This is a very personal issue, which can only be addressed by each individual woman. If somebody asks me if you can belly dance through pregnancy, I say that I have had a couple of teachers who did just that, as well as one of my friends, and most importantly (to me anyway) is that I myself taught right up to 38 weeks pregnant which happened to be 8 days before I went into labour! Although I found there were some moves I could not do towards the end, this was more to “how” I was carrying my baby – all out to the front as you can see from the photo!
I would often clasp hands under my belly and that seemed to help and I was able to do almost everything. Obviously as I got heavy, fast-travelling steps became difficult and any fast turns or jumps were out of the question. The shimmy? Still possible. Although sometimes it seemed to vibrate the baby to a spot in my pelvis which was uncomfortable for me (a foot on my bladder or the side of my hip), it was still possible and the baby seemed to like it as any movement settled right down.
However, I would not say that I would recommend it for everybody, as a couple of factors come into play; are you having a “good” pregnancy? Does your Doctor encourage you to exercise? Have you belly danced before? If the answer is “Yes” to all questions then I say go ahead at your own discretion. You know your own body, what feels good and what doesn’t, and remember that further along you get, the heavier your belly!
Technically speaking, belly dancing is IDEAL during pregnancy! You strengthen tummy muscles which can ease back strain and pain, you are keeping your hips flexible which comes in handy during birth, and it is a form of fitness which is low impact so it is beneficial to overall health and wellness. I personally think that your body can recover quicker after you’ve had the baby if you kept yourself fit during pregnancy.
There is one other very important benefit to belly dancing while pregnant. You see, as your belly grows, your shape changes and this can have an impact on how you feel about yourself and how you relate to your partner. If you belly dance you are much more likely to embrace the rounded shape and be able to use it and feel proud of what you can do as well as how you look. Belly dancing is meant for curves and there is no more a curvy time than during pregnancy!
So dance, feel good and look good. You are woman, and growing a baby from scratch – how cool is that?