Dancehall Doula Workshop is a new fresh antenatal and postnatal dance workshop I started up March 2017. This workshop was designed to help support mothers through pregnancy and birth. It’s an educational, fun and supportive dance workshop which I created.
After starting up as a doula in May 2016, I wanted to extend my Knowledge further on how I can best support expectant mums with comfort measures through pregnancy and labour to help them to have easier births and reduce the chances on unnecessary interventions. I booked myself onto a Spinning Babies workshop. This workshop had many solutions on how to best help pregnant women through pregnancy and birth. From the spinning babies workshop I learnt;
- The effects of posterior position on pregnancy and labour,
- How to identify foetal positioning using mother’s report of kicks and wiggles (belly mapping),
- Why foetal chin tucking is useful to the birth process,
- How to utilize a pregnancy routine for comfort and easier childbirth,
- Pregnancy technique for relaxing the pelvic floor,
- How to identify signs of an occiput posterior labour pattern,
- The difference between a comfort measure and a rotation technique,
- Labour techniques that will help a posterior baby rotate to engage in the pelvis,
- How to describe an indication for caesarean birth due to lack of labour progress
- How to demonstrate solutions for slow descent in the 2nd Stage when the mother is restricted to bed and more….
I use my skills and knowledge gained by teaching physical activities to my clients including demonstrations, use of a Mexican rebozo, birthing balls and sharing relevant information.
Why Dancehall Doula Workshop?
I have always had a love for dance and have done many performances back in the days, before I had my children. Since having my children I haven’t been as involved in the dance world due to the demands of rehearsals and not wanting to let my team down with motherhood and work commitments. Instead I go to open dance classes with Boy Blue Entertainment whenever I get the chance, as dance is also how I like to keep fit.
I really find dance and music therapeutic for me and know many people feel the same as I do. So I wanted to do something different, many women go to pregnancy yoga classes, hypno-birth classes ect.. I remember when I was pregnant with my first and I went to a pregnancy yoga class, yes it was ok, something for me to do in regards to preparing my body and mind for birth but I’m sure I would have enjoyed it much more if I listened to music that I am into, maybe I should have taken my headphones with me, but that’s not practical in a yoga class. Yes, don’t get me wrong it is nice to have a moment of peace and quiet as you do with a yoga class but you know, when your pregnant especially for the first time, you can feel that your social life begins to change and as you get heavier in your pregnancy, you may feel like you don’t have the energy to do things like you used to, no more nights out with the girls, dancing in your mirror at home and sometimes you start to feel less sexy due to your body blossoming and growing your beautiful child. This is not want I want for expectant and new mums, I want mums to enjoy preparing for pregnancy, to look forward to shaking a leg or two whiles conditioning your body to help with the aches and pains, I want you to have more energy whiles pregnant, to have a comfortable pregnancy and an easier confident fearless birth. I would like for all women to be able to have access to a doula, no matter their financial status or cultural background, because every mother matters. As a Doula I have come to learn that black women suffer the highest rates of infant mortality and I have witness the lack of black women gaining antenatal education, so having that in mined, I hoped that this workshop will attract black mums to the classes or at least create awareness of why pregnancy, birth and post-birth education and support is important, as it can actually be a matter of life and death.
Dancehall Doula Workshop supports mums by mixing techniques inspired from spinning babies with dance to a wide selection of music such as, Dancehall/Reggae, R&B, Slow Jams, Afro Beats, Funky House, Soul/Jazz, Hip-hop. I teach and discuss techniques for releasing tight or spasmed muscles within and to the pelvis, and design pregnancy routines for pregnant women to increase or maintain body balance for comfort, optimal foetal positioning, and/or easier birth.
But wait….. it’s not only pregnancy and birth that matters, as new mothers will also experience a big change in their life. Having a new baby can be challenging and sometimes as mothers we realise we are not doing anything for ourselves, we tend to think as long as baby is alright then I’m alright. I know how much self-care is important especially as a new mother, you need to look after you too.
Postnatal recovery and parenting:
I want for you mums to know you are valued, you are worthy, whether it’s that you want to come dance with us to help burn off the extra weight gained during pregnancy, tone your body, meet other mums to have a little mum to mum banter/ talking about your pregnancy, birth or post-birth experiences, concerns and success with your newborn, whether it’s to talk about how often your baby poos or about your breastfeeding journey, I wanted this workshop to be a safe place for you mums to get the support you need and to top it off babies in slings are welcome. The support from this workshop doesn’t stop at the class, it continues via the Dancehall Doula Workshop secret Facebook support group.
Mixing my doula profession with dance has been a very positive and fun experience for me. I started up a self-care dance workshop for birth workers in December 2017 and have intentions to soon start a CPD Dancehall Doula Workshop to enable birth workers to host workshops of their own within their local community. The Dancehall Doula Workshop (for easier birth) will soon be accessible online for all the mums who like to dance but are unable to make it to the workshops. Watch this space!
To learn more about Dancehall Doula Workshop, watch my first video and/or book onto the workshop here: Dancehall Doula Workshop
To find out more info about Doula Ruth Dennison, you can visit her website here: www.121doula.co.uk