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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
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Monday, August 6, 2007
Belly dancing in the delivery room
Cathy Moore is a midwife at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a belly dancer with Goddess Dancing. Now she is bringing those two skills together, gradually introducing belly-dance techniques to some patients and birth specialists, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal that says there may be an ancient connection between childbirth and the dance form.
At the Brigham, Moore says in the story, she has to tread carefully with expectant mothers, for whom belly-dancing remains outside the medical mainstream. She also warns against certain movements: sharp hip drops and pops, and anything up on the toes.
Dr. James Greenberg, the hospital's chairman of obstetrics, told the Journal he's not sure if belly-dancing offers proven benefits.
"But there's certainly no scientific reason to think it's bad, so if it makes you feel good, and it's safe -- do it," he said.