Pregnancy and DancePregnancy does not need to mean the end of your dancing. Not only do I know women who danced through their pregnancies, two of my friends performed belly dance in their third trimester.
Be guided by your health provider but for a healthy, active woman belly dance is safe provided:
- You don’t allow your temperature to rise too high
- You avoid jarring movements (not a good time to be rehearsing debke).
- You take into consideration the increased elasticity of your ligaments – you’ll be more flexible but you may not have enough strength and control (which can lead to damage).
- If it hurts – stop.
There are a number of emotional and physical advantages to continue your dance.
- Maintains fitness
- Increases abdominal strength and control
- Some women find some moves relieve pain
- Reduces incontinence
- Maintains social contact
- Some women find dance, birth, and spirituality are linked
If you are not active now, check with your health provider as to whether you should start dancing now. (Generally speaking it is not a good idea to start belly dance once you are already pregnant if you were not active before pregnancy.)
Other Articles on Pregnancy and Raqs:Belly Dancing and Pregnancy by Lorelle of Brisbane. Lorelle is a teacher, has been dancing for over 12 years and is also a physio at Royal Woman's.
"Belly Dancing" and Childbirth by Morocco (1964) looks at the links between the dance and child birth in the Middle East.
She says "its practical side [is] the preparation of females for the stresses of childbirth. Thus it is the oldest form of natural childbirth instruction."
Giving to Light: Dancing the Baby Into the World by Morocco. An updated and expanded form of the earlier article. Read it carefully - this shows the link between the dance and two or three moves. Morocco is on record saying the whole of the dance cannot be reduced to a birthing method.
Bellydancer's Guide to Pregnancy a personal perspective by Jamila
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