Nurturing Hands Birth Doula

and Massage Therapy Services

Wouldn't it be wonderful if women could emerge from their births feeling a sense of strength and power?  

I truly believe all women deserve to be supported and nurtured throughout their pregnancy and birth.  Birth does not have to be a scary or negative experience, it should be beautiful and empowering and leave you with a memory to cherish for a lifetime!

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Birth Doula

My goal is to assist you, emotionally and physically, in having the most positive birth experience possible.  My focus is on you and doing what I can do ensure you feel supported every step of the way!

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Birth Photography

I am not a professional photographer but as with everything birth related, I enjoy taking photos of my clients special moments!

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Massage Therapy

There are so many benefit to prenatal massage, you are creating life, you deserve to have a pain free and well balanced body while doing so!  Although I specialize in prenatal treatments, I also offer Deep Tissue and Energy work!

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So, what exactly is a Doula?

A birth doula is a trained and experienced labor and delivery support aide who provides the mom to be and her partner continuous support in all aspects; be it emotional, physical, or informational.  A Doula also obtains information before, during and after childbirth to ensure a positive experience for all involved.  

A Doula recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life.  She understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a birthing woman.  A Doula assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.  She stays by the side of the birthing woman throughout the entire birth process.  A Doula provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make informed decisions.  She facilitates communication between the birthing woman, her partner, and clinical care providers.  A Doula physically and emotionally supports the partner so that the partner can better support the birthing woman.  She perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.  

While a Doula is not a nurse she is a constant presence when medical professionals leave the room.  She understands the birth process.  When birthing women feel safe and secure, birth progresses.  The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers, partners, and infants!  Studies have shown that having a doula present results in 50% less C-sections, 40% less forceps deliveries, 25% shorter labors, 60% less requests for epidurals, 40% less use of ocytocin, better mother infant bonding, 30% less analgesia use and a reduction in postpartum depression.  

Doulas are often confused with midwives, however they serve very different roles.  A midwife performs clinical tasks, she provides medical care during pregnancy, does diagnostic and screening tests and catches the baby.  Basically a midwife does everything an OB does except surgical tasks.  Whereas a Doula does not catch babies, she provides non-medical skills such as 24 hour informational support during pregnancy and postpartum, positioning suggestions during labor and birth, clarifying explanations of medical procedures, massage and other non-medical pain relief measures, reassurance, help with breastfeeding preparation and beginnings, and most importantly a constant nurturing helpful and objective support as well as first-hand knowledge and understanding of what the laboring woman is going through.  Both midwives and doulas attend home births.  However, most of the doula's work is done for couples having a hospital birth.  She comes to the home in early labor and then follows the couple to their birthing place.  

A Doula's presence strengthens the partners role.  Pressure to know how to help the birthing woman is removed, the doula anticipates the physical and emotional needs of the laboring woman as labor progresses, and helps the partner to better help the woman during this trying time.    

A Doula assisted birth is often more intimate than one without a Doula.  Early labor can take place comfortably at home.  Dim lighting, soothing music, warm water, and relaxation all are encouraged by the Doula who captures these moments on camera (if requested), and records events to create a birth story to treasure always.  The emotional bond and sense of connection between mother and partner is important, and the doula knows when to stay in the background when the couple is doing well and when to jump in and offer guidance, such as position changes and breathing variations as labor progresses.  When the stress of what to do and when to do it is taken away, both mother and partner can really focus on each other.  

A Doula never imposes her own beliefs onto the birthing woman.  The Doula's true agenda is to help ensure that the woman's birth plan is acknowledged and followed as much as possible as well as ensuring the birthing woman is respected and honoured throughout.  The doula may in fact think about the birth plan more than the couple especially when labor intensifies.  A Doula helps with decision-making by asking questions that will ensure that the right information is given to the woman and her partner so that they can make an informed decision.  She may also suggest alternatives for the couple to consider, she does not make decisions for the couple.  

Why should I get a massage when I'm pregnant?

There are many benefits to prenatal massage!  Your body is working so hard creating life, it only makes sense that there would be extra aches and pains.  On top of generally relaxing muscles prenatal massage creates tranquil relaxation and reduces stress.  It will give you relief from muscles cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain; especially in the lower back, hips, neck, and legs.  Prenatal massage reduces headaches and increases blood and lymph circulation which can reduce swelling.  Easing the muscles tension reduces stress put on weight bearing joints.  It enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues, provides support for the new mother with physical and emotional strains of pregnancy.  Prenatal massage also encourages better sleep and is very rejuvenating due to the ability to lay down and actually relax!

Why does my infant need to be massaged?

Infant massage is incredibly beneficial for new babies.  It helps to relieve discomfort from gas, colic, and constipation.  It improves blood circulation, aids in digestion, enhances development of the nervous system, stimulates neurological development, heightens awareness, and improves immune function.  During infant massage oxytocin is released which is the nurturing, love, bonding hormone.  It reduces levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone.  Infant massage fosters love, compassion and respect, it promotes relaxation and helps babies self-regulate calm.  It helps to normalize muscle tone, helps baby sleep deeper and more calmly while increases parent infant bonding.  Massage sparks the neurons in the infants brains to grow and branch out to encompass other neurons!