July 8, 2019
Sometimes, pregnancy and the desire to do physical activity don’t go hand in hand. There are so many incredible benefits of exercise during pregnancy, but it can be hard to figure out what you should do, what you can do, and what you want to do.
So just dance.
Really, did you know that dancing is a legitimate and beneficial option? Dancing is a natural, fun way for women to stay active during pregnancy, as well as a way to facilitate the birthing process with freedom of movement.
Don’t know how to dance? Don’t sweat it. There are now classes specifically tailored to prenatal and postpartum women seeking community, education, choreography. These classes are called Dancing For Birth™ and are now offered in Winchester, VA.
Dancing For Birth™ is an internationally recognized pre/post-natal fitness and education class for women. Founded by birth expert Stephanie Larson, this 60-to-90-minute class is aptly referred to as “the trifecta of birth preparation,” combining fitness, birth wisdom, and a communal celebration of pregnancy and birth. Imagine a pregnancy-support group/dance-party/childbirth class all rolled into one!
The “3 R’s”
When I first began my training as a certified Dancing For Birth™ instructor, the “class flow” (every class is different, but follows a general pattern) reminded me of Penny Simkin’s familiar “3 R’s” approach to childbirth.
This is the idea that there are three crucial components to the way a woman labors: relaxation, rhythm, and ritual.
It got me thinking that these elements of the relatively short and dramatic event of childbirth are equally beneficial to the much longer journey of pregnancy, and Dancing For Birth™ embodies all three.
Women can relax together in a safe and supportive space as we honor and discuss our unique journeys through pregnancy, birth, and beyond. As we learn and practice specific movements that help prepare the body for childbirth, we get in tune with our own unique and inherent sense of rhythm. Finally, the act of a weekly class devoted to the pregnancy, combined with the repeated elements within each class, provides a sense of dedicated ritual to the experience of becoming a mother.
The class flow looks like this: Each class begins with a seated circle, in which we share wisdom and information, discuss our experiences, and hold space for one another. We might do a guided meditation or recite birth affirmations–every class is a little bit different. I’ve noticed that students love this part, and sometimes it takes up a good portion of the time. After opening the circle, we get the chance to move our bodies. All of the dance movements and choreography are gentle and safe for pregnant women and new mothers wearing their babies.
Dancing For Birth™ draws from African, Middle Eastern, Carribean, and Latin American cultures to inspire signature moves like “Dilation Gyration” and “Transition Prescription”—movements that are both fun and extremely helpful in having a faster, shorter, safer birth. Throughout the class, we will talk about optimal laboring positions and other techniques and tools to accomplish the birth you desire!
This class is for anyone who is looking to enhance their pregnancy and birth experience with fun, knowledge, and genuine support.
Written by Garland Caldwell, Birth Doula, Owner of Oak and Moon Birth, Dancing For Birth™ Instructor
*To sign up or contact Garland for more information, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 540-247-6444. Visit the Facebook page for class times and details!