26/12/2013 13:14 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Stunning Photos Of Ballerina - Still Dancing At 39 Weeks Pregnant

Yes, this really is a ballet dancer sporting a very large baby bump.

Ballerina Mary Helen Bowers, 34, from New York City, is 39 weeks pregnant and has vowed to carry on pirouetting until she can dance no more.

And she says her routines have helped her pregnancy and inspired her to create a ballet-based pre-natal workout.

She told Ballet Beautiful, she danced with the New York City Ballet for over a decade. She then went on to train the Victoria's Secret Angels as well as Natalie Portman, for her role in Black Swan.

In an echo of weightlifting mum Lea Ann Ellison's views on exercising right up to labour, Mary Helen said dancing has helped her maintain body strength, which has alleviated some of pregnancy's notoriously unpleasant side effects.

She said: "I've avoided back pain and swelling by keeping my core strong and body moving. I feel terrific and plan to work and workout until the end.

"(My doctor) is incredibly supportive of me not only continuing with my workout, but also with maintaining my regular routine: running my business, creating a new pre-natal series for BB, the works! Pregnancy can be a really exciting and creative time."

Photos shared on Mary Helen's Pregnant Ballerina Encourages Moms To 'Embrace And Celebrate' Their Bodies