The power of dance during labour

Who doesn’t love a good song and dance? I mean ABBA hit the nail on the head! Without a song or a dance who are we?! Thank you to the music for giving me an easier labour… Ok but seriously, the bottom line is dancing and singing during birth have been shown to decrease the intensity of labour and raise the levels of that juicy oxytocin in the women and baby! Add music to the mix and you’re having a party! Who wouldn’t want that?

For years dancing has been used for many a thing and more recently have become quite the phenomenon during childbirth. Dancing is a low intensity exercise which can be done anytime the mood takes you. Do you have to be a trained dancer? Nope! But this upright position and movement works alongside gravity to help reduce intensity of contractions and allows your baby to find their way to optimal positioning. Controlled studies have shown that dancing during the first stage of labour decreases the need for additional pain relief and gives a higher rate of birth satisfaction.

Singing, one of which I couldn’t imagine doing unless we want broken windows but one of which comes with a mysterious connection to the reproductive organs of the female sex. We already know the INCREDIBLE impact of a ‘floppy face’ on the pelvic floor and the way it allows you to manage those waves but add in a song and you’ve got a double birth bubble! The cervix and the throat are directly connected by the vagus nerve which is why opening the throat during labour helps to open the cervix! Just look at the beautiful correlation which I’ve illustrated below!…

It is no coincidence that the neck is called the cervical spine and the lower slimmer part of the uterus is called the cervix (Latin for neck).

Singing instantly relaxes the vegas nerve and releases feel good hormones which help to block pain signals in the brain! It’s also said that when the voice box is vibrating that in turn the cervix vibrates and alas opens up faster than with no singing at all!

Music is pretty standard nowadays during labour however so many of us still don’t know we can dictate this! Listening to music of choice has been found to decrease anxiety, pain, blood pressure and heart rate. When our nervous system is in a state of calm, we are able to access the part of the brain we need for birth! The instinctive brain! So, choose a playlist for your party start of labour and then a playlist for your more chilled later first stage/second stage.


I am Emma Armstrong aka The Naked Doula @thenakeddoula, an award-winning Birth Influencer, Qualified Hypnobirthing Coach and Educator (

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