It is believed by many that the basic moves that lie at the heart of bellydance derive from some ancient fertility dances. This makes sense, as the movements of the hips, especially circles and figures of 8 and the undulations, mobilise the joints and strengthen the muscles involved in child birth. Many prenatal exercise classes nowadays involve movements that are reminiscent of belly dance movements and some Berber tribes in northern Africa, at least until the 60s, used to perform torso undulations and ‘belly flutters’ during childbirth ceremonies (as witnessed by American dancer Morocco).
Belly dance movements can also support the mind, providing relaxation and help the mother to reconnect with her body. In today’s societies, especially in the west, most women have lost confidence in their bodies’ natural ability to give birth safely and bellydance can help women find this confidence again. Obviously modern medicine is invaluable as many more women used to die giving birth before some modern medical discoveries were made. However, this is not enough of a reason for women to completely lose faith in their bodies’ natural abilities.
For women who want to use belly dance to prepare for labour there are not many resources available. However, there is a DVD that was published in 2009 that can help with that. This is Maha’s [COLOR=blue]‘Dance of the womb – belly dance for pregnancy and birth ’ 2 disc DVD set.[/COLOR]
Maha lives in Australia and is of Middle Eastern origin; she has 3 children and she has used belly dance exercise routines during each pregnancy. She has been teaching Belly dance for birth
classes for over 12 years. These 2 DVDs contain very useful exercise and dance routines and a short film where Maha’s shares her own home birth experience. Read a review of this belly dance for pregnancy DVD
If you have experience of belly dance during or after pregnancy, please do not hesitate to share your views by commenting on this blog.
Last but not least, every pregnancy is different so ask your doctor before starting any form of exercise.
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