Gone are the days when pregnant women were asked to just take bed rest and do minimum activities. These days’ even doctors advise that pregnant women should keep themselves active and indulge in some form of exercise during pregnancy to keep their bodies flexible for easy labor and childbirth. But then if you have any kind of complications or fall under the high-risk pregnancy category, do check with your doctor before indulging in any kind of physical activity. Apart from walking and yoga, there are other forms of exercises that available and are suggested for pregnant women these days. One such activity is dancing. So if you are expecting soon, then here’s how dancing during pregnancy can benefit you.
Is It Safe To Dance During Pregnancy?
Yes, dancing is absolutely safe during pregnancy. In fact, it is a great exercise during pregnancy. You not only get to move your body to the music you love, but it is a great way to keep you flexible and tone your muscles.
If you are new to dancing, it is advisable that you stick to a gentle form of dance that isn’t too strenuous and does not involve a lot of jumping. Dancing is generally considered safe during pregnancy as long as you are healthy, your pregnancy is going well and you are used to it. So do check with your doctor and get a green signal from her before indulging in this form of exercise.
Which Types Of Dance Forms Are Best During Pregnancy?
Dancing is a great way to help you relieve stress, improve your mood, and keep you feeling strong. As you progress in your pregnancy, choose a dance form that can take care of your decreased energy levels, your growing belly and your shifting center of gravity, Make changes like keeping one foot on the ground at all time to dance safely during pregnancy.
Some of the recommended dance forms are jazz, samba, salsa, and ballroom dance (avoid the lifts) during early pregnancy.
As you advance in your pregnancy, belly dancing is considered safe and a great way to exercise. It involves slow, undulating and rolling motions. Belly dancing makes use of the muscles in your tummy and trunk area and aids in keeping back pain at bay. When you indulge in belly dancing, you tend to use your pelvic floor muscles and thus help you prepare better for labor and childbirth.
Hip-hop, urban and street dance are not perfect during pregnancy because there are many jerky dance moves involved in these versions. Indian classical dances like Bharatnatyam or Kuchipudi, that involves jumps, squats, and bends, can be harmful to your joints during pregnancy and can put pressure on your pelvic floor. If you want to continue with these dance forms, switch jumps and squats and do some gentler steps instead.
10 Amazing Benefits Of Dancing During Pregnancy
Like walking and yoga, dancing can provide benefits to the expecting mom and baby in numerous ways. Here are some of the amazing benefits of dancing during pregnancy.
- Dancing helps to provide relief from pregnancy related discomfort
- It keeps your body flexible and muscles toned throughout pregnancy
- It helps to maintain your fitness levels when you are expecting
- It is a great stress buster exercise that helps pregnant women to relax. It improves her mood and energy
- It helps to improve the blood circulation and thereby keeps a pregnant women’s heart and lungs healthy during pregnancy
- Between the morning sickness, nausea, aching back, and fatigue, pregnancy can be a perfect excuse to skip a trip to the gym. In such a case dancing is a great exercise to get you going
- It improves a pregnant women’s stamina levels and strengthens her core thus preparing her better for labor and childbirth
- Dancing is known to shorten the postpartum recovery time
- Another benefit of dancing during pregnancy is that it will help avoid excessive weight gain
- It can even reduce the risk of complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia during pregnancy
Precautions While Dancing During Pregnancy
As in the case of other exercises, it is important that you follow some precautions when indulging in dancing during pregnancy. Some of the precautions to keep in mind are:
- Listen to your body: Avoid any forms of dance that are particularly strenuous or vigorous. Exercises that leave you exhausted can be unsafe and can cause your body to overheat. In case you feel your body can’t take it and you feel overly tired, listen to your body and immediately stop. Don’t burn yourself out
- Select positions and movements carefully: After the first trimester, it is advised that pregnant women should avoid exercising on their back. Also, they should avoid standing still for long periods of time. This is because both of these things can reduce the flow of blood to the uterus. Make changes in your movements while dancing like do marching instead of jumping, in place of leaps do steps, make an amendment to twists and turns and always keep one foot on the ground at all times. It is advised that the pregnant women take breaks whenever they need it
- Modify the routine for your growing belly: As you advance in your pregnancy, with the growing belly your center of gravity shifts. It can make you clumsy and more prone to injury and fall. Maintain your balance by avoiding moves and steps that can make you feel unstable, and just slow down if you find yourself wobbling between steps
- Keep yourself hydrated: During hot and heat humid or during large gatherings, it is easy to get overheated and dehydrated. Take breaks in between and keep sipping water or any other healthy drink at regular intervals and keep yourself hydrated
- Warm up properly: Before indulging in any kind of exercise including dancing, it is imperative that you do proper warm up exercises in order to prepare your joints and muscles. This will also help to gradually build your heart rate. Skipping this can strain your muscles and ligaments which can cause injury
When To Avoid Dancing During Pregnancy?
If you are in the high-risk pregnancy category, have a chronic health condition or a pregnancy related complication, then check with your doctor before you take up dancing during pregnancy.
If you have issues related to your pelvis or your back, then dancing may aggravate the situation and put your joints under a lot of strain. So it is advisable to avoid dancing in such cases.
When To See The Doctor?
If you experience any of the following symptoms during dancing, then immediately stop dancing, sit down and talk to your doctor immediately:
- If you experience pelvic girdle pain
- If you feel a sharp pain in your abdomen
- Have pain in your calf or have a leg cramp
- If you feel faint or have heart palpitations
- Blurred vision
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Difficulty in walking
- A persistent severe headache
- If you see any fluid leaking from your vagina
If dancing is your thing, put on your favorite music and dance your way during pregnancy. Go ahead and reap the benefits of this wonderful exercise. After all, dancing makes staying active fun! But do ensure you do the low- to medium- impact versions, especially during first and last trimesters and get a green signal from your doctor.
So did you all indulge in dancing when you were expecting? How did it benefit you? Do share your experiences in the comments section below.