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Belly dance, originally a dance for women and by women, was used in ancient times to increase fertility and prepare the body for birth. The fertility of women’s bodies was very much linked to the fertility of the earth and dances were often done both for personal fertility and for the harvest. During labor it is said that women would undulate in a circle around the laboring mama to remind her that her contractions were like waves in the sea, best handled by surrendering to them and allowing their energy to flow through her body. Belly dance increases both strength and flexibility in the abdomen, pelvis, hips and entire body and it is great exercise! Enjoy your voluptuous shape and learn to swivel, shimmy, and undulate in ways that may help you during labor!
To check out a theatre show produced by Bellymama Midwifery, in which I danced at 36 weeks of pregnancy go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILadnRkfjWQ. Shakti Rising: Maya’s Labyrinth explores concepts of pregnancy, birth, loss, and motherhood inside of a supportive sisterhood.