Here’s what my doctor told me when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my daughter and went to see him to get some blood tests done…
“You do realize that something could go wrong and you should book into a hospital for your birth?”
I smiled at him and said;
“Thank you for your concern but no thanks. How about this for an idea – what if everything goes right?”
He looked rather perplexed as I walked out of his office, not quite sure what to say…
Yes, I was classed as “geriatric” by the medical establishment and my decision to give birth as nature intended, in the comfort of my own home, in a safe and secure environment, surrounded by the people I love, was considered highly risky!
I had conceived naturally, was in good health and had been practising belly dance movements (BellydanceBirth® exercises from my signature EmbodyBirthTM childbirth preparation program, which I now teach to mothers-to-be and birth professionals worldwide) to help me remain relaxed and anchored in my body throughout my pregnancy.
Therefore I was prepared to go through my birthing journey positively, and as intended by nature.
Here I am, in early labour at the sacred Aboriginal Women’s Ti Tree Birthing Lake, belly dancing gently through the birth rhythms, connecting to Mother Nature to guide me, to find her strength within myself for birth, using BellydanceBirth® movements and mindful breathing to open, soften and prepare me for my daughter, Aminah’s birth, the next day.
You can watch a short preview of my home birth film below.
That it would be excruciatingly painful, that I would require interventions like labour inductions and pain medications, that it is a medical condition rather than a natural, physiological process!
I knew that…
My body was strong and I could manage my labour.
I would be able to welcome my labour contractions (or as I like to call them expansions) by rocking and swaying gently, using the BellydanceBirth® movements and release the feel good hormones to guide the process.
I was going to feel relaxed and be safe in my body with my baby.
If I can do this where medical opinion deems a woman over 40 being at high risk and not capable of birthing as nature intended, let alone at home.
You CAN too! And I can help you.
You don’t need to have any kind of previous dance experience (belly dance or otherwise) to join the program!
BellydanceBirth® is a powerful practice that gives birth back to women/persons and babies – YOUR heart, YOUR hands, YOUR womb and YOUR authority. It is an inspiring and relevant birth preparation process that accepts all of who we are as women.
It is not JUST a dance exercise program for pregnancy and birth.
It is ALSO an ancient philosophy connecting women to your “primal brain” (our most primitive brain) and your “womb wisdom”, where the map of birth is already present – and only needs to be accessed and activated.
BellydanceBirth® is the practice part (or as I like to call it – one of the 3 babies) of my signature EmbodyBirthTM program.
You can download the exercise videos to your favourite device (laptop, tablet or phone) and practice them at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home. Pause the videos whenever you like, and resume when you are ready to exercise once again.
Thousands of women worldwide have benefitted from the program giving them the confidence and inner strength to birth their way and continue to do so everyday.
You can read some of their testimonials below.
I am due now with a breech baby. The belly dancing made me feel strong and open, confident to attempt to deliver my baby breech. I will use the Circling and Figure 8 during labour as I want to be active to deliver my baby.
– Luna, age 35, 26 weeks
I am almost 20 weeks pregnant now, feeling great. Belly dancing has enabled me to become more in tune with my body and relax all tensions in my lower back; no more pain! My back feels so much more flexible. Thank you.
– Rebecca, age 23, 30 weeks
After my first belly dance session I was totally amazed at the results! I have been to the chiropractor weekly for the last six weeks with heavy lower back pain. After belly dancing, my back back felt totally free of pain. I feel incredible. Thank you.
– Mary, age 41, 20 weeks with baby no. 6
BellydanceBirth® is NOT about an expert telling you what to do or where (at home or in the hospital) and how your birth will be!
It is about encouraging autonomy in YOUR decision making.
It is about helping YOU access and activate YOUR “map” or “blueprint” of birth which is already encoded within our bodies as organic information or what we may call our “instincts”.
Encourages you to discover and listen to what your body and baby needs. So that you can tune into the positions which are best for you in your pregnancy and then in labour.
Shares practical tools that mirror the intuitive movements you will assume during labour. Being upright, using gravity and opening your pelvis helps to create optimal room for your baby to navigate its way through your yielding pelvis. The practice of the dance movements will give you confidence to move where your body needs to go during labour without relying on someone telling you what to do.
Sees pregnancy and birth as an individual, unique and transformational experience that supports deep spiritual growth.
Is freeing, fun, sensual and creative!
Helps you to move through your fear of birth and face them by dancing into the rhythmic sensations. Instead of resisting the contractions or as we call them expansions, you can, with movement sound and breath welcome the waves of your uterus with your baby and meet birth in a place of courage and openness.
EmbodyBirthTM is a deeply inspirational childbirth preparation program which was conceived out of my 3 personal pregnancy and birthing journeys coupled with the need for expectant mothers and birth professionals to have another perspective and pathway of childbirth philosophy that is based on bringing birth back to mothers and babies.
The program blends together the following three components:
What I am offering to you is the “Practice” part of EmbodyBirthTM…
…which is essentially the gateway or bridge between its first 2 components, “Philosophy” and “Physiology” using the PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL and SPIRITUAL benefits of belly dance as a prenatal exercise and process during pregnancy and labour, also known as BellydanceBirth®.
Come, dance with me as I guide you through my personal journey toward motherhood through the eyes of an East-West cultural perspective interwoven with the teaching of simple, practical prenatal belly dance moves.
BellydanceBirth® exercises will…
Give you comfort. The gentle dance movements can help welcome contractions (or as I call expansions) and dissipate painful sensations that arise during labour.
Help you navigate through the birth rhythms. So you can feel confident and capable in managing your labour.
Help release feel good hormones as you shut the world out and expand deeply into your body.
Release you from the fear of childbirth. You will learn to birth through your fear rather than birth in fear.
Help you remain calm and relaxed throughout your pregnancy and birthing journey by using movement, sound and breath.
Help to connect you to your precious baby.
BellydanceBirth® has been endorsed by NACE (Australia) and the Australian Doula College.
The program begins with a series of gentle stretching exercises to bring you into your body’s presence, then continues onto the 6 belly dance exercises, The Circle, The Spiral, The Figure 8, The Cervix, The Hands and Arms and The Chest.
All set to soothing music as you follow me when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my daughter, Aminah.
There is also a BONUS. My home birth film, From the Womb to the Water, I Danced Out of My Mum. Watch me giving birth at 46 years of age, as I also discuss the philosophy and physiology behind BellydanceBirth® and various birth related topics, with two midwives, Ann and my wonderful home birth midwife, Jayne.
You can see me dance through the first stage of my labour, mindfully using the BellydanceBirth® movements as I welcome the birth rhythms and sensations. The film will offer great reassurance and confidence to you for your own birthing journey and as you step into motherhood.
Here are the details of what’s included within the program (along with 2 exciting BONUSES) at an unbelievable price + lifetime access! No hidden costs, no sign ups/log ins required, once you are in, YOU ARE IN.
Along with soothing background music as you follow Maha when she was 34 weeks pregnant with her daughter, Aminah.
Video 1 consists of stretching exercises divided into 4 sections to ensure your whole body is invigorated and activated.
Kneeling and Seated Positions
Moving Up Positions
Standing Up Positions
Warm up stretches as a part of your prenatal practice ensure that your body, along with your baby is conditioned for childbirth so that your muscles and joints can freely move into the birthing positions during labour.
Video 2 consists of the BellydanceBirth® dance exercises divided into 6 sections. No previous dance experience is necessary!
The Figure 8
The Hands and Arms
A documentary style film titled From the Womb to the Water, I Danced Out of My Mum.
Watch Maha giving birth at 46 years of age, as she also discuss the philosophy and physiology behind BellydanceBirth® and various birth related topics, with two midwives, Ann and Jayne.
A beautiful set of 47 downloadable and printable ecards with positive daily insights and quotes from Maha that mamas-to-be can use to re-program your mind and discover your own innate strength and power to birth.
An exclusive access to a private Facebook group moderated by Maha to connect with other mothers and couples worldwide. Share your pregnancy/birth/mothering stories, ask questions, get inspiration as well as advice from each other. Plus, Maha will pop in live from time to time to answer questions and share even more tips!
Maha, thank you so much for making Dance of the Womb! It is wonderful and will be helping women to connect with their bodies for years to come. Much needed work.
– Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, Founder & Director, Birth Into Being
There is a beautiful feminine softness to your program. Women are stepping out of their shells and comfort zones to let go. Its not about whether you are doing something right or wrong, its about organically moving. Its just feel and rhythm. Getting into the feel of your body.
– From a father
My hip pain (which was chronic) is gone! Maha is so gentle and spiritual while giving useful tips. I am much more relaxed about the whole labor process after spending so much time with these dance moves. I recommend it to all pregnant women.
– At 32 weeks
Here are some more testimonials from the women who have completed the program:
“I started using these movements as a form of exercise, but soon discovered that they were inexpensive and effective psychotherapy. One day at about 32 weeks, I was innocently going about some small hip circles, moving one slow step at a time across my yoga mat in the living room, when I felt a geyser of emotion inside me. I was acutely aware that the emotion came out of my body, from doing the movements. It felt good, like a release. This experience repeated itself, to a lesser extent, numerous times while doing the movements Maha recommends. I’ve come to believe it was a releasing of past emotional trauma stored in my pelvic area. Psychotherapy for the body.
Unlike most exercises I’ve done, including my original experience with belly dancing, dancing with Maha felt like my body moving me rather than me exercising control over my body. A supple, rhythmic movement of my birthing muscles, this spiraling, circling, and rocking made me stronger. And it really works in labor!
When I was in labor with my third baby, I used the cervix spiral to jump-start labor. I’m not even sure this is possible, but I swear I actually felt my cervix opening. It felt a lot different than doing the exercise while not in labor, like it was causing the stretching of a big, fat rubber band. Intense, but good.
Belly dancing this way in pregnancy and during labor helped to slow and center and ground me. It helped me stay in the moment and just be with my body and my baby. I believe Maha’s gentle, spiritual approach to the movements made all the difference.”
– Lauren M.
“Just doing the warm ups is worth the price!
Doing the warm up moves definitely helped my hips stay loose and flexible during my pregnancy and they helped me quietly and concentratedly manage the pain during my natural childbirth. I would recommend this to everyone, pregnant or not.”
– Vanessa A.
“From 5 months onwards I practiced the exercises in our new home. My partner was overseas for work so I spent the extra time practicing the movements and dancing around! The section with Maha’s birth and a discussion with two midwives was also very reassuring. I made sure to stand and place some weight on my hands while leaning slightly forward to help open my pelvis up.
On the day our baby decided to arrive, I felt so confident and connected to my body. Without thinking I found myself spiraling my hips and dancing through each phase. I was standing for the entirety of my labour. I tried being in a birth pool but I needed to be on my feet, allowing my legs to support the process. Not only did the dancing help the birthing process to flow, but it helped me go into that “other place” where the primal brain takes over. I felt strong, capable and a powerful femininity that I had never experienced before.
My beautiful daughter came out with ease as I was standing up and holding on to her father. I didn’t need to push! And I felt no pain as she came out.
Dancing through the birth allowed greater comfort for me, assisted in proper placement of my baby and absolutely helped to move things along! The active labour was only 6 hours and required no intervention or drugs. This was the kind of birthing I knew was possible.
I am forever thankful to Maha for the gift of belly dance for birthing.”
– Rebecca Le Harle
“My first wasn’t a nice experience at all. It was hell but I used Maha’s tips for my second and I absolutely loved the birth! I felt in control, it eased the pain, was calming and it quickened the pace. I would recommend all mothers to use her techniques. No experience in dancing needed at all.
I also have a hip joint pain which the program helped with. I had a natural water birth with no pain killers unlike my first. My husband knew I was going to use this technique so he helped me along since he knew what to do and expect.
Having more kids in the future depended a lot on this birth as I had a hell of a time with my first. All I can say is I look forward to having a third at the right time and I will definitely be using this technique again. It was amazing! I managed to get through all the contractions calmly and to actually anticipate and sort of “enjoy” them. Not to enjoy the pain but to enjoy their coming knowing I could manage and I’m getting through them well till the end without losing control or panicking or having too much of a hard time to continue.
My first was 23 hours of labour this one was only 5 and a half hours! I loved EVERY MINUTE of it. My baby was also born placid and calm something I was told happens to those who have a water birth and an enjoyable (so to speak) labour.
I recommend Maha’s program to all mothers! It’s definitely something to use or at least try out once. No two births and labour are ever the same but this technique definitely helps with easing it and coping.”
My name is Maha Al Musa and I am an International Independent Childbirth Educator since 1997, the Founder and Creator of EmbodyBirthTM and BellydanceBirth®, an Award Winning Author of the Dance of the Womb book, International Speaker, Breastfeeding Advocate, Pregnancy and Birth Consultant and a Mother to 3 beautiful children, all born as nature intended.
I gave birth to my last, my daughter Aminah, at age 46 – a home water lotus birth and breastfed her till she self weaned at 8.5 years. We have both been featured and interviewed on various TV shows (national and international), magazines and online publications. Notable ones being;
– A Discovery Channel documentary (Extreme Breastfeeding)
– A short documentary for RTL Germany
– CNN International, Daily Mail UK, Huffington Post Canada and UK, Daily Telegraph, New York Post, Independent UK
– Sunrise TV, A Current Affair, The Morning Show, Inside Story Australia
– Woman’s Day, Take 5, New! UK
My book, Dance of the Womb – The Essential Guide to Belly Dance for Pregnancy and Birth (available in both hardcover and ebook formats) is an award winning (Living Now Book Awards – won Gold in the Exercise/Fitness Category), world’s first resource to exploring the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of belly dance as a prenatal exercise and process during labour. The book has been endorsed by renowned birth luminaries such as Dr. Michel Odent, Sheila Kitzinger, Dr. Sarah Buckley and Dr. Christiane Northrup.
My BellydanceBirth® Practice Video Series has been endorsed by NACE (Australia) and the Australian Doula College.
I have presented at numerous birth conferences including the Birth Keepers Summit in USA and The Human Rights in Childbirth Conference in India, events and seminars within Australia and internationally and spoken/been interviewed on various podcasts and online publications.
“A mother holds the key to Her birth with Her baby. EmbodyBirthTM affirms this knowing.”
Through my birth work I want to encourage EVERY woman/person with her baby to align with the innate birth intelligence that resides within her womb and trust in its guidance.
“The Living Book Is Within – Read Her”
“It was the most magical birth and the most amazing experience of my life. I was in control, my body was ready, my baby was positioned optimally, I was relaxed, I knew what to do and it didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as my other two births. Would I do it again – in a heartbeat!
Maha, I can’t thank you enough for your guidance through the education you share, your teaching methods, your spiritual grounding and amazing belly dance for birth wisdom. I know that it is because I danced in my last trimester that my baby was in optimal position. I know that the natural movements of circling and spiraling made for a controlled labor, even though very quick. I know that the knowledge to use movement, get off my back and tilt the pelvis in such a way would allow for the Fetal Ejection Reflex to be engaged and boy was it ever! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
All my children have brought me such gifts when born, I can’t wait to now share even more with women to help them engage the feminine and give birth the way they wish.”
“I can attest to the efficacy of Maha’s moves and instructions that she teaches you to use during birthing. This was my fourth birth and third natural childbirth. I can vouch for the lessening of discomfort if you use the tools she teaches you. Everything about this birth was the same as my others except I used BellydanceBirth® moves when I felt contractions. It wasn’t hard to remember because it felt like such a ‘release’.
I thought for the few days before that I was having braxton hicks….again. I had NO IDEA after 3 contractions on the day of that the baby ‘was here’. There was no time to fill up the birthing pool and my husband caught our little baby (we had called the midwife just 3 minutes before to tell her…birthing was ‘beginning’). I loved the preciseness of the videos. I purchased 2 other prenatal bellydance DVDs before this one. They were NOT specific enough. They were short and sorry to say a little cheesy. They both sorely lacked adequate instructions. I did not feel that they did a well enough job at describing the anatomy of bellydance.
How do I tilt my pelvis? Which direction should my torso be facing, etc. I had pelvic girdle pain with my 2nd pregnancy and I knew that I wasn’t taking any chances ever getting it again by ‘guessing’ at things like positioning etc. while exercising. I hope this helps you decide to choose Maha’s BellydanceBirth® video series over others. It is so worth the investment to receive such a well-rounded, educational and professionally done product. You and your baby are worth it!”
“All my image planning about how the birth is “supposed to be” totally went out the window. During the initial waves, soon after the show appeared, I did hip circles and figure 8s to smooth out the contracting muscles…then, in the car and at the home, it was happening so fast, it was about breath control and at later points focusing on not bearing down during the crowning. It was very positive, primal, and I learned so much. And yet it felt familiar to me somehow, not alien or scary at all.
The BellydanceBirth® methods plugged me into my primordial Mother Self, that Body of Wisdom and Enjoyment that we all come into when we become Mothers. I had knowledge about things I consciously may not have touched on, there was radiance to the things I did and felt both bodily and emotionally. Dancing and massaging the belly primed my womb and pelvis to perform at its best, and all other aspects of my body were thankfully healthy, I had access to a midwife and resources to facilitate such a birth with confidence and security (all blessings), and so I had a very natural and healthy birth. All things were aligned, the Moon, the Sun, and the Seasons with my Body and my Baby. Our Minds were one, and when I was ready, so was baby. And that is how we danced throughout the pregnancy and birth with divine timing. It is a wonderful power and birthright, this Dance.”