Sonia holistic belly dance for pregnacy-Isis Fertility GoddessBelly dance existed as dance of fertility since the dawn of human civilisation. Experts consider belly dance movements such as hip rolls and circles to be good for strengthening the pelvic and abdominal muscles, which are involved in childbirth, while relaxing them at the same time.
This kind of movements are not only used in Middle Eastern dance, but also in Hawaiian, Maori and other indigenous forms of dance. All this dance, which use circular hip movements, have been linked to child birth rituals.

Benefits during pregnancy

Some doctors encourage the practice of dance during pregnancy, which they think provides the following benefits:

  • Strengthening pelvic and deep abdominal muscles and those muscles specifically used for giving birth, facilitating the process of delivering and of recovery.
  • It helps the baby to move to a correct posture to be ready for the birth in the case the baby is not well situated in the belly.
  • Relaxing the body.
  • Improving self-stem.
  • Promote good posture.
  • Help maintain general fitness.
  • Help maintain a good sense of balance.
  • Relieve backache.
  • Promote socialisation.

Most suitable dance movements

According to experts, the most suitable belly dance movements to be used by pregnant women are slow, undulating and rolling motions, such as hip circles and figures of eight. Sharp movements are not suitable and, similarly, many people think that shimmies should not be performed by pregnant women, especially if they are not used to exercising.
Many movements in modern prenatal exercise classes are very similar to belly dance movements such as the ‘camel’ or the ‘belly flutter’. Some midwives believe that these last two movements are particularly useful to encourage optimal foetal position and during childbirth.
The process of muscles isolation, which is so important in belly dance is also considered by experts to be very important for pregnant women. If a woman is capable of contracting some parts of her body, while at the same time relaxing all the other muscles, she will be able to feel more relaxed overall, while focusing only on the muscles involved in delivering the baby.
However, belly dancing in pregnancy is not only about strong pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Some experts believe that some belly dance movements are good to relieve various symptoms. For example, they believe that belly rolls can help ease constipation.

Precautions and general guidelines

  • Always seek your doctor’s advice before starting any exercise programme.
  • Avoid back bends.
  • Keep a natural pelvic tilt.
  • Be aware of the softening ligaments in your body, therefore avoid jumps, hip twists and sharp movements.
  • Listen to your body and avoid movements that cause pain or discomfort.
  • Stop exercising altogether if you feel unwell or experience bleeding, dizziness and/ or pain.
  • Do not overheat and avoid exercising on hot days.

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