Touch is an important nutrients in pregnancy, just like folate and protein!
Since you learned you were pregnant, how many times have you found your hands resting on your belly? Too many to count? Your instincts have already shown you that touch is a powerful way to be aware of your changing body and to connect with your growing baby. Soothing strokes flush the body with endorphins — hormones that can make you and your baby feel good physically and emotionally.
Pregnancy massage sessions focus on the special needs of a woman as her body experiences hormonal and physical changes. Each 60 minute session can help reduce the discomfort of muscles and joints strained during pregnancy, improve circulation and edema, relieve mental and physical fatigue, and enhance the "mind-body-baby" connection through a short 5 minute visualization exercise that can be practiced through pregnancy.
Infant massage is a great way for parents to touch and bond with their babies. This class provides step-by-step instructions for massage that can strengthen the connection between parents and infants, help infants relax, sleep better, and cry less.
Birthing Day Ready: Labor Partners in Birth
This session is for pregnant women and her support person (husband, partner, doula, mother, friend) and covers easy massage and breathing techniques, comfort measures, speific movements to faciliate birth as well as mind-body techniques for labor and beyond. By practicing positions using a birth ball, pillows, and chairs, and by learning how to move through emotional states by training your mind to be focused, calm, and attentive, you will be ready for your unique experience of birth. Session can be customized to fit your specific needs. You will get more from this session than most childbirth education classes offer on the topic.
Pregnancy and Labor Benefits
Studies show that massage during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period can:
• Promote the parasympathetic (relaxation) response.
• Relieve muscle spasms, cramps, and pain, especially in the back, neck, hips, and legs.
• Increase the circulation of blood and lymph, increasing cellular nutrition and reducing edema.
• Reduce strain on weight-bearing joints.
• Develop sensory/body awareness.
• Improve labor outcomes (e.g. shorter births, lower rates of prematurity).
• Promote postpartum restoration of abdominal muscles and weight-bearing muscles and joints.
• Support new mothers emotionally and physically.
Infant Massage Benefits
It is never too early or too late to begin massage! Whether your baby is a newborn or several years old, massage can bring immediate and lasting benefits. Evidence-based practice supports the use of infant massage. Several studies, most notably from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, reveal that infant massage can:
• Improve weight gain, particularly in pre-term infants.
• Improve the functioning of the circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems.
• Enhance immune system function.
• Reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
• Promote relaxation and helps babies self-regulate, and sleep deeper.
• Encourage pre-verbal communication between caregiver and infant.
• Provide the essential elements of parent-infant bonding and attachment: eye-to-eye contact, touch, voice, smell, movement, and thermal regulation.
• Help parents reconnect if/when they are separated from their children for extended periods.