Overcome Painful Labor with the Baby Mama Dance

Mother’s Day is coming up! And even though we love our dancing mamas, we wanted to focus on something a little different this year: Mamas who dance...to BECOME mamas. That’s right - some babies are actually coming into the world with a little extra oomph. It’s called the Baby Mama Dance, or the Pregnancy Dance.

It’s well known that labor is an extremely painful process. And sure, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel (aka a new baby!), but it’s safe to say that most women in labor are open to anything to ease the process. Enter Dr. Fernando Guedes da Cunha, a Brazilian doctor who has taken over Instagram as ‘the dancing doctor.’ He’s been posting videos of himself dancing with his heavily pregnant patients to ease their labor process - and in addition to being hilarious (and awesome!), it’s actually got some science to back it up.


A post shared by Dr. Fernando Guedes da Cunha (@drfernandoguedescunha) on

Using popular songs like Despacito, Dr. Cunha gets patients moving and shaking that baby right out. “Dance, walk, activities with a ball of physiotherapy and squats, are part of the patient’s verticalization, which greatly favors labor. We are increasingly trying to implement human measures to improve assistance to pregnant women,`` he told the UK's Daily Mail.

His pregnancy dance choreography focuses on squats and a lot of hip movements - which makes sense! Some studies, published by respected publications such as The New England Journal of Medicine, show that women who move or walk around during their labor process can actually experience shorter than average labors. Sounds pretty good, if you ask me!

Dancing can also increase levels of oxytocin, and can reduce stress.

Dr. Cunha isn’t the only one encouraging his patients to shake their thang to get that thing out! Dancing through the birth process is a growing movement, both on social media and in other mommy-based publications. Parents.com recently ran an article called “Move, Mama! 10 Reasons to Walk, Dance, or Whip-and-Nae-Nae During Labor.” Reasons included: quieting pain, speeding up dilation, shorter labor, less trauma, and you may even need less medication than planned.

There’s even an entire website around this idea: according to dancingforbirth.com, “moderate exercise increases placental blood flow and oxygen to baby.” Dancing can also increase levels of oxytocin, and can reduce stress.

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The Global Journal of Health Science published a study to test out the effectiveness of labor movement and dance. They took 60 women, aged 18 - 35, and had one group (the pregnancy dance labor group) move and rock their hips, and the other group (the control group) did not. They found that the dance labor group experienced a significantly less amount of pain, and concluded that “dance labor...is a complementary treatment with low risk can reduce the intensity of pain and increase mothers satisfaction with care during the active phase of labor.”

...women who move or walk around during their labor process can actually experience shorter than average labors

So, for any expecting mamas out there - or anyone who thinks they may want to try that whole parenting thing in the future! - consider implementing the Baby Mama Dance into your birth plan. After all, dance is already one of the most important parts of your life; why not make it a part of one of the most important days of your life as well?

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.