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Baby wearing dance classes help mums bond with new borns

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(4 Mar 2017) LEAD-IN: Special dance classes in Italy are helping mothers and babies bond by keeping them attached to one another during exercise.The practise, known as baby wearing dance, helps both mum and baby release and share feel-good hormonesSTORY-LINEDance teacher, Elena Alessandra Zo is getting ready for her weekly class in Asti, a small city in northwestern Italy. With her long hair pulled back, Zo puts her ballet shoes on and carefully straps her daughter Dorotea to her chest with a fabric wrap.'Baby wearing dance' is an off-shoot of the baby wearing practice: it involves keeping a child close to a an adult's body (generally a parent or a caregiver) with the help of a baby carrier. Zo, who started to dance at the age of five and has been teaching it for 12 years, explains what the practice involves. "Baby wearing dance means dancing while carrying one's own child in an ergonomic fashion. One can use not only wraps but also mei tai (a type of baby carrier) or ergonomic pouches. They're all supports that allow mothers to dance safely", she says.As the mothers practice their dance moves, their children are gently rocked and often fall asleep. Zo's class - appropriately named "Cuore a Cuore" ("Heart to Heart" in English) - is one of several that have recently sprung up in Italy. They also exist around the world, from the United States to Romania, India and Australia. Its fans say its success is down to the special bond it helps develop between mother and baby. . Zo says that during her class she watches mothers experiencing a whole range of raw feelings."I see them getting emotional, I see them passionate, I see them radiant. I see them experience a great variety of emotions. They themselves are amazed", she says.Antonella Gennatiempo is a psychologist and founder of "Scuola del Portare" (School of Carrying).Founded in 2006, "Scuola del Portare" is one of Italy's first schools for baby wearing consultants. Gennatiempo says baby wearing dance has unique benefits for both mother and baby:"Baby wearing dance allows her (the mother) to get together with other mothers who share the same needs. But above all, through the evocative power of music and dance, the mother produces a series of hormones that are essential to her well-being, such as oxytocin. (The hormones) are then transmitted to her child. A happy mother who's wearing her child and who's dancing in a state of well-being passes this all to her own baby", she says.Heart to Heart's classes are two-fold: they combine body expression with some modern dance moves. Other variations of baby wearing dance around the world include jazz, oriental, Latin-American and belly dancing, to name just a few.But Zo warns the dance moves need to be chosen carefully for the safety of mother and child. Baby wearing dance shouldn't include moves such as jumps and pirouettes that could make mothers dizzy and cause them to fall over.She says a physiotherapist or obstetrician should approve the dance moves to make sure they are compatible with the mothers' post birth recovery.Many mothers who attend Zo's class already practice baby wearing. Student Egle Chiesa credits baby wearing dance for allowing her to strengthen her bond with her daughter Giada who was born premature. "Dance is a passion of mine and sharing it with my daughter is beautiful, something I've always wanted to do", she says.Another student, Sonia Profita, explains how baby wearing dance effects her:. "I feel his heart beat, he feels my heart beat. I'm moved every time I feel him so close, every time I put him inside (the wrap). It's incredible that no matter what discomfort the baby has he calms down once he's inside (the pouch)", she says.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4084123 4a684106d209b56565f8c71046829c00 HZ Italy Baby Dance Italy Western Europe Arts and entertainment Health Lifestyle Social affairs
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