Bodywork for the Childbearing Year

Multi-session Joy of Motherhood Packages are available for a reduced per-session rate. Please ask for a package customized for your needs.

 

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Prenatal Massage

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Some of the benefits of massage therapy and bodywork in pregnancy include: relaxation and stress reduction; immune system enhancement; increased blood and lymph circulation; reduction of leg edema; relief of muscle spasms and myofascial pain; reduction of strain and dysfunction in weight-bearing joints and myofascial structures; development of sensory awareness to prepare for the experience of labor; and enhancement of a mother’s ability to touch her own baby lovingly. Prenatal massage also lower blood pressure; since elevated blood pressure is a marker of potential complications in pregnancy, this intervention can provide substantial benefit for women who are at risk. Prenatal massage delivered with a nurturing touch can lower circulating levels of cortisol and norepinephrine, increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, and measurably affect a pregnant woman’s anxiety and depression. Research has reported that the decrease in stress hormone production after massage lasts as long as two weeks. Regular prenatal massage supports a woman in carrying multiples closer to term. Gentle lymphatic drainage in the third trimester relieves symptoms of edema, and heaviness in the legs and feet.

Prenatal massage can begin in your 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Although massage is very safe during pregnancy, a high-risk pregnancy will require release from your doctor or midwife.

Labor Support

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Many pregnant women are aware of the existence of doulas, or specially trained birth attendants. You may not know that there are massage therapists trained as both labor assistants and touch therapists, who can provide sophisticated and skilled touch support and intervention during labor. You’ve worked hard to create a beautiful little person for the last 9 months. Now is the time to experience a birth filled with joy, excitement, and calm determination!

Labor massage is useful to women having unmedicated or medicated births. Labor progress is significantly impacted by a mother’s psychological state of fear, pain or anxiety. A relaxed mother has a faster, less complicated delivery, with improved labor outcomes and less pain!  Labor support work includes focused touch and specific techniques which reduce pain perception, stimulate productive labor contractions, and provide emotional support in a time of transition. The benefits of massage during labor extend to your baby. Your relaxation gifts your infant with better Apgar scores, lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and higher levels of serotonin and dopamine (love and happiness hormones). Relaxed babies cry and fuss less and perform better on such measures of infant development as the Brazelton scale.

Rates vary by contract. We will discuss your birth plan and the type of support you desire, talk about what you can expect from labor support, and complete some simple paperwork.

READ MORE ABOUT LABOR SUPPORT HERE

Post-Partum Massage

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Postpartum massage in the hospital setting provides relief of low back or pelvic pain, relief of the pain of spinal headache caused by epidural anesthesia, relief of reflex shoulder pain after C-section, general relaxation, and sleep promotion. The presence of the massage therapist can be a tactful way for the new family to usher out family and friends who have stayed too long! Post-partum massage can continue for several months after your birth experience until your complaints have been fully addressed and your body is restored.

Massage therapy can facilitate recovery from birth trauma, especially if the birth was physically or emotionally stressful, through enhanced circulation and lymphatic drainage. Massage can alleviate muscle strain or soreness that may have been caused by labor. There are specific non-invasive techniques, support measures, and exercise that can help women heal more quickly from episiotomy or tearing, hemorrhoids, and bladder disorders. Specific bodywork techniques and exercise can address the skin, connective tissue, and muscles of the abdomen to restore the elasticity and tone of the abdomen. Because pregnancy changes a woman’s center of gravity, her proprioceptors need to be re-set to enable her to regain appropriate posture. She also needs to re-learn how to use certain weight bearing muscles. Post partum bodywork also gives women the opportunity to process the birth experience, especially if there were complications or challenges during labor. The physical demands of caring for a newborn- feeding, diapering, changing, walking, and transferring to and from car seats, strollers, and beds- can provoke neck, upper back and lumbar muscle and joint strain. Massage therapy can provide relief and rest, aiding your healing and eliminating many sources of discomfort and stress.

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