"British anthropologist Sheila Kitzinger says belly dancing originated as a ritual of childbirth as well as seduction... the idea is that the pelvic gyrations help dispere the pain of contractions, orient the fetus, and propel the baby into the world. In early labor, when contractions are mild, the expectant mother may find comfort in dancing slowly and hypnotically, using hip circles, crescents, and figure eights. As labor gets more intense, the movements may progress to a rapid rocking of the pelvis from side to side - a technique known as the shimmy - to help position the baby correctly and relax the pelvic floor. In the final phase of pushing, a full body undulation known as the camel roll can help the baby move into the birth canal." - The Doula Guide to Birth
That is why I hula hooped in early labor. 😀 It really did provide relief from the intensity, was a fun distraction, and helps get the baby into a good position. If how we are birthed influences us, maybe Miss O will be a beautiful dancer, or at least a good hula hooper? A good swimmer for sure!