Publication Date



pregnancy, first stage labor, exercise, dance, belly-dancing, upright positioning, pain management


Over the past 30 years, medical interventions in pregnancy and childbirth have increased. Some pregnant women seek less invasive and nonpharmacological options to manage discomforts during labor. While exercise during pregnancy is recommended, less is known about exercise, specifically dancing, during labor. While anecdotal evidence is supportive, little is known about the implications of exercise and dance during the first stage of labor for pain reduction and labor progression. Some movements common in dance, such as expanding hip circles that loosen and relax muscles of the pelvic floor, may be beneficial to women during labor. Available evidence suggests that dancing during the first stage of labor may decrease duration and intensity of pain and increase patient satisfaction, but further study is warranted. Ultimately, before assessing the implications of dance during labor, a feasibility study should be conducted to determine pregnant women’s willingness to participate in a prospective or randomized controlled trial.




July 26th, 2019


October 18th, 2019


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.