by Stephanie Larson, Dancing For Birth™ Founder
Smiling, laughing, dancing during labor??! Not what you usually associate with labor, right? Where’s the pain….where’s the strain? You might think you’re seeing things, but this is real. In this viral video Camila Rocha is in labor and her Ob, Fernando Guedes, is her dance partner! They are dancing to help the baby come out. It’s clear to see that Camila is loving her labor dance. Go Camila and Dr. Fernando!
19 years ago, as a first-time mom, I danced my baby out because that’s what felt right to me. I didn’t know of a single other person who had done the same. But dance was the key to my empowering, quick and euphoric birth. Determined to share what had helped me and ease the fear and pain of other women, I declared a moratorium on forced lithotomy position and created Dancing For Birth™ class. It was quickly embraced all over the globe, and when you watch Camila, you can see why. Birth can be amazing in so many ways you’d never expect!
Here are five reasons dance is the perfect thing to do during labor:
1) When you are up on your feet dancing, you are harnessing gravity to help your baby come down and out.
2) The gyrating of your hips helps your baby make the necessary rotations to fit head and shoulders through your pelvis.
3) Lying on your back with your legs up in stirrups compresses your sacrum and coccyx, making your pelvic outlet smaller. Instead, get up dancing so your pelvic outlet can open maximally.
4) When you are dancing you naturally move your body in response to the sensations, to find comfort and even pleasure.
5) When you dance, your body releases oxytocin and endorphins that make you (and your baby) feel love and euphoria. It’s an oxytocin immersion for you, your birth partner and your baby! This helps you enjoy the birth and enhances bonding with your baby.
Several years ago, at a birth I was attending as a certified birth doula, the OB said that due to failure to progress a Cesarean was needed. He agreed to wait 15 minutes, and watched as my client and I did a Dancing For Birth™ move known as “Dilation Gyration”. Before the time was up the baby was coming out vaginally! After the birth, the OB started moving his hips, doing “Dilation Gyration” and said “I’m a believer!”
Would your OB dance with you? Here’s the perfect opportunity to find out! Let’s make it a challenge! Sadie Hawkins Day is this Saturday, November 4th. Share this with your OB and invite your OB to dance with you during your labor! Use the hashtag #obchallenge and post your videos here !
Have you danced or will you dance with your labor support team? Share your comment below!
Stephanie Larson is a leading world expert on supporting pregnancy, birth and new parenthood through movement and instinct. She is the Founder and Master Trainer of Dancing For Birth™ the global pre/post natal class. Larson calls for an end to forced lithotomy position, and a worldwide shift to primal, powerful, euphoric birth and conscious parenting. Her speaking engagements and TV appearances include DONA International, Lamaze International, CAPPA, ICAN, CIMS, ICEA, CAPPA Canada, AWHONN, CBS, NBC and FOX. She ‘danced out’ her four babies in birth center, hospital and home births.