Whole Lot of Shaking Going On!

Posted by: , March 4, 2008 in 6:24 am


We’re not talking about legendary rocker Jerry Lee Louis’ classic song… We’re talking BELLY- DANCING… And we’re not just talking belly- dancing per se… WE”RE TALKING BELLY- DANCING FOR MOM’S TO BE!As Jennifer Wright was experiencing labor pains in the delivery room, in attendance were her doctor, her husband…and her belly-dance instructor. With her teacher by her side, coaching her, Ms. Wright “performed” the pelvic rotations and hip circles that is the mainstay of this world renowned dance.The mother of three cheerfully boasted, that she “danced her way through labor,” rather than ingesting painkillers and labor-inducing drugs as she did when she gave birth to her oldest son. She said this time she wanted a natural alternative.The employment of unusual methods to ease labor is a growing trend, and methods being selected range from hypnotherapy to “water births” in a large bathtub.And belly-dancing, usually on display in middle eastern nightclubs and restaurants, has gained in popularity when mothers-to-be choose to do without medication. They can purchase instructional DVDs or join one of many belly-dancing classes available across the country.British anthropologist Sheila Katz, claims that belly-dancing originated as a childbirth ritual, lending merit to the beneficial claims its exponents put forth.Chris Shoemaker, a new mother, says she used a video to teach herself belly-dancing. When contractions started, she put on the music and did “full-circles” and swings, moving her whole belly. “Then I would raise my hands high and tell the baby, down baby down, come on down.” A few hours later her son Silas was born.Her doctor, Elizabeth Allemann, relates, “that the movements women make when they are belly-dancing, are the same movements that I am trying to get them to make to bring the baby down.” On observation, it clearly can be seen that some belly-dance movements mirror those of labor. The idea is that the pelvic gyrations help disperse the pain of contractions, orient the fetus, and propel the baby into the world. In early labor, when contractions are relatively mild, the expectant mother
may find comfort in dancing slowly using hip circles and figure eights. As the labor grows in intensity, rapid rocking from side-to-side is used to help position the baby. In the latter stage of labor, a full body undulation called the “camel roll” can help move the baby into the birth canal.Cathy Moore, a midwife at the prestigious Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, teaches belly dancing to patients and birth specialists. Recently at a childbirth conference, she led the attending nurses in some basic movements, while sporting a belly-dancing costume, including a bejeweled halter top.Ms. Moore says she has to tread carefully at the hospital since belly-dancing seems a trifle odd to most of the medical staff. But, James Greenberg, the hospital’s chairman of obstetrics, says he’s not sure if belly dancing offers proven benefits.” But there’s certainly no scientific reason to think it’s bad, so if it makes you feel good, and it’s safe- do it.”To counter what she sees as a preconceived bias towards belly-dancing being used in this fashiion, Michelle Maniaci, who gives classes in Key Biscayne, Florida, simply calls her program the “birthdance.” “I think the word “belly” freaks people out, she says.


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  1. admin on March 9th, 2008 7:41 pm

    My wife used this technique to help her during pregnancy and when she gave birth.

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