Should you be dancing into labour?
The lowdown: Low-impact dance used to encourage the combination of both upright positioning and movement during the first stages of labour.
Available evidence suggests that dancing during the first stage of labor may decrease duration and intensity of pain and increase patient satisfaction, but further study is warranted
Upright positioning and mobility, may shorten the duration of labour, decrease likelihood of operative birth and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. Less likely to have an epidural and had lower pain scores. May lead to deep relaxation, with the potential to change attitude, emotional state and perception of pain. Dancing during labour is joyful, relaxing, strengthening and offers a connection between mum and baby.
Some forms of dancing i.e. belly dancing, may positively affect body image and self-esteem.
Can help speed up dilation.
This method is somewhat harder to achieve - but not impossible- if you are strapped up to wires and monitors, or if you’ve had an epidural, you may just need to adapt the style of dance and music you work with, or maybe use support like a birthing ball to help.
Choose a style of dance and music that best suits you, aiming for something not too high speed or tempo, and something that encourages upright positioning and movement. Get your birth partner to join in and support you, have a laugh and enjoy yourself. Best recommended to use during the first stage of labour. You can find this and other great resources in the app https://www.thenakedbirth.com/shop https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7197884/