During the last days of a pregnant woman’s trimester, the anxiety and anticipation of the upcoming birth of her child can be excruciating. This is especially true for expectant moms who are past their due date. While it’s completely normal to go beyond the due date to have the baby, pregnant moms can suffer from insomnia, worry, and extreme agitation.
If you’re one of these moms, the agony of waiting can be intolerable. You’d want the little nugget to come out, simply because you’re tummy’s already too heavy and you can’t wait for him or her to pop.
While most doctors advise their patients to keep moving, such as walking or doing some brisk exercises, one popular trend is having a boom in social media – plenty of expectant moms are dancing to encourage labor.
Dancing To Induce Labor Becomes Popular
A popular fitness influencer by the name of Emily Skye posted a video of herself dancing at 9 months pregnant, and the next day, she posts a picture of herself and her baby. Apparently, the dancing worked!
Another video that went viral was a video of obstetrician Fernando Guedes de Cunha. The doctor achieved internet fame for his unusual approach to inducing labor: he choreographed dance moves for his patient, which he posted on social media. Soon after, he posted a picture of the mother and her baby!
While these personalities are not the first people to try this method to bring about childbirth, the internet is filled with many pregnant women shaking their hips to help with the coming birth of their baby.
So does it work? Does dancing really stimulate labor? Let’s dig deeper into the topic.
Does Dancing Really Induce Labor?
According to OB-GYN Daniel Roshan, there is no scientific evidence that backs up the idea that dancing can stimulate contractions. In fact, The American Pregnancy Association suggests there is only one natural method for labor induction, and that is nipple stimulation.
In medical terms, labor induction is the use of medication and drugs to stimulate uterine contractions for a vaginal birth. Dancing, and other popular natural means of inducing childbirth, such as eating spicy food, sexual activity, or an emotional trigger, have no scientific basis in its association with induction of labor.
However, most doctors do advise their patients to be active during the whole pregnancy. Dr. Roshan believes that in the absence of high-risk issues, expectant moms should keep moving and walking before their due date. He thinks moving and exercising ease the pain of contractions and delivery, as well as prevents complications that occur from frequently staying in bed.
In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Perinatal Education, they shared that the most commonly reported labor trigger was physical activity. The study involved 663 pregnant women in a self-report survey.
Physical activity has long been regarded as high on the list of natural ways that women try to induce labor. While there are no reliable sources on the topic of dance to encourage birth, it is important to note that should you wish to engage in dance or exercise during your pregnancy, you must consult with your practitioner first.
Reasons Why Dancing Could be Associated with Inducing Labor
Though there are no scientific data to show that dancing works to hasten childbirth, many women still attest to its efficacy, especially those who gave birth a day or a few days after dancing.
So what’s making these women believe that dancing does, indeed, bring on the onset of labor? Well, here are some possible reasons why it could be associated with faster childbirth:
- The Power of Gravity
- Dancing May Open Up Your Pelvis
- Speeds Up Dilation
The Power of Gravity
Constantly being upright during the last days of your 3rd trimester could be a smart move. By using the power of gravity, the baby’s head can put pressure on the cervix to stimulate dilation. The more you stand, the more the baby’s head is pushed on your cervix and this could help to open it up.
Dancing May Open Up Your Pelvis
Dance moves, especially those that focus on hip movements, could open up your pelvis. Hip movements can be likened to squatting, which is a recommended pose to help ease labor pain and induce the opening of the pelvis for childbirth.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends squatting, as it is proven to open up the pelvis by about 10% more, and cut down the duration of labor.
Speeds Up Dilation
Just like the power of gravity, the act of moving about, shaking your hips, and bouncing around could speed up dilation by adding more pressure on your cervix, helping to speed up dilation.
While there is currently no scientific evidence to prove that dancing is an effective way to naturally encourage delivery, the fact that exercise and moving are highly recommended by doctors for a healthy labor and childbirth makes it a worthwhile activity as you wait for your bundle of joy to pop out. In the absence of pregnancy health complications, dancing is a great form of exercise for one of the most important days of your life, which is the birth of your baby.
But before you do, always consult your doctor before you engage in any physical activity during your pregnancy.
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