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Belly Dancing While Pregnant

Thank you Ivette for sharing your story of belly dancing while pregnant with your baby boy Ivan Manuel.

belly dancing costume

What are the Benefits of Belly Dancing While Pregnant?

Belly dancing builds up strength in the muscles of the pelvis and abdomen. These muscles are required during childbirth and keeping them strong helps the mother return back to normal sooner.

Belly dancing also helps reduce stress and anxiety during pregnancy and is seen as a great way to blow off steam and have some fun. 

Belly Dancing Before And After Pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant, the troupe I dance with (Eastern Jewels from Alegria dance studio) was getting ready for a shimmy mob.   

I was a bit frustrated because I was getting tired way too fast and my breast we’re getting bigger.

As soon as the home test came positive I was super happy but sad at the same time. I thought that being plus size and pregnant would hold me back from dancing, I was mistaken!!  

plus size pregnant belly dancing woman

It actually made my moves more beautiful because belly dancing and with a baby growing in my belly empowered me.  

Physically I would get tired and I couldn’t do some moves (like full laybacks or heavy floor work) but I was able to keep up with class.  

It kept my core pretty strong so back pains weren’t too bad (considering I gained 55lbs).   

I had water retention but it wasn’t that bad either until 4 weeks before giving birth. When doing some moves it felt funny, especially doing belly rolls, my son would kickback!!!

All the shimmy-ing and dancing would rock him to sleep.  

When the day of giving birth came I was 38 1/2 weeks.

All the dancing paid off, I was able to control my breathing, pain, and contractions, making moves we did in class (like figure 8 and may).   

I had an epidural and even though I couldn’t feel much, I knew how to control my core so I was able to push.   

Sadly at the last minute, I had a complication and had an emergency c-section (baby looked up).  

Having a strong core helped me to heal pretty good.

Twenty-three days after giving birth, and with the doctor’s ok, I was dancing again.  

Belly dancing is a great workout before, during, and after pregnancy; keeps your core strong, empowers you, makes you feel sexier (yes! a belly covered in glitter is awesome!).   

I was blessed to have the opportunity to share the joy of my child growing through dance; in each performance, I could feel how strong and big he was getting!  

Pregnant belly dancing

Belly Dancing is one of the many ways that you can stay active throughout your pregnancy. See more plus size exercise suggestions

Jen McLellan, CBE
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Friday 3rd of December 2021

All of this was good advice except for the shimmying. No one should shimmy while pregnant. Other, slow, rhythmic movements are fine.


Wednesday 19th of January 2022

Thanks so much for this info!