Pregnancy & Childbirth

Pregnancy & ChildbirthPre & Peri-natal, Postpartum & Infant Massage

Pregnancy, or pre-natal massage, is specifically tailored for the expectant mother’s needs, and can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus.   It helps prepare the mother’s body to cope with the demands of labor and delivery.

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® are very supportive of the physical changes experienced by women during pregnancy.  As the baby and uterus grow, additional strain is put on the uterine ligaments, pelvic floor muscles and pelvic ligaments.  With regular Arvigo® prenatal massage, the uterus stays well-positioned, receives good blood supply, and grows strong and resilient.  Arvigo® prenatal massage helps normalize pelvic alignment which guides the uterus into a more neutral position – helping to relieve pregnancy discomforts for the mother-to-be and to allow for optimal fetal positioning of baby before labor.  Digestion is also improved.  Pregnant women are also taught how to do a special self care abdominal massage routine so that they can continue their therapy at home while relaxing and connecting deeper with their body and growing baby.  The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® can safely be performed on pregnant women starting in early pregnancy.

Massage can be a great tool to help a mother during labor. Skilled, appropriate touch facilitates labor, shortening labor times and easing pain and anxiety.  During labor, many women experience intense lower back pain. Massage which focuses on the lower back, and counterpressure are extremely helpful in providing pain relief, allowing the mother to focus on maintaining her composure and ability to utilize breathing techniques.

Postpartum massage helps to realign the spine, restore the abdomen, soothe sore muscles and relax the new mother – all which help her to bond with and care for her infant.  Many doctors and midwives are recommending prenatal, labor and postpartum massage as part of a well-rounded prenatal regimen.

The benefits of massage during pregnancy are well documented and researched — women who receive regular massage by a certified pre-natal massage therapist are typically more relaxed with less depression and anxiety, have less swelling, less muscle tension, and less leg, back and hip pain.  Women who received massage experienced significantly less pain during labor, and their labors were shown to be on average 3 hours shorter with less need for medication.

Most  new parents are sleep deprived. Did you know one of the best benefits for regular infant massage with your baby is deeper more restful sleep?  The other great benefit is to help smooth out those fussy and gassy episodes as your baby’s digestive system gets used to life on the outside.   Infant massage is particularly good for fussy or gassy babies, even those with colic, because it can help with digestion and forces gas out of the stomach. What’s more, researchers are finding that babies who receive regular massage often have better muscle tone, coordination and cognition thanks to stimulation of the nervous system. Circulation is improved, and sleep is more restful. A baby’s immune function may also get a boost from the stimulation of the skin. And finally, most importantly, parents and their baby get a unique chance to bond.

Infant massage is simple, easy to learn, and fun.   Instructive in-home sessions are available and can be scheduled by request.

Read more on the supportive research documenting the benefits of pre and peri natal, postpartum and infant massage at  Expert Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010.

Birth Doula Services

The word doula  originates from the Ancient Greek word δούλη meaning women’s servant. Women have been serving other women in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman has a positive impact on the labor process.

A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical and informational support to the mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.

Given my background in scientific research, I am always compelled to share research studies with my clients.  If you would like to know more about the role of a birth doula and what the research states about the birth doula’s contribution towards the modern birthing experience, read this position paper published by DONA International (the Doula certifying organization).

What I offer as a DONA certified birth doula:

  • An initial complimentary consultation and interview
  • 2 Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® prenatal massage sessions including prenatal consultation  –  I will teach you the Arvigo® pregnancy self care massage routine which will help you maintain a balanced uterus as your baby grows.
  • Unlimited pre and peri natal/postpartum email and phone support
  • Resource lending library of books, cds and dvds
  • A prenatal visit in your home that includes a “Massage for the Expecting Couple” hands-on instruction session
  • Assistance with preparing your “Birth Preferences & Newborn Care Plan”
  • Available to you 24/7 on call from 38 weeks until your birth
  • Backup support if needed, in the event of my illness or injury
  • Support for home, Women’s Birth & Wellness Center, and hospital births
  • Initial lactation support
  • Newborn CranioSacral therapy session
  • A postpartum at home visit including your postpartum massage and instruction on infant massage

 

My birth doula services are integrated with pregnancy and postpartum massage and I do not offer standalone doula services without therapeutic massage.  Kindly contact me directly for pricing specifics.


After trying to conceive for a year with a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”, we went to see Donna for a Fertility Massage session in an effort to relax and reconnect as a couple.  Her gentle and caring personality put us at ease, and we felt encouraged to practice the fertility massage techniques at home.  We were also inspired by what we learned during the session to improve our diets and take better care of ourselves.   Perhaps most importantly, my husband felt more a part of the process, and I felt less alone in our attempt to conceive.   Later that same month we found out I was pregnant!  We are so grateful to Donna for her guidance and care and would happily recommend her to anyone searching for a natural, healthy approach to fertility.  Thank you for the work you did with us.  It was truly a wonderful experience.

J.M.

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My name is Donna Zubrod and I look forward to hearing from you!


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