If you are an expecting mother you are experiencing an equally exciting and stressful time in your life. It’s natural for women who are pregnant to wonder what the best decisions are when it comes to caring for their unborn child, from the best foods to eat and what types of activities to do, a lot of pregnant women even wonder if it is okay to try dancing while pregnant.
Not only is it perfectly fine to dance when you’re expecting, but there are benefits to taking up dancing during this particular stage of your life. At Fred Astaire’s Dance Studio, we love seeing pregnant women arrive for their self-care pre-baby dance lessons in our Raleigh studio and are excited to share the five benefits of dancing while pregnant.
Is it Safe to Dance During Pregnancy?
If you are wondering if it’s safe and healthy for you and your baby to dance while carrying your little one, we are here to tell you unequivocally, YES! It is perfectly safe to dance while pregnant. Because not only is dancing a fun activity, but it also keeps your body and your mind healthy, reduces stress, and can give you some necessary time to do something you love before the baby’s arrival.
Precautions for Pregnant Women to Take When Dancing
Of course, like everything you do when pregnant, you should take precautionary measures to limit any kind of added risk. Truthfully, dancing while pregnant is just another form of a cardio workout, only it has the benefit of not feeling like a chore because it’s enjoyable.
Here are a few precautions for taking up dancing during your pregnancy:
- Talk to your doctor: It is always a good idea to check with your doctor or midwife if you plan on taking on any new activity while pregnant, particularly in the second and third trimesters. If your doctor clears you for cardio exercise, you can begin or continue to dance.
- Ask for modifications: It’s important to always let your dance instructor know that you are pregnant so they can provide you with modifications for challenging movements or let you know if there are any dance moves you should avoid.
- Hydrate and snack: Before engaging in physical activity while pregnant, you should drink water or juice throughout the day, both before and after your dance class as well as consume a heart-healthy snack a couple of hours beforehand. Staying hydrated and filled with nutrients is essential for a healthy pregnancy.
- Listen to your body: If you feel dizzy, are having trouble breathing, or feel pain in your abdominal region when dancing, allow yourself to stop dancing. You and your baby’s health are the top priority, so if anything feels uncomfortable or painful give yourself permission to listen to what your body is telling you.
- Take it slow: Your pregnancy is not the time to do complicated dance routines with fancy footwork, so it is best to keep it simple so dancing is safe for you as your pregnancy progresses.
Benefits of Dancing During Pregnancy
Now that we’ve covered the serious stuff, let’s explore the five benefits of dancing while pregnant. Whether you are taking a solo dance class at a local studio, are on a date night lesson with a dance partner, or you are dancing alone to music in your living room, movement through dance is a fun way to stay fit while pregnant.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of dancing while pregnant.
1. Dancing Keeps You Active During Your Pregnancy
When you are pregnant it is important to keep your heart and lungs healthy. All types of dancing will keep your heart rate up as you exercise, which is great for heart health. As always, it is important to listen to your body so your growing baby continues to get strong, even in the early pregnancy stage of the first trimester.
However, it can be hard to stay motivated to be active when gravity changes begin to take effect on your body. Which is why thinking of dancing as more of a fun activity with movements that have benefits for your body and your baby’s development is a great idea!
Using dancing as your chosen form of aerobic exercise during pregnancy has many benefits. Dance sessions increase blood flow, reduce blood pressure, combat excessive weight gain, and improve muscle tone, all things you want to pay attention to during your pregnancy.
Some other notable advantages of staying active through dancing while pregnant are:
- Better sleep
- Boosted energy levels
- Fewer backaches
- Reduced constipation
- Less bloating
- Strengthened immune system
- Decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, or other complications during your pregnancy.
2. Dancing Improves Your Balance and Coordination
Additionally, dancing safely during your pregnancy will help you gain strength that is beneficial to your body’s balance and coordination. Oftentimes, due to carrying the excess weight they are not used to carrying pregnant women feel clumsy like they’re constantly tripping over their own two feet. While it may seem counterintuitive to suggest dancing at a time when you feel uncoordinated, just by incorporating a dance routine into your pregnancy exercise plan you can gain strength, improve your posture, and become more coordinated and balanced.
3. Releasing Stress and Tension is Good for You and the Baby
Whether you choose a heart-pumping hip-hop dance or a calm and focused ballet session, regardless of the dance styles, getting active and maintaining your fitness goals during your pregnancy is great for you and the baby. When we dance our body releases endorphins that make us happy, resulting in less stress, fatigue, and tension.
At the end of the day there is so much to worry about throughout the stages of your pregnancy, that expecting mothers need as much stress reduction as possible. Taking a class where your body focuses on movements through various forms of dancing is great for your mental and physical health.
4. Your Energy Will Increase When You Dance
In a time where you have to limit caffeine intake, dancing is an amazing way to increase your energy levels. Also during pregnancy, the changes in hormones affect your body by making you feel easily fatigued, lethargic, and unmotivated. Ultimately, exercising helps you to sleep better at night and feel more well-rested during the day. Even though you will still need to take naps and get plenty of rest, as a pregnant woman you will be grateful for any energy boosts you can get as you prepare for your little one to arrive.
5. Dancing is a Great Way to Connect with Your Baby
All forms of physical activity, including dancing, are great ways to bond with your unborn child. Taking the opportunity to put on music and move your body allows you to center your mind, eliminate daily stressors, and allow yourself to enjoy the regular intervals of your baby’s development.
Types of Dance Forms You Can Try When Pregnant
As we talked about previously, dancing for your physical and mental health while pregnant is great for women of all fitness levels, but not every type of dance is ideal for every stage of pregnancy. It’s important to avoid moves that include jumping, lifting, being lifted, or balancing on one foot where you might fall.
Additionally, remember to always be sure to warm up your body through slow warmup routines that include stretching your muscles to prepare them for movement. If at any time you feel pain, are off balance, or have difficulty breathing, you should stop and avoid dancing at that time.
Some examples of the type of dance that would make for a great dance class for a pregnant woman are:
- Belly dancing
- Ballroom dancing
- Tap dancing
Incorporating movement into your pregnancy routine is great, whether it’s a ballroom dance lesson with your partner or a solo ballet class just for you and your baby. At our Raleigh dance studio, allow your mind, body, and spirit to feel free, relaxed, and nourished well into your second trimester as long as your body and baby tell you to keep dancing.
Are You Ready to Dance While Pregnant? Sign Up For A Dance Class Today!
Now that you know dancing is a great activity to do while waiting for the baby to arrive, let’s get you started! If you are a pregnant woman looking to incorporate fitness into your regular exercise routine or if you are looking for a fun way to get moving before your due date, Fred Astair Dance Studio in Raleigh, NC offers group and private dance lessons for any stage of your pregnancy.