Can dancing in labor help you deliver faster? It is a great question!
I was inspired to write this topic because last month I had the honor and pleasure of supporting 5 births where each and every mother danced and moved in Active Labor. Every birth was a Natural Birth. It confirmed to me that dancing in labor is one of the best kept secrets!
The use of movement and dance has been used for Ages and by many cultures to help relieve pain in labor and progress labor and delivery. From my experience as a doula I have noticed that the mamas who move and shake their hips in Active Labor do dilate quicker and say they experienced less pain. This does not mean to start dancing with your first contraction. Mamas spend early labor sleeping and resting to conserve the energy needed for the time when Active Labor is established, thereby making every contraction count and be more efficient.
The other thing I noticed is that, contrary from popular belief; “bigger babies” are able to be delivered vaginally! When a woman is upright she is using gravity to move the baby down and when she moves her hips and dances her pelvis is open and loose. In this video a mother danced throughout late labor then pushed an over 10 pound baby! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYtRmaABHUk
Here is another one of my clients who recently delivered her over a 9 lbd baby. Her video is so inspiring that it makes me want to get up and dance! So load up your iPod with your favorite jams
and get up and shake that thang!