Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nurturing the Mother - Certification in Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery, Post partum, and Infant Massage

I have always been fascinated in pregnancy, and the miracle that our bodies are capable of, and the process of how a baby enters this world. Our bodies are amazing, miraculous, and so capable.The key is to be in tune with our bodies, to listen, and be enabled to conquer the pain. Touch is very powerful. The right touch can be the ultimate healer, more powerful then any drug. It can be the difference between life and death.Truthfully, we cannot live without touch. No drug can substitute it. I see dramatic, real life changes in my client's quality of life every day, and they are healthier inside and out. It only makes sense to use massage during the most physically challenging and changing thing we will ever go through. 

On a physiological level, our bodies change so drastically so quickly as we go through the process of bringing a baby here, that it is no wonder we are met with a variety of aches and pains, and that our bodies can feel foreign to us. Our ligaments, joints, muscles an skin are all being pulled and stretched and strained, and we experience an imbalance between them all. It is important to help the body transition, and relax, and strengthen what is weak and tired so that we can relieve the pain caused from the imbalance. 

There are so many, many benefits to receiving massage not only during pregnancy, but during labor and postpartum, and I cannot wait to learn in depth all the ways I can do this for my pregnant clients. I distinctly remember being in labor with my first, and in complete awe at how intense the pain was. I felt out of control, and not prepared. It was overwhelming. But I remember my nurse coming over, and during a contraction she came and pushed on my knees very hard, down into the bed while they were bent and my knee caps were pointing to the ceiling. I couldn't believe how much that one move alleviated the pain in my back and hips during that contraction, and I knew I wanted to learn more. I was so content with just getting an epidural, and I figured that I would just have to go through a little labor before that, so I didn't really plan on learning all the techniques to cope with labor. But it turned out that I was in heavy labor for 12 hours before I was able to get my epidural, and wished I knew more about what I could do to alleviate the pain, and cope. 

When I was pregnant the second time, I researched all about labor techniques, doulas, and midwives. I knew there was so much more I could benefit from and learn, rather than just going into the hospital and expecting it to be easy as pie. I still felt I would probably end up getting an epidural, but I knew that there was an awful lot of labor you normally go through before it, so this time I wanted to be prepared, and in tune with my body. 

Unfortunately, I had no choice but to have a C section because of Vasa Previa at 35 weeks. But I remember feeling so nervous that morning, and during the surgery, I was starting to get so anxious. The anesthesiologist did something so simple, but made a huge difference. He was right at the top of my head, and he noticed I was feeling a little shaky, so he started to gently rub my head. I immediately felt better. Such a simple thing, but so powerful. Touch IS powerful! 

I can't wait to learn so much more, and I can't wait to be prepared to facilitate healing, calming pain relief, and promote healthier pregnancies  and deliveries!!! If you are expecting, or know someone that is any time after June 8th and might be interested in learning more, please let me know!! Here is a list of the benefits:

Pregnancy Massage

  • Helps relieve nausea
  • Increases circulation
  • Increases flow of nutrients to placenta
  • Aids in postural realignment
  • Gives relief to joint discomfort
  • Relieves minor edema by aiding venous return
  • Opens chest for deeper breath and supports learning deep breathing
  • Fetus receives gentle massage and relaxation benefits
  • Teaches awareness of body tension patterns

Labor Support Massage

May be performed by a massage therapist, a birth partner or doula. Techniques will include:
  • Relazation strokes
  • Jaw release techniques
  • Lower back pain compression
  • And movements with massage, such as squatting and pressure points
  • Massage has been shown to reduce labor time, labor pain, and even technical intervention

Postpartum Massage

Massage in the postpartum period helps bring the body into it’s pre-pregnancy alignment. A massage within the first week of postpartum feels wonderful. It flushes lactic acid out of the tissues relieveing sore and achy muscles.
  • It supports and enhances the realigning process, with a focus on the pelvis and ribs
  • Assists breast feeding, alleviating tightness, helps with some breastfeeding difficulties
  • Aids in the process of the uterus returning to its normal size
  • Release shoulder, neck, and arm tension from the care and feeding of and infant
  • Helps relieve tension from the birth process
  • Helps the mother regain vital energy (chi) to help reduce fatigue
  • Supports fluid balancing
  • Encourages pelvic and abdominal organs to return to the pre-pregnant positons

Infant & Newborn Massage

  • Aids in the bonding process between parent and child
  • Increases communication skills through touch
  • Alleviates digestive discomfort (colic)
  • Supports the growth of nerve pathways
  • Enhances sleep