Castanets and Giving Birth: Flamenco Dancing in the Delivery Room
At the suggestion of her midwife, an expectant mother danced through her labor pains and experienced a smooth delivery.
Natalie Taviv, age 35, never lets anything interfere with her dancing, not even labor pains. Following her recent arrival at Rambam Health Care Campus, she was seen dancing the flamenco to the beat of the “Gipsy Kings” even though she was in the late stages of labor.
“I love to dance,” explained the young mother. “I dance all the time, and it simply felt right. The labor pains were intensifying. The midwife suggested that I move around, and everything flowed from there.”
Natalie acquired her dance skills in her native city, Madrid, from where she and her family made Aliyah about 15 years ago. The familiar music gave rise to well-remembered rhythms, and with the help of nurse midwife, Maya Berenzaft-Aloshin, an expert in childbirth with movement, Natalie overcame some difficult moments in a relaxed atmosphere.
“More and more women are choosing childbirth with movement,” says Berenzaft-Aloshin. “It does not need to be actual dancing, but movement is a part of the process, and every woman should feel comfortable with her body and do what feels right to her.”
Movement in response to contractions has many advantages, including facilitating delivery, reducing pain, and helping the baby move through the pelvis properly.
For Natalie, who was experiencing her third delivery and carrying twins, the approach was unquestionably successful. Because both babies were in a breech position, the delivery was considered high-risk, with a significant chance that she would have to undergo a cesarean section. However, Natalie was able to give birth normally within a few hours after arriving in the delivery room.
“Even in the case of a complex situation involving twin babies in a breech position, studies all over the world show that the preferred method is normal vaginal delivery,” explains Dr. Udi Ergaz, Deputy Director, of Rambam’s Delivery Room and an attending physician in the Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Dr. Ergaz was Natalie’s physician throughout her pregnancy and delivered the twin boys. “Rambam has a highly professional staff, and we have the training and experience to allow women, even those with complicated, high-risk pregnancies, to have a regular, natural delivery,” said Dr. Ergaz.
At the end, Natalie joyfully hugged her two magnificent baby boys, who were born weighing a healthy 2.4 kg and 2.2 kg, respectively.
“I recommend that every mother giving birth dance and move as much as possible,” said Natalie. “It reduces pain, is distracting, and helps take you to another place. Had I thought of it earlier, I would have brought my castanets from home,” said Natalie with a smile.
Watch Natalie dancing before giving birth.
In the photo: Natalie Taviv and her twins.
Photography Courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus.