Massage for Mothers

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Massage offered through Turtle Moon Doulas is informed by Melanie’s felt-sense as a woman, a mother and 20+ years of supporting and loving women and their families through the transformation of the childbearing year. Her intuitive touch and grounded presence not only alleviate the aches & discomforts of pregnancy, but also calms during labor and restores during postpartum and beyond.

Prenatal Massage

For women whose bodies are doing the profound work of gestating another human, massage provides a comforting, calming touch and enhances the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and baby.  

Regular prenatal massage has been shown to decrease depression & anxiety, elevate mood and foster feelings of well-being.  Massage has also been shown to reduce nausea, fatigue, improve sleep and address several pregnancy related ailments such as digestive issues, headaches, swelling, leg cramps.  As with any other type of massage, it noticeably relieves muscular tension and stress on weight bearing joints. Less commonly known, regular prenatal massage can improve body awareness as women prepare for birth can can also contribute to shorter labors with fewer complications.

To provide optimal safety and care when in your 2nd or 3rd trimester, prenatal massage is given in a side-lying position. This positioning maximizes maternal cardiac function, reduces uterine ligament strain, avoids sinus congestion and reduces intrauterine pressure.  Special pillows and bolsters are used to allow maximum comfort and support during massage.  Prenatal massage consists of light pressure on the legs, and anything from light to moderate or deep pressure on the hips, back and neck. 

Labor Encouragement

While we hope labor begins spontaneously when baby is ready, sometimes things don't seem to be happening or maybe your labor has started and contractions aren't as consistent or as effective as they could be.  It's also possible you are facing potential medical induction or loss of the home birth option as you near the 42 week mark.  Encouraging a labor naturally is perhaps one of the most enjoyable ways to move labor along.  

This session is a combination of Swedish massage, acupressure and aromatherapy to hopefully encourage labor to move along in the desired direction.  This massage can be started as soon as your provider deems it safe to begin other natural methods to induce labor, usually AFTER 39 weeks, although Melanie recommends waiting the full 40 weeks before pursuing this massage.  Please note, the effectiveness of massage for induction depends on several factors and results can vary person to person and even pregnancy to pregnancy for the same person.  

Because this session works with the autonomic nervous system, circadian rhythms and the inherent wisdom of the animal body it is most effective if scheduled at least an hour after eating your evening meal and after nightfall.

Postpartum Massage

Postpartum massage helps address muscle tension & pain held over from labor and birth, upper back issues from breastfeeding and speeds all around recovery from birth. Melanie comes to your home to offer this massage.  If desired, newborns up to eight weeks old can be sweetly tucked in with mom on the table. This session is scheduled for 90 minutes, but comes to about 75 minutes of memorable, restorative and comforting hands on massage (time added for baby soothing). 

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