For Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum
Prenatal and postpartum services are the heart of my practice. Honoring the changes in a mother's body throughout pregnancy and easing her body through the postpartum period are important aspects of nurturing the mother.
"Melissa played a very important part in my pregnancy and labor— her unique skills and kind spirit filled a special role in helping me cope with pregnancy discomforts and in feeling safe emotionally throughout my transition to motherhood. As a birth doula myself I know the importance of body work to help as the body adjusts to the major change of carrying another person and I also believe it is important to line up a trusted birth team from the start. So I sought Melissa early in my pregnancy, partly because of her training with Spinning Babies techniques, and saw her on and off until I gave birth. She has a magical way of connecting with the body. All other forms of body work I’ve had (massage, chiropractic, myofascial) are more intrusive in nature, but Melissa has a way of easing tension out of your body and in the process helping you tune-in to your own needs and strengths. I always left her office (or she left my home) with a greater sense of confidence in my own instincts. This can’t be over-emphasized. Her work is about empowering, if you are open to it."
"Melissa came to my home in early labor and helped ease the excruciating back pain that I had developed along with contractions. After several days of start and stop labor and little progress in dilation she came to the hospital and worked on me right there in the hospital bed. To this day I credit her for helping me finish the work of dilating when even an epidural and hours of pitocin didn’t do the trick.
I highly recommend her services as an important part of holistic prenatal care and as a compliment to midwifery or doula support during labor and birth."
Prenatal massage is an important part of preparing for birth. Not only does an expectant mother need to be nurtured, she also may wish to address pelvic tissue restrictions that can affect her experience of pain or discomfort during pregnancy and influence her baby's position in utero. During a prenatal massage we focus on creating space in the pelvis, easing stress on the body and calming the spirit.
Postpartum massage can begin as soon as a mother wants to have a massage after the birth of her baby. Abdominal massage can begin six weeks after a vaginal birth and twelve weeks after a cesarean birth. Gentle, therapeutic massage can help bring balance back to the mother, support breastfeeding, decrease anxiety and assist in rebalancing hormones.
Massage for Labor and Immediate Postpartum
When is it appropriate to plan to have a professional massage during your labor?
• You have a long pre-labor that interferes with your ability to
rest as your baby rotates and descends into the pelvis
• You have an early labor that stops and starts
• Your water has broken and contractions haven't started
• You are in early labor and want support in resting prior to a
more active labor
• You want additional support to find your labor rhythm once
admitted to the hospital
• Before an induction
• Before and after a scheduled cesarean birth
• If support is needed after a difficult birth
Dancing for Birth™
Shake, shimmy and sway your way through pregnancy, birth and postpartum. These classes are part dance, part childbirth/postpartum education and lots of community support within a vibrant dance circle.
Dancing for Birth Mini-Series
Tuesdays, October 23rd through November 13th
Doors open at 5:45, class runs from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Stay and visit until 7:30
Registration required. Please contact Melissa to hold your space.
New to Dancing for Birth? Try your first class for free!
For more information about Dancing for Birth classes and instructor training visit www.dancingforbirth.com.
Shimmy Escape! is for women who have participated in Dancing for Birth classes in the past and would like to enjoy a monthly dance circle. Please message Melissa to hold your space. Cost: $10
October 27th, 4:30 to 6:00
November 17th, 4:00 to 5:30
December 15th 4:00 to 5:30
VBAC and CBAC Support
"Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) is a reasonable and appropriate choice for most women with one prior cesarean and for some women with two prior cesareans." American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
"VBAC is a reasonable and safe choice for the majority of women with prior cesarean." National Institutes of Health
Anticipating a birth after a cesarean birth can be difficult and the choice to plan for a vaginal birth or a scheduled cesarean is a personal one. I am happy to meet with women who wish to process their births and discover resources that will support their desired birth experience. A majority of popular culture will support a mother's fears about VBAC. As an empowered birth advocate, I will hear your story, your desires and concerns. If you choose to work with me throughout your pregnancy as you prepare for a VBAC, I will help you turn over every stone so you can plan a normal, physiological birth experience and keep an open heart to the possibilities of medical intervention if necessary.
For more information about the safety of VBAC go to www.VBACFACTS.com.