TRIMESTERS Massage Therapy Education

The Power of Birth

This article originally appeared in Massage Therapy Canada, Summer 2003 issue.

Reproduced with permission.

by Cindy McNeely, M.T., co-founder of Trimesters

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The ultimate luxury of our Massage Therapy profession is the factor of time. To spend an hour or an hour and a half with each client every visit, sometimes weekly, sometimes bimonthly, or in the early stages of pregnancy perhaps once a month, gives the M.T. the opportunity to explore each woman’s pregnancy with an intimacy that she often does not have with anyone other than her partner – certainly most often with more connection than she does with her primary healthcare provider whether obstetrician, physician, or midwife.

The confidence and comfort that we bring to each treatment, ensures that our clients are able to grow with their changing body in ways that prepare them for their upcoming birth. We hold a great responsibility in our hands to nurture our clients at this time of great strength and vulnerability.

Pregnant clients are incredibly educated these days. Not content to passively ‘lie in wait’ for the big day, women are reading from the mass of pregnancy material on the market, taking prenatal exercise classes which include but are not limited to yoga, aquafit, and belly dancing. They are receiving bodywork in Massage Therapy, Shiatsu, Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, to name a few. They attend prenatal classes, hypnobirthing preparation, massage preparation for birth. They find information and M.T.’s by exploring the internet.They actively consult others regarding who they will choose as their primary careprovider, where they want to give birth, and who they want to be present during their birthing process. Women are knowledgeable consumers who want the best for their babies and themselves.

Imagine having a career where one is inspired by the enormous responsibity of helping women and their families succeed in having happy and healthy birthing experiences through the provision of Massage Therapy. This would summarize the role of the Massage Therapist in attending births.

Many people are still unfamiliar with the word ‘Doula’ – indeed even some Doula’s wish the term was more self-explanatory. For purposes of clarity, this article will use Labour Support Provider and Doula as interchangeable titles to the same role. page