PRENATAL DANCE: While belly dancing isn't a new concept, using the hip-shaking moves during labor and delivery is! In the last few years, classes and instructional videos have been popping up to teach belly dance to pregnant women. The dance movements target the core muscles, including abdominal, gluteus, oblique, pelvic floor and thigh muscles, and require controlled movement of these areas. Strengthening these parts of a pregnant woman's body can not only help keep her in shape, but she can utilize these muscles during labor to help speed delivery or reposition a baby in an awkward position.
"Women who don't really know how to use their muscles or who cannot be active during their labor run a bigger risk of needing to have a surgical delivery to help a baby who's in an awkward position be born," DeeDee Farris-Folkerts, midwife and MotherHip prenatal belly dance instructor, told Ivanhoe.
BODY AND BABY: Exercise has been deemed safe -- even beneficial -- for women having a low-risk pregnancy. Women are advised not to make any sharp or jarring hip moves. Research has shown prenatal exercise can help women relieve aches and pains associated with pregnancy, develop stamina for the labor process and regain their pre-pregnancy bodies more quickly.
MIND AND BODY: Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the most wonderful times in a woman's life. She's full of life, about to bring her child into the world! But unfortunately, not all women are able to feel so positive about the experience. Weight gain, a lost center of gravity, nausea and stretch marks can make pregnancy a mental struggle for some new mothers. Farris-Folkerts says belly dance can help these women reconnect with their bodies and see them as beautiful.
CLASSES: Farris-Folkerts' six-week classes last an hour and a half and cost $100. Students can enroll at any point during her pregnancy -- even up to and beyond her due date! If she still has classes remaining after pregnancy, Farris-Folkerts says the woman can come back to use her remaining classes to tone up after she delivers her baby.
If you would like more information, please contact:
MotherHip Prenatal Belly Dancing
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