we could use a good accountant .. lol


Art is neither a profession, nor a hobby.
Art is a way of life.

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Firetramp
Firetramp

old hand
Location: Binstead, Isle of Wight
Member Since: 5th Sep 2005
Total posts: 896
Posted:I stopped firespinning as soon as I found out I was pregnant but I still spin my daytime poi (I'm 35 weeks). I wear a filtermask to cycle through the city (yes, I still cycle and it's great!)

Ask a question and be a fool for a minute...don't ask and be a fool your whole life.

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WildFire BeneDET
stranger
Location: Manila, Philippines
Member Since: 6th Mar 2011
Total posts: 1
Posted:Thanks for sharing ! Am Det am 4 mos preggy and am from the Philippines.... Your story inspired me... Before i got pregnant, no one not even my hubby could stop me from spinning!

As soon as i found out i was pregnant, first thing that came to my mind was , " I have to stop spinning" which really broke my heart... but after reading this, it did inspire me to be keep loving the art even when i have a growing belly...

Would like to ask , did you use Paraffin oil/Kerosene ? I was researching and is Lamp Oil "safer" ? Because if its the same then i guess it LED Spinning for me until my baby comes out ....

Any news on the toxicity results?


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