You’ve probably seen the labor dance before: videos of moms who are dancing up their labor. They’ve got the music pumping, sometimes they’ve got a nurse with them or doctor or midwife or doula, even their friends. It’s so cute to see them dancing!
But did you know that there are actual benefits to dancing through your labor?
It’s not just fun when you’re dancing through labor, it is actually beneficial to your labor to help you progress and move forward.
Here are the benefits to doing the labor dance: dancing while in labor:
You’ll hear your midwife, doctor or doula talk about gravity and how it’s great to just be up and not always lying in bed. Stand up, walk around, walk the halls. Just walking during labor can use gravity to help the baby push down on the cervix, adding pressure to have it open up. Dancing will surely get you in the upright position.
The fact that you are moving your hips and entire body helps your baby get into the optimal position for birth. Babies can be in many different positions and moving around can help your baby to get to the right spot, so they can easily come down to the birth canal.
This can also help specifically with back labor, where the baby is not in the best position (which is why it hurts your back), shifting your baby’s position can help your baby move and descend and get into the right position. Specifically opening your legs, moving down and squatting a little, this movement is giving them the ability to move downwards and get into the exact position that they need to be in.
When you dance you breathe. Breathing and taking deep breaths is so important during labor and will help you get through the contractions. The breathing itself is an amazing benefit during birth and faster dancing will help get your breathing deep.
Remember that dancing can also be slow dancing. Get your husband up on his feet and do some slow dancing. This is gives you all the benefits of dancing and you’ll feel loved and supported which increases your birthing hormones, helping labor to progress and feel less painful.
The dancing is fun! When labor is enjoyable for you and you are having a good experience – that is a huge benefit! That fact that you are having fun and breathing helps you to not cramp up, which you don’t want to do. When you cramp up, you are not allowing your cervix to dilate and open fully.
The more fun you have, the more your body relaxes. You are breathing and leaving space for the cervix to open up, so your labor can progress, and you can finally push the baby out.
On a personal note, let me tell you a story. I don’t know why I never figure out this benefit until my 8th child. I had planned to do some labor distractions once we got to the hospital with my 8th birth but we hit rush hour traffic. The labor was literally happening while I was in the car.
I had to think quick. What can I do while I’m in a car? Pump up the music of course! So, I started to do ‘the labor dance’ in the car do some movement and it really helped with the contractions, helped me with my breathing and the best part? I was having fun!
It was amazing and truly the fastest labor. Basically the 45 minutes of being in the car. I saw such a benefit doing this dancing with the music and rocking it. It was an amazing experience for me.
What was the most beneficial thing that you did during labor that helped you through the contractions? Was is dancing? Singing? Was it someone telling jokes?