Benefits of a Beautiful Movements: Belly Dance for Pregnant Ladies
I hope you’ve learned already that pregnancy is not a reason for a woman to stop having moderate physical activities or exercises.
But of cause not every fitness program would be suitable for the expecting mother. And what about dancing?
Belly dance for pregnant women
Good news – dancing is an absolutely perfect activity you can enjoy during pregnancy.
Music and rhythm will improve your mood and depending on the kind of dance you choose, your muscles will get gentle but proper training helping you not to lose control over your body.
Not mentioning that this will also contribute in your fast recovery after giving birth.
There are plenty of studios which are making special dance classes for pregnant women, so you can also socialize, share the experience with other mothers-to-be and possibly even make some new friends.
Now, if we’re talking about the choice of a dance you can benefit the most from, one of the best options will be the belly dance.
Surprised? Well let me give you a small introduction to the history of this dance and may be you’ll be surprised even more.
Ancient temple ritual
It is believed that the belly dance is a ritual dance originated from Egypt. It was designed to help the young women to prepare their bodies for childbirth before and in time of pregnancy.
Even during the delivery itself the dancers were enclosing the woman in a circle, “helping” her by keeping the rhythm and doing the movements resembling the ones of the woman in labor.
This was done to lead her through labor, reduce the pain and make the process easier and faster. There were different kinds of moves for every stage of the childbirth process, with different rhythm and breathing technics.
Also it was fulfilling the mystic function of distracting the evil spirits, which were supposed to get confused which woman is actually in labor and don’t harm the newborn.
So, believe it or not, but long before Mata Hari made it a fashion to use eastern dances as an erotic and exciting performance for male auditorium it had an actual purpose of helping women with the process of giving birth.
Actually, it is not unique in thisquality; there are plenty of indigenous dances created for this – for example a famous Hawaiian hula. And what can be better to practice for a modern pregnant ladies than an ancient dance which was created to help women in her condition and at the same time is beautiful and modern and easily accessible.
Pros and Cons of the belly dancing
Most of the gynecologists would absolutely approve of your desire to dance an eastern dance if you keep it reasonably moderate, because the upsides of it include:
- Strengthening of the pelvic and abdominal muscles
- Training the sense of balance
- Preventing of varicose
- Keeping fit
- Back pain relief
- Encouraging good posture
- Relaxing with soft, slow and calm eastern music
- Making you feel attractive and flexible
There are some movements in the belly dance routine which are actually included in prenatal exercise classes, such as “Belly flutter” and “Camel”.
It is also believed by some midwifes that certain movements could help the fetus in posterior position (back-to-back) to turn to an anterior (back-to-belly) one. Even though this point is arguable.
What is certain is that belly dance is helping the women to understand their body better and learn to isolate specific muscles for example the ones of the pelvis floor.
It also lets the parts of the body which don’t have to be involved in labor to be relaxed during it.
But even with all those important benefits for the health there are some doctors who are not recommending the belly dance for pregnant women. Their concerns are understandable – even for people who are not with child there are many contraindication, like:
- Gastric ulcer
- Liver Illnesses
- Ovary illnesses
Plus in your position you should not do belly dancing as well as any other workout if you have:
- Heart or lung disease
- Risk of preterm labor
- Premature dilation
- Preeclampsia (pregnancy-induces high blood pressure)
As you may notice the list is really long, and the problem is – sometimes people don’t even know they have one of the contraindications. So if you’re unsure – better keep yourself from belly dancing during pregnancy to stay on the safer side.
But even if you’re absolutely healthy, one careless move or shimmy can lead to a tragic outcome. So the professionalism of a teacher is incredibly important.
To dance or not to dance?
Don’t get too scared – there are many women, especially the ones who started belly dancing before the pregnancy who can do absolutely all elements of the dance without bringing any harm to their baby.
There even precedents of mothers-to-be winning the championships. Everything is individual and any pregnancy is different.
You only have to keep in mind that you have to be careful and pay attention on the signals your body is sending. And here are some basic guidelines for you to follow if you decide to start a dance class:
First of all, always take an advice from your gynecologist about your contraindication and ask if he would recommend you for the dancing classes.
Modify your routine in order to match your physical level. Avoid jerky movements, twists and jumps and certain kinds of shimmies. If after the class you feel muscle pain that is a signal that you might be overdoing it.
Remember that every trimester has different recommendations. You have to be extra careful on the first one, and even more so if you have a history of a miscarriage.
Second trimester is considered to be the safest for any kind of activities. And the third might make you too heavy, constantly out of breath or just too lazy to go for dancing. Listen to your body and pay attention to it.
Watch a prenatal belly dance floor warmup here:
The main thing – enjoy it! There is nothing better than expressing your emotions through the dance and just feeling yourself once again like a woman, beautiful and sexual being, and not only the “expecting mother” in need of workout.
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