If you love to dance, you may want to continue dancing during pregnancy. It is a great and fun way of exercising, but you may be skeptical about performing various dance forms while pregnant. However, if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and aren’t advised any bed rest, you may resume dancing (1). It is a joyous form of working out, which has proven benefits like providing flexibility, relieving stress, and adding to the overall health (2). Even doctors recommend pregnant women undertake some form of physical exercise that helps maintain maternal health and wellness and eventually supports them during the labor and birth process (3). However, it is best to consult your practitioner if you plan to dance when pregnant. Keep reading to learn about the benefits and precautions to take before you plan to continue dancing.
5 Benefits Of Dancing During Pregnancy
Dancing can be a great stress buster during pregnancy. Of course, you should not undertake strenuous dance forms or dance forms that involve heavy jumping (1). Instead, you can take up dance forms like samba, jazz, Zumba, ballroom dance (without the lifts), and salsa, specially tailored for expecting mothers. You can also include low-impact aerobics and cardio workouts in your prenatal fitness routines. These are some ideal dance forms that will help you maintain your fitness levels during your early pregnancy.
Some of the key benefits of dancing in pregnancy are as follows (4):
1. Dancing can make the body flexible and agile. A flexible body during pregnancy helps you to move comfortably.
2. Dancing can enhance muscle tone and strengthen your core. Ballet is a type of dance that can help you maintain your muscle tone.
3. Besides this, dancing improves blood circulation and works to keep your heart and lungs healthy during pregnancy. It can also provide stress relief during pregnancy.
4. Dancing can help improve balance and coordination. The center of gravity shifts up and forward during pregnancy, which causes pregnant women to feel clumsy (5).
5.Dancing helps keep blood pressure in check, which helps the mother provide enough nutrients and oxygen for proper fetal development and growth (6).
7 Precautions To Be Taken While Dancing During Your Pregnancy
Is it safe to dance during pregnancy?
While dancing can be a fun addition to your prenatal exercise classes and can help you maintain your fitness levels during pregnancy, there are some precautions that you should take to ensure that you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Some of the precautions are mentioned below:
1. Do warm-up session and stretching before getting on with the dancing. It will prepare your joints, ligaments, and muscles to cope with the extra pressure that will build during dancing, and you will safely avoid any chances of injury.
Note: Skipping warm-up increases the chances of an injury, joint pain, and rapid heart rate increase, which is not good during pregnancy.
2. Avoid movements that involve lying flat on your back after the first trimester. According to experts, “as pregnancy progresses, the uterus can compress the inferior vena cava (the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart) and pelvic veins, slowing circulation in legs. Lying flat on the back can make the problem worse (7).”
3. Take up dance routines that have steps that will ensure you have one foot on the floor at all times and practice stepping side to side for jumps.
4. Avoid dance positions that require you to sit or stand up too quickly. Sitting or standing up too quickly can affect your blood flow (7).
5. If you feel that your body cannot take it or feel overly tired, stop immediately. Do not pressurize or burn yourself out.
6. During your second and third trimesters with extra weight gain, pay extra heed to maintain your balance as your belly begins to grow.
7. Avoid dance forms that include a lot of jerking movements, like lifts, jumps, backbends, rotation, big hip movements, etc. Also, stay away from hip hop or cheerleading dance styles.
8. Avoid dancing in closed spaces or extreme heat conditions to avoid dehydration and overheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can dancing cause miscarriage?
No. Dancing is safe during a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy. However, be cautious about the forms and types of dance you do when pregnant. Certain dance steps, such as those involving a lot of spinning, leaping, jumping, or high-impact dance styles, may increase the risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy (1) (8).
2. When should I stop dancing when pregnant?
Stop dancing if you feel dizzy, nauseous, tired, or experience vaginal bleeding, chest pain, faintness, difficulty breathing, contractions, vaginal fluid leakage, or decreased fetal movement (1).
3. Can dancing induce labor?
Yes. Dance forms such as belly dancing and slow dancing with a partner have been shown to induce labor. In particular, slow dancing with your partner, who provides physical support, has been shown to aid in labor preparation and induction. Furthermore, moving your hips in time with contractions or music can decrease your discomfort during labor contractions (9) (10).
4. Can I do pole dancing while pregnant?
If you’ve been doing pole dancing before pregnancy and have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you may continue it. However, you should consult your doctor and take extra precautions. Also, avoid doing back bends or other steps that may put pressure on the abdominal region.
5. Can a pregnant woman dance in the first trimester?
If you have been dancing regularly before pregnancy, you may also continue dancing in the first trimester (13). However, you must not indulge in intensive dance forms and should avoid bending backward, straining your abdomen muscles, or jumping.
Dancing during pregnancy is a great way to exercise and is also suggested by physicians. It helps improve muscle tone, core strength, blood circulation, balance, and coordination and aids in regulating blood pressure. However, don’t strain yourself while dancing; instead, make it an enjoyable hobby. Further, do not skip warm-up sessions, avoid movements and positions that may be risky, and stop if you feel your body can no longer handle it or you are exhausted. In case you have a medical problem such as uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes or heart disease, dancing may not be advisable. Exert yourself only within the permissible limits and take the necessary precautions to ensure that you and your child are safe.
Infographic: Things To Know About Dancing During Pregnancy
It is well known that dancing is a fun way to provide movement to your body. However, many women are apprehensive about dancing during pregnancy. So, read this infographic to stay informed about the benefits and side effects of dancing during pregnancy.
- Pregnant women can dance, but only after receiving approval from their medical practitioner.
- Dancing can help improve flexibility, reduce stress, and boost overall health.
- It can also improve balance, coordination, and blood circulation while reducing pain and fear during labor.
- When warming up, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid movements that put pressure on the uterus.
- Exercise and Pregnancy.
- Dance – health benefits.
- Exercise During Pregnancy.
- Your Guide To Dancing During Pregnancy And Beyond.
- Preventing a Fall During Pregnancy: Strength and Balance Exercises.
- Let’s dance! Rhythmic motion can improve your health.
- Pregnancy Got You Dizzy? It Could be Your Blood Pressure.
- M Madsen et al.; (2007); Leisure time physical exercise during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a study within the Danish National Birth Cohort.
- Belly Dance and Birth Ritual.
- 8 Key Labor Positions Proven to Help Labor Progress.
- İlknur Münevver Gönenç, Hacer Alan Dikmen; (2020); Effects of Dance and Music on Pain and Fear During Childbirth.
- 7 ways dancing can improve your life.
- Beatrix Bánkyné Perjés et al.; (2022); Prenatal dance activity enhances foetal and postnatal cognitive and motor development.