As long as the pregnancy is normal, healthy and not high risk, most women should be able to do their usual activities until labor. Some sort of exercise is good for all of us all the time. As long as mother-to-be and her doctor are both monitoring closely, an activity like belly dancing should be very safe and quite often very helpful as well.
The benefits for a pregnant woman are the same as for ones who are not, but even more so since the muscles used for the dance are the very ones she needs to carry and deliver her baby.
- Strengthen pelvic and abdominal muscles (kegles)
- Promotes balance and coordination
- Meet other dancers – community support
- Aids in posture
- Relieves stress
- Improve confidence and body image
It has been reported these added benefits during pregnancy:
- Relieves back pain, heart burn and constipation
- Moves the fetus naturally into delivery position
- Facilitates labor and delivery and recovery
Low or No Impact is Best
DO: With knees soft and bottom tucked in, slow circular hip movements, figure 8’s, undulations, and belly flutters
DON’T: Sharp or twisting moves, shimmies or back bends.
Classes and Videos
I have seen classes and videos that are specially designed for instruction on prenatal belly dancing. Choose carefully and watch wisely to make sure the teacher is safe and knows what they’re talking about keeping the above limits in mind.
In Your Mouth
Don’t forget to hydrate! – Drink lots of water.
Nutrition – Get your veggies and avoid sugar and processed food. Feed your body and the growing baby healthy stuff.
Historical Fun Fact
It’s reported in many cultures where the dance originated, it was used to facilitate labor and delivery. Female friends and family gather around the woman in labor and undulate and flutter their bellies encouraging her to do the same moves to help her focus and breathe. The rhythmic music also helps to set the mood and relax and accompany the undulations.
As with all exercise, especially with pregnancy, check with your physician before starting any new exercise activity.
I do welcome any questions or comments here. Thanks and Happy Dancing!