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Maternity Massage: The Benefits of Prenatal and Perinatal Touch

As midwives, it is important that we are able recommend supplementary care to make pregnancy and postpartum as comfortable as possible for the women we serve. In this piece, Carole Osborne, an internationally recognized maternity massage therapist and instructor, shares some of the benefits of prenatal and perinatal massage, and what makes this kind of care effective for mothers-to-be. She also gives direction for finding an effective maternity massage therapist for you to partner your midwifery care with.

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Maternity Massage Therapy - For Pregnant, Laboring and Postpartum Women

Maternity-massage therapy is one of the most personally rewarding and professionally satisfying massage therapy specializations. Maternity massage addresses the many needs of women throughout an entire childbearing cycle, rather than just during pregnancy. If you are considering entering the world of bellies roiling with life, labor's powerful groans and the sweetness of a mom embracing her newborn, you will need a sense of what this really entails.

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How to Network with Fertility Experts in the Medical Realm

Experienced perinatal massage therapists develop professional relationships with fertility treatment experts primarily in three methods: their patients, their staff members and through educational activities.

The easiest route to doctors, licensed acupuncturists, psychotherapists and other providers is through their patients. If you have a client undergoing fertility treatments, ask her to share the benefits she feels from your work with her doctor.

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Pregnancy Massage

The more we start to understand about the benefits of massage therapy, the more opportunity opens up for massage therapy professionals—in a wide variety of environments. When thinking about where you'd like to practice, having as much information about the options available can help you choose a work environment, or environments, that fit both your personal and professional goals. In the following, you'll find information ranging from what you can expect when working with pregnant women to the demands of working with women in labor to how you can market maternity massage. In this snapshot, you'll get an inside look at working with this demographic so you can make informed decisions about where you want to take your massage therapy career.

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Nurturing your Mind, Body & Spirit

As massage therapists, the amount of physical and emotional energy that we put out can be very demanding at times. We know we need to take the time to fuel the energy we so easily give away. Like many of you, it's a balance I've struggled to find in my 21 years as a massage therapist ... but I'm getting better.

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Health Maintenance: Preventative Care for Hands and Bodies

Carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and thoracic outlet syndrome are far too common in the bodywork profession. Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain shorten many a lucrative career, but most of this is preventable. This article will show you how with tips on body alignment, weight shift, joint protection, developing hand and core body strength, increasing body energy, and regular maintenance.

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Ah, What Relief! Deep Tissue Sculpting for Low-Back Pain

Therapists need a clear understanding of, and a straightforward approach to, addressing lumbar pain. This article will introduce you to using the gentle, but penetrating approach of deep-tissue sculpting, to using your ability to observe structural organization, and to directing your clients toward appropriate activities and self-care.

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The Pregnant Pelvis

This article overviews safe and effective ways for the massage therapist to address prenatal complaints originating from the spine and pelvis. Major topics include sources of peripartum pelvic pain, recommended modalities to address this common discomfort, and safety guidelines of pain and pressure level, positioning, blood clots, ligamental laxity, and complications of pregnancy.

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An Interview with Carole Osborne (BC Practitioner)

This 1998 interview with Carole offers insight into the history and development of her work and its context in the midwifery and research fields.

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Excerpts from "Exclusive Interview with Carole Osborne-Sheets (Massage Magazine)

This 1993 interview Carole reflects her work and life at about 17 years into her somatic career.

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Healing Touch for Adult Children of Alcoholics

Nurturing touch is a natural part of a healthy, functioning family unit; however, the children of alcoholic and other dysfunctional families often grow up experiencing primarily abusive touch, such as violent beatings, sexual abuse, and/or neglect, both physical and emotional. Therapeutic massage and bodywork can provide a safe context for healing from these types of early traumatic experiences. Although published in 1989, this article’s overview of somato-emotional integration still offers direction to today’s practitioners.

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Pediatric Massage (Linda Hickey)

Great fun and profound health benefits await the therapist working with toddlers and older children. This article will get your started with hints for positioning, pressure, technique with storytelling and parental involvement.

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Positioning Concerns for Prenatal Massage Therapy

The question most practitioners consider first when contemplating massaging pregnant women is how to accommodate that ripe belly. Safety, comfort and therapeutic effectiveness affect both prone and supine positions during pregnancy. These same considerations point favorably to working with expectant women while they lie on their side.

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Supporting Pregnancy with Massage Therapy

Nurturing touch during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period is not a new concept.  Cultural and anthropological studies reveal that massage and movement during the childbearing experience was and continues to be a prominent part of many cultures’ healthcare. Studies indicate that most of the more peaceful cultures use touch prominently during pregnancy and early childhood. Midwives, who for centuries have provided maternity care, have highly developed hands-on skills.

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Bodywork for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Traumatic birth experiences and sexual abuse assault a woman’s body as well as her emotions. When both tissues and feelings need to heal, bodyworkers and massage therapists can be ideal facilitators. They specialize in touch methodologies combined with education of their clients on the structure and function of the affected body parts. Their professional skills increase their clients’ awareness and understanding of the connection between their feeling states, memories, and physical experience.

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