|Congratulations on your pregnancy and, even more for making the decision to explore healthy options for your journey into birthing! We are excited to offer several birth-related services for women in all stages of pregnancy and postpartum! Please use the Contact Us page if you have questions, or would like to know more about how we can help support you on this Sacred Journey of Motherhood!
Pregnancy to Postpartum Massage
Growing a baby is a lot of work (not to mention all of the rest of life that’s happening simultaneously)! That’s why I’ve created this massage package for mothers! Four massages that take you through each trimester.
Did you know that the postpartum period is often referred to as the fourth trimester? Prenatal massage is pretty well-known for helping mothers with the transitions in her body (particularly hips and low back), but the postpartum period is perhaps an even more intense transition. Think of all the changes that occur within a mother during the nine(ish) months of pregnancy…then all of a sudden within a few hours everything changes FAST! Now her body and hormones are in constant flux while she’s taking care of a new life. Talk about intense!! Can you relate?
This massage package is specially designed to address all the changes that occur in each stage of pregnancy and postpartum so mamas feel nurtured and supported in the most important work of growing and nurturing their babies! It’s also discounted — $260 for 3 prenatal and 1 postpartum massage sessions ($300 value).
Nurturing the Pregnant Couple Workshop
A beautiful workshop that supports the Mother and her partner by offering sacred space for bonding, childbirth preparation, and self-care practices. (Click here for more information.)
Childbirth Preparation Classes
Are you seeking to have a “natural” birth? These classes are designed to educate mothers (and partners) about:
If you are interested in attending Birth Preparation Classes, contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
Birth Planning & Mentoring
One-on-one planning/coaching sessions to personalize your birth and empower you in standing by the choices you feel are best for your baby and your family. Schedule your session by clicking the button below.
Placenta encapsulation is the process of preparing the mother’s placenta after the birth of her baby(ies) (by separating the membranes and umbilical cord from the placenta and rinsing and draining maternal and fetal blood) and dehydrating it to then be ground and placed into capsules for the mother to ingest as she sees fit. The ingestion of the placenta is known as “placentophagy.” The purpose of placentophagy by the mother is to reintroduce the beneficial vitamins, minerals, hormones, proteins, and other nutrients to her body following labor and birth to help restore a more balanced body function, prevent “baby blues” and the more serious postpartum depression, increase breast-milk production, shorten healing time, increase maternal energy levels, and provide an over-all feeling of wellness to aid in the transition between pregnancy and the early postpartum period in the woman who has just given birth.
To find out more about encapsulating your placenta with Sacred Space Healing Arts, please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
What is a Doula?
Also known as a labor assistant, a doula provides emotional and physical support for the laboring woman and her partner. A doula is trained to understand the natural process of birth, in all its aspects, for the purpose of facilitating the best birth experience for parents, baby, and primary care providers.
During pregnancy, a doula can be a wonderful resource, providing a well-rounded, informed perspective on the many choices a mother-to-be has before her.
During labor, a doula is an advocate for mom’s birth plan, a friend, and a coach. We offer massage, breathing and meditative techniques to calm, and physical positioning to bring more ease.
Whatever your birth choices — whether you will be laboring in the hospital, a tub, your home, or a birthing center, we can help make your birth a more conscious, empowering experience.
Why have a doula?
Numerous studies have revealed the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, revealed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. When a doula was present, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience. (Hodnett ED. Gates S Hofmeyr GJ. Sakala C. Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.(3) CD003766, 2003.)
Other studies have shown that having a doula as part of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and the request for an epidural by 60%. (Klaus, M., Kennell, J., Klaus, P. Mothering the Mother.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993. )
Doulas often use the power of touch and massage to reduce stress and anxiety during labor. According to physicians Marshal Klaus and John Kennell, massage helps stimulate the production of natural oxytocin. The pituitary gland secretes natural oxytocin to the bloodstream which causes uterine contractions and also secretes it to the brain, which results in a feeling of well being, drowsiness and a raised pain threshold. Synthetic IV oxytocin cannot cross into the blood stream and brain, so it increases contractions without the positive psychological effects of natural oxytocin.
A Note to Dads, and Birth Partners
Having a doula at your birth will enhance the experience for you and the mother. It takes pressure off of you and the hospital or birth center staff to provide emotional support and know what is happening at all times. When a mother is in labor her senses are heightened and many times she feels what you are feeling. If you are worried and on edge she will feel that along with the worries she has. In order for her to feel confident and stay focused she needs that around her. This sense of calm and understanding for what is happening is just one of the huge benefits a doula can bring to your baby’s birth.
Today, a father’s participation in birth preparation classes or his presence at prenatal visits and in the delivery suite is a familiar occurrence. Yet, we sometimes forget that the expectations of his role as a “labor coach” may be difficult to fulfill. Sometimes it is also culturally inappropriate for an expectant father to be so intimately involved in the process of labor and birth.
The father-to-be is expected among other things to become familiar with the process and language of birth, to understand medical procedures and hospital protocols and advocate for his partner in an environment and culture he is usually unfamiliar with. A doula can provide the information on the spot to help parents make appropriate decisions and facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner and medical care providers.
At times a father may not understand a woman’s instinctive behavior during childbirth and may react anxiously to what a doula knows to be the normal process of birth. He may witness his partner in pain and understandably become distressed. The doula can be reassuring and skillfully help the mother to cope with labor pain in her unique way. Not all fathers can realistically be expected to “coach” at this intense level. Many fathers are eager to be involved during labor and birth. Others, no less loving or committed to their partner’s well being find it difficult to navigate in uncharted waters. With a doula, a father can share in the birth at a level he feels most comfortable with. The doula’s skills and knowledge can help him to feel more relaxed. If the father wants to provide physical comfort such as back massage, change of positions, and help his partner to stay focused during contractions, the doula can provide that guidance and make suggestions for what may work best.
Physicians, midwives and nurses are responsible for monitoring labor, assessing the medical condition of the mother and baby, and treating complications when they arise. But childbirth is also an emotional and spiritual experience with long-term impact on a woman’s personal well being. A doula is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives. By “mothering the mother” during childbirth the doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience. The benefits of doula care have been recognized worldwide. The Medical Leadership Council of Washington, D.C, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and the World Health Organization are among the many healthcare organizations that value the benefits that doulas provide to women in labor.
The father’s presence and loving support in childbirth is comforting and reassuring. The love he shares with the mother and his child, his needs to nurture and protect his family are priceless gifts that only he can provide. With her partner and a doula at birth a mother can have the best of both worlds: her partner’s loving care and attention and the doula’s expertise and guidance in childbirth.
If you’d like to set up a consultation to talk about how we can help empower, educate, and support you to have the birth you want, please fill out the form below.