Not Your Mom's Lamaze Class

Belly dancing is helping pregnant women shimmy their way through drug-free labor

Keri Pickett / WPN for TIME

Stefanie Masters , front row, far left teaches a pre-natal belly dancing class to women at the Maternity Mall in Brookfield, WI.

The latest twist in childbirth prep involves jangling sequins and hip-shaking Middle Eastern music. As the growing popularity of belly dancing ripples across the U.S.--helping many a gymgoer wiggle off unwanted pounds--the ancient art form is also being practiced by moms-to-be to stay fit and ease their way through labor. From Georgia to California, dance instructors have started tailoring classes to help pregnant women with their flexibility, strength and breathing. "As soon as we feel pain, we tense up and hold our breath," says Stefanie Masters, who teaches two free classes a week in a maternity store in Brookfield, Wis. "Dancing...

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