Movement Through Parenthood

Using movement and dance to make a strong connection with your child during pregnancy


Movement Through Motherhood is a research study approved by Colorado State University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) in which we enroll pregnant birthing persons, and assign them to either a dance intervention inspired by EA (as described by this site) or a Control group. Please contact us if you would like more information or you think you may be interested. We work with any pregnant birthing person in the US. The only reason we are not working with those outside the US is the time difference, as some of the sessions involve a group of mothers. Here is a promotional video that will help you “see” at a glance what we do in the program.

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PROCEDURES TO BE USED: Families will be enrolled, between the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy. All participants (pregnant persons) will be administered “pretest” assessments when they are enrolled and these are administered again as “posttest” assessments. After completion of the pretest questionnaires, participants are randomly assigned to the dance arm or to the control arm. The timeframe between the start and end of project is approximately 4-6 weeks for each participant.

Pretest assessments (all participants)

Once a group of pregnant persons have completed and returned their consent forms, all participants individually complete written pretest questionnaires via Qualtrics (estimate: 30 minutes), followed by individually filmed prenatal observations via zoom (estimate: 15 mins). During this zoom session, the participant is asked to respond to four short questions about their baby, thoughts, and feelings. The video may be viewed and discussed with the participant.

#1: If the participant is randomly assigned to the Dance Intervention

The intervention includes two movement sessions via zoom as well as homework.

Session 1 introduces movement activities aimed to increase emotional availability (EA) and attachment to the baby. Prompts frequently ask pregnant persons to focus on baby’s feelings and express them in gestures (estimate 1 ½ hours).

As homework, participants of the dance intervention receive pregnancy worksheets with questions about their experiences of attachment with the family of origin, emotional availability in current relationships, and familiar movement prompts. Participants are encouraged to also involve a support person in responding to these pregnancy worksheet questions. Video links are provided of facilitators leading specific dance activities from Session 1 which participants will revisit in connection with the workbook (estimate 1 hour).

Check-in phone calls from a facilitator may occur between dance sessions during which homework progress is discussed (estimate 15 minutes).

Session 2 involves pregnant persons participating in movement activities and working with facilitators to create a short dance piece. Dances are performed, interpreted, and discussed. Participant are invited to reflect and give feedback about the intervention (estimate 1 ½ hours).

#2: If the participant is randomly assigned to the Control group

The control group does not receive the dance intervention as described above, but they do participate in the pretest and posttest assessments (as described above and in the next section). Those in the control group also are provided with reading materials and email check ins. After their posttest assessments are completed, control group participants may request access to pregnancy worksheets and video tutorials of the movement activities used in the dance sessions.

Posttest assessments (all participants)

All participants complete the same questionnaires via Qualtrics and are filmed for their prenatal EA observations/discussion that were completed at pretest.

All sessions are filmed via zoom.