Women Use Belly Dancing, Other Techniques During Childbirth, Wall
Street Journal Reports
09 Aug 2007

Some women who are “disillusioned with routine use of drugs and
medical interventions during labor” are practicing belly dancing and other
“alternative techniques,” such as hypnotherapy and “water births,” during
childbirth, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to anthropologist Sheila
Kitzinger, belly dancing originated as a childbirth ritual. An increasing
variety of belly-dancing classes and other educational materials are available
for pregnant women, and the first instructional DVD on prenatal belly dancing in
the U.S. was released last year, the Journal reports.

According to the Journal, pregnant women might find comfort in belly
dancing by slowly using hip circles, crescents and figure eights during early
labor. The dance movements might progress to include a “rocking of the pelvis
from side to side” to help position the fetus correctly and “relax the pelvic
floor” as labor becomes more intense, the Journal reports. During the final,
pushing phase of labor, full body undulations can help move the fetus into the
birth canal.

Cathy Moore, a midwife at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who is
involved with a belly-dancing group, has been introducing belly dancing to
pregnant women and birth specialists. Moore said she had to “tread carefully”
when introducing the techniques, as some women and physicians have not accepted
the practice because it “remains outside the medical mainstream.” James
Greenberg, chair of obstetrics at Brigham and Women’s, said that although the
proven benefits of belly dancing as a childbirth aid are unclear, there is
“certainly no scientific reason to think it’s bad.” Greenberg added that “if it
makes [pregnant women] feel good, and it’s safe — do it” (Zimmerman, Wall
Street Journal, 8/4).

Reprinted with kind permission from http://www.kaisernetwork.org.
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Foundation. All rights reserved.
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Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/79039.php

Main News Category: Pregnancy / Obstetrics

Also Appears In: Women’s Health / Gynecology,

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