FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dancing For Birth™ Media Relations (314) 469-9118 or Email Us
Dancing For Birth™ Classes Go Global. Women learn movements designed to encourage “vertical birth.”
A moratorium has been declared on forced back-lying birth, (lithotomy position) by Stephanie Larson, DFB, CD(DONA), CBE, BFA, Founder of Dancing For Birth™, whose vision is for women world-wide to have the enjoyment of dancing their babies into the world. Larson says women can learn how to harness gravity and move their bodies during labor for more satisfying births.
“Women’s bodies are not designed for birthing on our backs, which prevents the pelvis from opening fully and prevents gravity from helping the birth process” says Larson, who demonstrates that the routine interventions (such as back-lying) which characterize many hospital births are not evidence-based and are hindering instead of helping birthing women. “We are mammals after all. Can you imagine trying to coax an elephant to give birth on her back with her legs up in the air? Our maternal instincts tell us to move during labor and plant our feet on the floor when it’s time to push. One way to improve women’s birth experiences is to shift the paradigm from horizontal to vertical birth.” says Larson. Clearly, change is needed, as reported in ‘Evidence-Based Maternity Care’ by Sakala and Corry (Milbank Memorial Fund) “… many other nations are doing a better job with measures such as perinatal, neonatal, and maternal mortality, low birth weight, and cesarean rates. Nonetheless, per capita health expenditures for the United States far exceed those of all other nations.” The report includes the use of upright birthing positions as a proven, cost-effective, low intervention practice that is widely underused.
Dancing For Birth™ classes teach a “language of movement” specially designed for women in any stage of pregnancy and for postpartum women wearing their babies in soft slings or wraps. The movements are inspired by world dance forms like Belly dance, African dance, and Latin dance. The 90-minute weekly classes, which fuse dance fitness with childbirth education, are the wave of the future of birth and resonate with women. “Modern day women want to celebrate birth and be transformed by it.” says Larson. “They have innate wisdom of how to give birth, and Dancing For Birth™ classes help awaken their abilities.” Women often come to class for fun and fitness, and gain more than they expected to. Dancing For Birth™ class participants love the fact that their instructors are birth experts (many are also doulas, midwives, nurses, and childbirth educators) who help them navigate the many uncertainties that arise during pregnancy and during early parenting. “I gained great moves to help me feel good, and birthing positions and knowledge of what I can do to help me through labor”, said pregnant participant Melanie Eng.
“The first step to a satisfying birth,” says Larson, “is to listen to your baby via your body—and move accordingly. For many women this means laboring and birthing actively, in a forward-leaning vertical position, out of bed.” By moving instinctively, using gravity and positioning to their advantage, women can temporarily enlarge the dimensions of their pelvis for the baby’s passage, help their babies rotate and descend, help reduce unnecessary interventions and enjoy natural pain relief. Studies confirm that this shortens labor, reduces epidural requests, and reduces c-sections.
Larson, a mother of four, founded Dancing For Birth™ in 2000, when she realized that her lifelong love of dance, which had helped her give birth naturally, was helpful to her doula and childbirth education clients as well. Classes are available on four continents and are continuing to expand. For more information please visit www.DancingForBirth.com or call (314) 469-9118.