“Last January, I was called in to help a client who was going into labor with her first daughter. When we met months earlier, the mom-to-be had told me how nervous and anxious she was about going into labor. I knew from the start that this would be an extra-sensitive case.

When I arrived to the hospital, she was already in the midst of excruciating labor pains. This meant I had to snap into action—fast. Instead of resorting to additional medication or a C-section, I suggested that my patient and her husband dance the bachata, a couple’s dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. They both looked at me like I had five heads, but I explained that keeping her in motion would act as a natural pain reliever from the contractions.

While the method of dancing in labor is certainly not conventional, it does help pass the time and proved, in her case, to relieve the pain. More importantly, it fosters a more holistic birth by keeping stress to a minimum. The parents welcomed a healthy, happy baby girl who will most likely come to love Spanish music—once she learns to walk.” —Nyra Zaracho, Doula with Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia

Read more of these stories here at womenshealthmag.com