Belly Dancing during Pregnancy – Benefits and Precautions
- History of Belly Dancing
- Is it Safe to Do Pregnancy Belly Dance?
- Benefits of Belly Dancing for Pregnant Women
- Things You Need to Practice Belly Dance in Pregnancy
- Safe Moves of Belly Dancing You Can Try when Pregnant
- Precautions to Take while Doing Pregnancy Belly Dancing
- When Should You Avoid Belly Dancing?
Belly dancing and pregnancy are two phrases you would never expect to see in the same sentence. Pregnancy requires you to take enough rest and not undertake intense physical activities. And if you’ve seen belly dancing, you would have known how wonderfully some dancers can move. Even then, it is possible to carry out belly dancing even while you’re pregnant.
History of Belly Dancing
As a matter of fact, belly dancing was never meant to be the kind of dance we all associate it with these days. These dances were never meant to entertain or seduce the audience. These were all associated with celebrating womanhood and pregnancy.
It is believed that when a girl would hit puberty, she would be taught belly dancing so as to prepare her for giving birth to a child sometime in the future and celebrate her oncoming womanhood. When a woman is about to deliver her baby, all the other people gather together and perform the belly dance for her. By observing the dance, the mother can take her mind off the pain of the delivery and help carry out the birth in a way that allows her to flow with the contractions than fight them.
The act of belly dancing from a young age helps the woman build the muscles necessary to facilitate an easy childbirth. These also help keep the child safe and secure during pregnancy.
Is it Safe to Do Pregnancy Belly Dance?
With the right precautions and knowing which moves to undertake, belly dance can be a fun-filled activity for pregnant women that is beneficial as well. It helps keep the balance strong and strengthen the right muscles, too.
Benefits of Belly Dancing for Pregnant Women
Here are some of the benefits of belly dancing while pregnant.
- Belly-dancing builds up strength in the muscles of the pelvis and abdomen. These are especially required during childbirth and keeping them strong helps the mother return back to normal sooner.
- It helps reduce stress and anxiety of the pregnancy and provide immense relaxation almost immediately.
- Belly dancing can start nudging a baby in an improper position to take the right position for delivery. A child facing ahead can start facing behind which is optimal.
- It brings back the confidence in the body that the mother had prior to getting pregnant. Also builds up on the body image, increasing positivity.
- It also assists in building and maintaining a good posture that prevents stress on the back and keeps the body fit.
- Coordination of various bodily limbs and keeping a balance of added weight becomes quite easy with regular belly-dancing practice.
- Belly-dancing builds up the floor tone of the pelvis that is essential in preventing any instance of prolapse of the uterus later in life.
- It can increase social interaction by meeting other pregnant women at the belly dance class.
Things You Need to Practice Belly Dance in Pregnancy
Here are few things you will have to arrange for before you can belly dance during pregnancy
- A free-flowing full skirt, that either reaches your knee or your ankles. In the later months of the pregnancy, the skirt would have to be worn on your hips.
- Exercise clothes that are stretchable and made from natural material that allows your body to breathe.
- A comfortable top. Whether you want to display your stomach or not is your own personal choice.
- If you want to try your hand at veil dancing, you can use a scarf as well. Or even tie a shawl around your hip with a coin belt for jingling sounds.
- No need of any special footwear since bare feet is the best way to dance and connects you to the ground.
- A class will usually have the right kind of music. If doing at home, you can find the relevant music on the Internet as well.
Safe Moves of Belly Dancing You Can Try when Pregnant
Not every belly dance move is pregnancy-friendly!
- Start making large hip circles slowly. By doing so, the gravity acts on all areas of the uterus and can help in bringing the baby into an appropriate position.
- You can make 8-shaped movements with your hip, too. When these 8s are made in a lateral way instead of horizontal, it helps in preparing your body for labour.
- The most fun movement is swinging your pelvis from one side to the other. This is easy to do and can easily get exciting.
Precautions to Take while Doing Pregnancy Belly Dancing
While belly dancing is not prohibited during pregnancy, you still need to take some precaution.
- Do not try to emulate the professional belly dancing moves that involve sharp movements. Keep your movements slow and rhythmic.
- Always bend your knees when you dance. Do not keep them locked since it might cause the ligaments to tear.
- Don’t shimmy as it could disturb the baby. Also avoid jumping, twisting of the hips quickly or bending too far behind.
- Eat a couple of hours before you begin dancing. Keeping yourself hydrated is also essential before and on completion of the dance.
- In case of any pain or discomfort, stop dancing and call your doctor immediately.
When Should You Avoid Belly Dancing?
Irrespective of whether your pregnancy is an easy or difficult one, do NOT belly dance under the following circumstances:
- If you have gestational diabetes due to pregnancy
- If you are susceptible to pre-eclampsia
- If you have had premature deliveries in the past
Belly dance for pregnancy can be a wonderful activity for women to get their groove back, even during pregnancy. The strength that the muscles build up can be quite beneficial even after delivery. With the right exercises, you can make sure your delivery does not face any problems and you have the strength to bring your newborn baby into this new world.
Also Read: Dancing during Pregnancy