One of the weirdest things about being a doula is living the on call lifestyle. Because we have to be ready to step out of our lives and be present for you in labor at short notice, we can be a little flakey with our other commitments. (My friends and family and massage clients are well-used to me hedging any commitment with the phrase, “But I’ll be on call, so I’ll be there if I’m not at a birth!”) Living life while on call is more involved than you might think. I’d love to share some information with you about what it means for me to be on call for your baby’s birth.Read More
Last week, I asked people on my Facebook page to choose which of three post topics I should write about next. Other than a vote for all three, the resounding winner was this question from Katherine Ferranti, LMT of Be Free Massage Therapy. And with good reason, because her question is just so good.
“Do doulas experience resistance from doctors when the patient is “high risk” (whether because of age or medically related). Or maybe [...] does a doula have different responsibilities or a different approach when a patient is high risk vs not high risk?”
— Katherine FerrantiRead More
Before I became a massage therapist, I was very uncomfortable with the idea of getting undressed to receive a massage, especially when I was getting medical massage at a doctor's office, where you were only given a bath towel for draping!
I think more people than many massage therapists realize avoid getting a massage strictly because they don't understand whether they have to get undressed or how much. So I'd like to clear this up, for my own practice at least!Read More
“Hey Emily, I have a question for you! My friend is having a baby soon and has asked me to be there when she gives birth. I have only witnessed one other birth (years ago) and I wondered if there was any thing you could suggest that I do to make my friend more comfortable during her delivery? Any tips are appreciated.”
— AnonymousRead More
In my experience, back labor adds an extra layer of intensity to the experience of labor. I've also talked to lots of mamas who chose to have an epidural (despite their plans for a natural or unmedicated birth) because they experienced a long period of back labor. So let's talk about:
1) the difference between a more usual contraction pattern and back labor,
2) why the Fear, Tension, Pain cycle is especially important, and
3) the most effective tools for getting pain relief
Along the way, I'll also talk about how your birth setting and team can affect your ability to manage back labor.Read More
A big concern I hear from lots of clients centers around whether a pregnant person can get massage at specific points in pregnancy. Often these questions center around an assumption that you can't get massage very early on in pregnancy OR that you can't get massage after some point in pregnancy. A lot of massage studios will not allow a pregnant client to get a massage in the first trimester, or in the later weeks of pregnancy, but I don't agree with this restriction.
And I want you to understand why I don't run my practice in the same way.Read More
Today's question comes from my fellow Swedish Institute graduate and New York City/New Paltz-based massage therapist Eowyn Levene who says:
“Love your Burning Questions idea for the blog, by the way! For some reason, a lot of people ask me doula questions. A big one is whether doulas have specific ideas of how a birth should go, or whether they are always ‘non-interventionist.’”
— Eowyn Levene, LMTRead More
Ever since I began my massage and doula practice over three years ago, whenever I'm at a party, I always end up in involved, passionate, sometimes even quite graphic discussions about birth, breastfeeding, and bodies. Birth stories are breathlessly recited, questions abound about how babies actually come out, confusion about friends' choices is revealed, and I'm all the time answering the question, "What's the difference between a midwife and a doula?"Read More