When painful contractions kicked in during my labor with my first son, I squeezed my husband’s and my mother’s hands so hard that they worried I’d break a phalange or two — theirs, not mine. That’s why I’m definitely not showing them this viral video, where one laboring woman shows a far less destructive way to cope with pain: dancing.
In a video that’s been viewed nearly 6 million times on Facebook, Yuki Nishizawa busts some serious moves while the song “Tootsee Roll” plays in the background at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Labor, Birth and Recovery in Boston.
The Boston Globe reports that Nishizawa wasn’t medicated during her labor. She later gave birth to a 6-pound, 15-ounce boy named Coji.
Nishizawa’s husband, Connell Cloyd, told the Globe that his wife had danced to “Tootsee Roll” during her labor with their older child, now 2, as well.
“We were laughing about it and I took some videos, thinking our friends on Facebook will think this is funny,” Cloyd said. “I never thought it’d get this big.”
Will the video inspire other women to dance away their labor pain? If it did, that wouldn’t be so bad. A couple of doctors I consulted had positive things to say about Nishizawa’s efforts.
“It’s a good idea to move around and not be bed rested during labor as much as possible,” said Dr. Daniel Roshan, a high-risk maternal/fetal medicine ob/gyn in New York.
Dr. Paloma Toledo, a spokeswoman for the American Society of Anesthesiologists and an obstetric physician anesthesiologist in Chicago, said that some small studies have shown that listening to music, in particular, helps reduce patients’ medication requirements during labor.
She said she wasn’t aware of any studies focused specifically on dancing, but “I think it is wonderful that this patient felt well enough to dance and was clearly enjoying her labor.”
Toledo added that, when it comes to pain management during childbirth, planning ahead is key.
“There are many ways to treat pain, including other complimentary pain methods, and it is important that patients think about their options and discuss them with their family and their providers before going into labor,” she said.