Deepali Jamwal, from Seattle describes herself as a ‘real estate economist by profession and a dancer by choice’. Mom to four year old Ansh, Deepali is pregnant with her second child…and has danced throughout her pregnancy. Deepali shares her views about being a pregnant dancer.
When it comes to dancing during pregnancy, like everything else, people are quick to share their opinions. For me, the right view is – don’t stop. Dancing is not hurting your pregnancy. If anything, you’re celebrating it and taking control of your image. That’s not negligence, but a revolutionary act of claiming your fitness, your body, and your passion.
I mean, honestly, there’s so little you can control when you’re pregnant (including your mood swings) that at least you can feel like you’re doing your best to stay healthy and happy.
I’m 34 weeks pregnant today and my hips are numb from rolling side to side trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. My feet have swollen to the point where the only shoes I can wear are my house slippers. My lungs are compressed thanks to my growing uterus pushing against it, and I can’t take more than five steps without running out of breath. And don’t even get me started on morning sickness and midnight cramps. I hear of women who have sublime, serene pregnancies, and envy grows deep in my chest – or maybe that just the heartburn from last night’s dinner (I’m not sure!).
Severe ‘morning’ sickness can be a real burden to bear, limiting your activities because you’re not sure when the next wave of pregnancy nausea will strike. The least you can do for yourself is something that truly keeps you happy.
The one thing that has kept me sane for the last 34 weeks is *Dance*. It brings me immense happiness. I’m blessed to be surrounded by a very loving and encouraging community who understands the positive effects that dance has had on my pregnancy and they couldn’t have been more supportive. However, every now and then I come across a few people who like to pass judgement and troll me for “not being responsible” or for “potentially harming my baby”. I’m writing today to break all the myths surrounding ‘dancing through pregnancy’.
Dancing (or staying physically active) is great, in fact, recommended during pregnancy. Researchers say that it has multiple benefits including (but not limited to):
- Easing common pregnancy-related problems like backache, posture issues and constipation
- Increasing the supply of oxygen in you and your child
- Helping you handle the strain of giving birth
- Strengthening your cardiovascular system, making you feel fitter and more resilient
- Preventing blood clots and varicose veins
- Improving the quality of your sleep
- Reducing your risk of gestational diabetes
Gone are those days when pregnancy was often treated as a condition that should be greeted with as little activity as possible. Dancing through pregnancy is not a taboo anymore. As long as you have a clear chit from you doctor, let the music take you!
Growing a baby is such an amazing thing our bodies do, but I don’t see it as a time to sit back, relax and take it easy. Studies have shown that staying fit can help you have a more comfortable pregnancy, an easier labour and benefits your baby too. And who wouldn’t want that, right? Certainly not the people who’re trolling you. Ignore negative comments from ignorant minds and do what makes you happy.
For me, the main benefit of dancing through pregnancy is – I’d be lost without it. I like to believe I haven’t had any mood swings so far (ignore my husband if he tries to tell you otherwise), and I credit that to dancing. Those endorphins released while dancing, certainly seem to be working for me. And if I’m happy, the world around me is happy and that makes this a happy pregnancy.
With my swollen ankles and weight unevenly distributed, scratching an itch at ankle level is a feat of flexibility. However, as soon as the music goes on, my mobility is restored, and doing knee drops is no biggy. I forget about the constant joint aches and pregnancy nausea is banished from my mind.
Check out Deepali’s #35weekspregnancydance video!