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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Why You Should Belly Dance During Pregnancy {Prenatal Belly Dance}

I love belly dance! I love everything about it! I love the music, the costuming, the movements and the overall exciting and exotic beauty of it all. Belly dancing makes me feel beautiful and strong and I feel so proud knowing that I can move my bod in ways I never thought possible!

I started belly dancing about seven years ago but unfortunately I was unable to dance regularly during both of my pregnancies because of sciatica but in my down time I did a bit of research about the benefits of belly dancing during pregnancy and I'd like to share with you what I learned.
If you are wanting to stay in shape and are experiencing a normal and healthy pregnancy, belly dance might be perfect for you!

Three major benefits of belly dance:

"{Strengthens} pelvic and deep abdominal muscles and all those muscles specifically used for giving birth, thus facilitating the process of birth and of recovery." AND "Encourages the baby into a forward (anterior) lying position; optimal position for labor and birth."

"Being pregnant can be a bit overwhelming. Emotional balance is key to a healthy and happy pregnancy. Belly dancing throughout your pregnancy is a natural and soothing way to find comfort and joy from within. Achieving emotional balance through belly dance is effortless and restorative. Even if you're not "A Dancer," once the movements become familiar, the endorphins will start flowing!"

"Healthy body image is another benefit for women who belly dance. So many women, whether pregnant or not, have experienced a wonderful acceptance and appreciation of their bodies, as they learn the movements of belly dance which are essentially natural to the female body. Any woman who lives in our modern culture, and especially pregnant women who often hide under tent-like clothing, can benefit from the 'my body is great!' affirming messages inherent in belly dance."

Belly dance can also:

Help burn off those unnecessary calories consumed during those serious food craving binges.

Serve as your daily cardio workout.

Keep you limber - especially if you're feeling a bit stiff from those lazy days of all-day Pinterest surfing.

Promote good posture - this is very important since we often stand with our spines bowed to support the weight of a growing baby.

Teach you pain-reliving  motions you can use to help you during labor and delivery.

Important things to know before you start:

Belly dance is for mommies-to-be who are experiencing a normal and healthy pregnancy.

If you have any concerns about starting belly dance during your pregnancy, please consult with your doctor or midwife first.

For modest mamas: Even though a woman's pregnant belly is one of the most beautiful things in the world, you don't have to bare you belly to belly dance if you don't want to.

If you use an instructional video at home, do NOT skip the warm-ups and stretches.

No previous dance experience is needed to start belly dancing!

If you feel dizzy or faint, stop and sit down immediately. Do NOT push yourself.

Avoid very sharp sudden movements, back bends and jumps.

Listen to your body. If a motion feels wrong or causes any kind of discomfort, don't do it.

From Natural Pregnancy Midwife:
"Please note that shimmies can stimulate your baby, so it's best to avoid them until you're near your due date. Belly dancing for pregnancy isn't recommended if you have pregnancy complications such as Gestational Diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, Placenta Previa or a history of premature labor."

If there are no belly dance classes (especially prenatal belly dance) available in your area or if you wish to learn in the privacy of your own home, here is a list of five highly rated, well-trusted instructional DVDs handpicked by me just for you and your unique personality!

This workout program might be a little difficult for those unfamiliar with belly dance but if you go at your own pace and use the modified moves she provides for beginners and big-belly mamas, it will be a wonderful experience for you!
 why you should belly dance during pregnancy
"This unique dance/workout program has been designed to be safe and effective for pregnancy and follows the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists." - Wall Street Journal article, Time article.

Instructor Amira not only teaches you belly dance moves, she teaches you belly dance moves for pregnancy, labor and birth!
 Why you should belly dance during pregnancy
"Amira's Bellydance & Yoga for Pregnancy provides a perfect balance of well thought out routines for an expectant mother to prepare herself for the wonderful and challenging journey ahead. Amira gently leads you through warm-ups, exercise, and cool downs and covers moves that are beneficial, and those that should be avoided during pregnancy." -Amazon Editorial Review

Sera's style connects with many "alternative" personalities. She's a gorgeous blend of earthy and gothic. As some of the moves might be a little advanced for a pregnant total newbie, I recommend this DVD for mommies who are already somewhat familiar with belly dance, either through experience or logistics. If you're unfamiliar with dance, just take it easy on yourself, listen to your body and enjoy this amazing video.
  Why You Should Belly Dance During Pregnancy - Quirky Bohemian Mama Blog
"Sera Solstice guides you through the basics of belly dance presented in short dance combinations. You will be inspired by the beauty of the flowing, organic movement that you will learn. Having practiced and performed belly dance through both her pregnancies, Sera has selected moves that are gentle, energizing, and healing for women in all stages of pregnancy, including post-partum." - Amazon Editorial Review

No fluff, no frills - just good simple belly dance for mommies-to-be!
 Perfect for absolute beginners and any expectant mommy who is looking to add a little bit of fun physical activity to their lives.
 Why You Should Belly Dance During Pregnancy - Quirky Bohemian Mama Blog
"Fitness expert Neena hosts this bellydance inspired workout, designed specifically for expectant mothers in order to help keep both mother and baby healthy, prepare the body for delivery, and promote strength and muscle tone through a routine that's safe and relaxing." - BarnesandNoble.com
Sorry for the poor quality. This is the only preview video I could find.

This DVD isn't really for moms wanting to learn serious belly dance, it's more for those wanting to add a little spice to their fitness routine or those just simply wanting to start a fun belly dance inspired workout regimen. Great for moms who love to just get up and dance!
  Why You Should Belly Dance During Pregnancy - Quirky Bohemian Mama Blog
"Celebrate your pregnancy with this fresh and contemporary workout to stay fit, feel strong and sexy. Created by choreographer and mother of two, Suzanne Caesar, MA, this DVD includes modifications for any stage of pregnancy and is suitable for all fitness levels" -rhythmforlifenyc.com

Disclaimer: The information one this site is intended to be used as a general guide, not for medical purposes. I recommend you consult with your midwife or doctor before starting belly dance or any exercise program.
**Post contains affiliate links. **


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