The Birthing Dance
Movement is magic. Soothing and flowing like water- emotionally releasing and physiologically unrestricting. Movement balances the mind and body, excites the inner artist and allows empowerment and freedom. Unfortunately, many women do not use this power of movement when it is most necessary. Birthing a baby. When birthing a child, a woman is the epitome of flow and passion, but if she cannot allow that surge to move and shift, the restriction can lead to pain both emotionally and physically. Moving through birthing alleviates, lightens and dissipates the pain, allowing both mom and baby to passionately flow and unwind.
Movement in labor not only increases a mother’s comfort and level of control, it allows a woman’s body to get into an optimal physical position to help release her baby. An upright birthing position with rocking or swaying motion allows gravity to help the baby descend and mom’s cervix to open. It can also help move the uterus forward and increase the size of the pelvic outlet. It is an evidence-based way to help reduce interventions and increase a healthy and calm birth outcome.
When birthing at home, or at most birth centers, movement restriction is not a factor. At the majority of hospital this is not the case. Policies, regulations and old faded rules that have no place in evidence-based healthcare outshine the needs of mother and child. Too often women are physically and emotionally put in a subservient, submissive position leading not only to psychological trauma but often medical problems as well.
Speaking up about movement can help to reduce the adverse effects of movement restriction. Even in a hospital setting, dancing through birthing is possible. Sitting up or squatting in bed- swaying to soft tunes on the radio or singing to yourself while leaning up against your partner can be done anywhere. There is no medical reason not to drink during laboring, so an IV is generally not needed. For low risk moms, continuous fetal monitoring does more harm than good. There is no medical reason to strap a laboring mother to a bed. Midwives are trained in intermittent auscultation using a fetoscope to check on the baby’s heartrate as labor progresses. This can be done in a hospital setting as well, even by a doctor or nurse using a portable Doppler.
Movement through birthing, including dancing, flowing, and actively choosing an upright birthing position has physical, psychological and emotional advantages for both mother and baby. This leads to an easier and faster birth, reducing interventions and distressful birth outcomes and increasing peace, serenity and wellness.