As most of you know now, I’ve had two beautiful daughters during my dance journey, one 5 years ago and one just this February. I’ve been truly blessed to experience dance through pregnancy and all its benefits, as well as some struggles.
With my first pregnancy, I was able to dance for 8.5 months! The movements came naturally despite my growing bump, and towards the end of the pregnancy certain belly and hip movements were extremely beneficial to my sciatic and round ligament pain. It was almost like getting a prenatal massage! My doctors praised me for continuing to dance and strengthen my core. After my daughter was born, I returned to dance within 2 weeks and the baby weight dropped off. I felt strong again pretty quickly, and I was motivated to start up teaching again.
In a bit of a contrast, my second pregnancy was more challenging to dance with. I had extreme round ligament pain and sciatic that kept me from moving my legs much at all or bearing weight on them for long. I unfortunately had to stop dancing around 6 months and I swear it was torture. I still did what I could to bring movement to my life, including an 8 months pregnant video performance where 95% of it was done sitting in a chair and focusing on arm movements. After the birth, it took me 1 month to return to dance, and 3 months to get back to teaching. And I’m still battling that baby weight!
Mothers’ bodies and their experiences through pregnancy can vary so wildly! But, dance brought me joy in both my pregnancies. It is an excellent method of gentle exercise as well as self care. I’ve personally also enjoyed the bonding I’ve felt with both children even before they were born—feeling their movements in line with mine, their reactions to the music, and even rocking them to sleep. Now my daughters both love music and find it soothing, one so far loves singing and dancing, both enjoy watching me dance—and our household is filled with happiness. It’s important for mothers to keep hold of their passions through the changes that motherhood brings, for themselves and for their families! Do what you love and share it with your babies—together you’ll make something beautiful!