Join us for Infant Massage & Movement Classes

Hi Friends, we have two upcoming Infant Massage & Movement Classes!

Thursday, April 20th 9:30-11am

Sunday, May 1st, 3-4:30pm

The cost is $20 and registration is required. Ideally for babies who are not yet crawling (but that's not a requirement!) Newborns are OK too as long as their umbilical cord stump has fallen off, and also as long as you are OK with them being around a small group of other babies.

You'll learn the basics of infant massage so you can start delivering focused, nurturing touch right away. This class is simple and straight-to-the-point, based on the idea that loving touch is a natural instinct for parents. With a little guidance, you'll learn how to best incorporate infant massage into your baby care routine.

For parent(s) and baby. We just roll with it... babies are unpredictable... so just come prepared for anything but MOSTLY to have a GREAT TIME!

Bring an extra blanket and a large soft towel. All other materials provided.

Call 801-706-7680 to register, or email info@SLCPrenatalMassage.com. Space is limited.

More classes in May and June coming up, including an Introduction to Baby Signing Time. Ask to be added to our list for more info!

 

 

A Mother's Day Gift She'll REALLY Appreciate!

Holy Mackerel, we have two super-cool gift certificate packages for Mother's Day.

Man, she is really gonna love this.

Check this out.

From now through Saturday, May 7th, 2011:

1) Purchase a $100 gift certificate for massage therapy services for Mother's Day,  and you'll also get the following fabulous goodies:

2) Purchase a $199 Gift Certificate and you'll get all this, PLUS your choice of ONE of the following items, FREE!

Quantities are limited! First come, first serve.

Call us at 801-706-7680 to purchase, or email info@SLCPrenatalMassage.com so we can assist you!

P.S. if your spouse/partner needs a little nudge, feel free to email their contact info to us and we'll happily give them a call to make sure you get what you want, mama!

 

Video: How to Sleep Comfortably During Pregnancy!

One of the most common problems we hear in our maternity massage clinic is "I can't sleep comfortably!" In this video, Rebecca Overson, LMT and Director of Salt Lake Prenatal Massage will show you her tried-and-true secrets to getting better sleep during pregnancy. Most women only use two pillows. The truth is that you need SIX! Body pillows count as two but are still inadequate. Watch this simple setup, try it at home, and let us know if it works for you, too!

Sleeping on your SIDE:

And here's a great way to sleep in a reclined sitting position. We sell the back wedge shown here, in our clinic. The cost is $32 including tax, and it's a fantastic investment. You will sleep better during pregnancy, and you can also use it standing up on the back edge as a back rest for nursing in bed. When your child is a toddler, they'll love climbing on the wedge too. :)

How to get a half-price prenatal massage

We have a fabulous group of interns that are offering 60-minute prenatal or postpartum massage sessions for half price during February and March! That's only $35! Our interns are licensed massage therapists (not students) who have recently completed prenatal massage training with us and are eager to get more experience in this field by working with real, live moms. :D All interns are trained and supervised by Rebecca Overson LMT and Salt Lake Prenatal Massage staff.  Call 801-792-8893 to request an appointment with one of our interns.

Care for your Undercarriage: COOL Product!

by Rebecca Overson, LMTOwner/Director, Salt Lake Prenatal Massage My friends and clients know I'm really into talking about the things that "nobody" talks about regarding pregnancy and birth. Care for your "Undercarriage" after you give birth is one of my favorite taboo topics. (Undercarriage - that's a term my hubby made up after our first baby was born! HA!)

After a vaginal birth, you will experience a degree of swelling and bruising of everything between your legs. That's just the truth, ladies. And, if you end up with a few stitches, you'll need even more soothing comfort.

I'll write more about some of my tricks later, but for now I want to share with you something I saw at Baby Bump Maternity Store in Sugarhouse the other day. It's so cool! No pun intended!

Feme Pad by Smart Choices This product is genius! Specifically designed for expectant and new mothers to cool and soothe soreness, post-delivery bruising, swelling, and irritation that may be caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Developed by a mother and experienced nurse midwife, it’s non-invasive, drug free, discreet and... comfortable (unlike a block of ice between your legs.)

These come in a pack of 2 so while one is in use the other is in the freezer. It also has plenty of disposable gauze covers. These are the perfect gel packs anytime you have soreness or swelling.

$25.99 for 2 gel packs.

Available at: Baby Bump Maternity 675 east 2100 South #F Salt Lake City, UT Hours: Monday thru Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM

Stop by and Rebecca Anderson will be happy to show them to you!

Love & Logic Parenting Tip: Say "No" by Saying "Yes" to Something Else

by Angie Anderson, independent facilitator of the "Becoming a Love & Logic Parent" Program

If you have children, you know that some of the most common words used with them in a day can be the words like “no” “don’t” “stop” etc. Children are always experimenting and testing their parents to see what their limits are, so it seems natural that we as parents would have to tell them “no” quite often.

Because these negative words can put a kid right into the defensive frame of mind, I would like to suggest a simple way to avoid situations that can lead to arguments, frustration and dreaded temper tantrums. Instead of telling a kid what they can’t do, try telling them what they can do!

This may seem difficult at first and requires a little more thought on a parents part, but once you’ve tried it, you will find that it’s much easier than the ensuing fight that follow negative statements. Here are some examples…

Instead of these Negative statements... No! You can’t go outside to play until your chores are done. Don’t eat your food in the living room! Stop climbing on the table! Don’t leave your toys all over the floor. Don’t forget your coat.

Try replacing with Positive statements: You can go outside as soon as your chores are done. Food belongs in the kitchen. Thanks for taking it to the kitchen and eating it at the table. Please keep your feet on the floor. Time to put your toys in the toy box. Remember your coat.

Simply say “no” by saying “yes” to something else!

Give this little tip a try and enjoy fewer battles with your children!

Thanks for reading!

~Angie Anderson Independent facilitator of the “Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” program For more information and class schedule please visit www.angieanderson.blogspot.com or call 801-298-0786.

BABY ON BOARD: childcare while you get a massage!

In case you missed the announcement on our Facebook page (what? You aren't a fan of Salt Lake Prenatal Massage on Facebook? Go join!) ...we are now offering THE COOLEST THING EVER: On-site childcare while you have a massage!

"Grandma Carla" as she is affectionately called, is here on Tuesday mornings, and her only job is to hold newborn babies! (She thinks it's the best job in the world!)

 

It's just one less excuse for not taking care of yourself. Because you can bring your baby with you, you don't have to worry about timing feedings, finding a sitter, or leaving your baby.

And, we're a bit more lax on our schedule on Tuesdays, because we know nursing babies don't always cooperate with set appointment times. Come early and nurse or stay late and hang out. We'll go with the flow.

Grandma Carla's sole duty is to keep baby happy while you relax. She takes them on walks down the hall, rocks them in the rocking chair, soothes them to sleep. She's fantastic - maybe even a little magical - and everyone so far looks forward to seeing her again!

Tuesdays are booking up fast, so please call us at 801-706-7680 to schedule your session. No child is too young or too old. We've been visited by toddlers all the way down to babies who are four days old.

Regarding the importance of massage AFTER giving birth, one first-time-mom with a 6-week-old said it well after her massage today: "Thank you for an awesome massage and the comforting conversation today!! I feel human again!! You're an angel!"

It's only $10/hr extra for Grandma Carla's awesome care. She's so good, she's already had several clients want to hire her away to be their personal nanny! :D

Never Underestimate the Power of Good Birth Photography

Since it's fresh on my mind after an awesome birth I supported recently, I just want to put my 2 cents worth in about birth photography. Most women are pretty open to the idea of maternity photos, because hey, you're not going to have that belly forever, right?  However, some people think it's really weird that a woman would want pictures of labor and birth. They might only think birth photos would be graphic or "gross" or... miserable. However, birth photos can be as beautiful as, say, wedding photography, for example.

Melissa Weilenmann of On Call Photography says that her approach is to get "G-rated shots from the mother's perspective of labor and delivery." (What's the point of having pictures if you don't feel comfortable sharing them? Hence the reason I donned a "birth bikini" with baby #2.)  Melissa has even captured shots of the baby's emergence without being graphic at all (mom's leg in the way, etc.). So don't go getting all weird when someone talks about birth photography - it's totally awesome.

I personally think of it this way: did you have pictures of your wedding? Do you take pictures of Christmas and Thanksgiving and birthday parties? While I love my wedding photos, I have to say that the photos that were taken of both my childrens' births are hands-down the most precious treasures I have (besides my actual children!).

The moments that photographers capture in birth are as beautiful as those shots of your wedding cake, or the first dance, or your sign in book. I've seen some GORGEOUS photos that capture the intense emotions felt by moms, partners, siblings, family members; cool artistic shots like the clock in the background, the doctor or midwife attending the laboring woman, or in my case, a great shot of my Labra-doula licking my face sweetly while I labored. :)

labradoula
labradoula

The side benefit of birth photos is that - especially if it's your first baby - you just won't believe it all happened. Labor is pretty much an altered state of consciousness. Birth itself is just surreal... and the pictures prove you did it. Like crossing the line of a marathon! A good birth photographer will capture things even YOU can't see or wouldn't ordinarily remember.

My oldest sister Carrie Poulsen took the photos at my first baby's birth. Carrie is ten years older than I, and she personally witnessed my birth at home in 1977. She was so impacted by it that she went on to have two home births and one natural hospital birth.  She also happens to be quite creative and artistic, and I love her photography. She did a fantastic job of capturing the beautiful moments during and after Shawn's birth.

shawny2
shawny2

If you think good pictures can be taken by anyone who can push a button, consider that lighting, emotional attachment, sensitivity and skill level all come into play,  and if you do care about good birth photos, you'll be really disappointed if you get a batch of blurry snaps taken by your  helpful mother or friend. My advice, if you want good photos, is to actually hire a birth photographer (a real photographer who is skilled/experienced with births), or designate one person, friend, or family member who has demonstrated good photography skills and has been around birth before. I promise, if you hire a photographer, it will be so worth it. Those photos will mean the world to you!

At my second birth, I even had two photographers, just in case. My friend Olya Nelson (read her blog, she's so dang cool) is my neighbor and we have a midwife in common. Plus, she's a fantastic photographer who has done two of my boys birthday parties and my maternity photos with baby #2. The second photographer was my equally-talented sister-in-law Marci. I wanted two cameras just in case. That's how bonkers I am about good photos. Click here to see Olya's photo gallery of my second home birth, all PG-rated. :)

Food for thought:

  • A good birth photographer will capture many things going on in the room.
  • A good birth photographer will capture things otherwise unseen, like a tender touch from a loved one, partner's caring looks, baby's first breath, or even cool stuff like a hospital instrument table or a midwife's basket of supplies.
  • A good birth photographer will be mostly invisible, just working in the background. They will take natural, candid shots, rarely anything posed. They will also intrude just enough to catch a great shot (ie. getting that strand of hair out of your face.)
  • A good birth photographer will present a finished disc of edited photos, representing the best of the best photos.
  • A good birth photographer will turn otherwise ordinary moments into extraordinary works of art.

Here's another great example: check out this beautiful slideshow by my sister-in-law, Rachael de Azevedo Patterson, who currently lives in Portland, Oregon.  She was in Utah to photograph the birth of my newest neice Zoey in July 2010. Tell me you wouldn't LOVE to have photos like THAT of your family!

If you have beautiful photos you'd like to share, please feel free to comment here and link to them.

What do you think? Did you have birth photos? Do you love them? Hate them? Did you NOT have photos and wish you did, or are you glad you didn't? Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Salt Lake Prenatal Massage hosts the Utah Birth Pages and would love to list any  and all good birth photography services in the greater Salt Lake Area. Please contact us to suggest a listing or to list your own services!

Easing Swelling During Pregnancy: the Protein-Salt Connection

It's hot, and you're pregnant. VERY pregnant. If you weren't uncomfortable enough, one morning you wake up to find that your calves have disappeared into full-blown cankles, and your feet have puffed up like marshmallows. Ouch, mama!

Swelling during pregnancy is something I encounter frequently in my clients.  It's one of the most common complaints, actually, especially during the summer.

Here's what to do to ease those puffy legs, feet, and ankles (and sometimes hands). The condition is called "Edema."

First of all, it's important to rule out the possibility of a bigger problem. If you suddenly find you are puffing up like a water balloon, call your doctor or midwife immediately and let them know, and ask to have your blood pressure checked. Edema + elevated blood pressure is cause for concern, because it could be signs of pre-eclampsia, a life threatening condition. If the swelling is in your face and your hands as well, and is sudden and rapid, call your prenatal care provider immediately! Usually pre-eclampsia is confirmed by a third factor: protein in your urine. So make sure you visit your prenatal care provider to have your blood pressure and protein checked. (We will always ask you to do this if we discover new puffiness since your last prenatal massage session!)

Swelling, as my midwife told me, is your body's way of making "natural IV bags" prior to delivery. This is why it usually comes on during the last 6 weeks of your pregnancy. It can also be caused by less-than-optimal blood volume during pregnancy, which has SO much to do with what you are eating.

Many pregnant women get picky about food and favor bland carbohydrates or sugary foods. However, it is critical that you get enough PROTEIN and SALT in your diet if you want to combat swelling.

If your doc says all is well with the blood pressure, there can be two other reasons for the edema:

1. Mechanical. Basically, what this means is that the weight of your baby and your uterus is pressing down on your pelvis in such a way that it is slowing circulation of blood and lymph in your lower extremities (legs, ankles, feet.) This may continue to worsen as your belly grows. Massage therapy can certainly help relieve the symptoms and encourage the movement of that fluid upwards and out.

2. Blood Chemistry. Everything you eat determines your blood chemistry. More on this in a sec, but I just gotta say I'm surprised to learn that many docs and midwives don't know about this, because what my clients tell me is that they are told to just "drink more water." That's helpful, but not the total solution.

My secret? Dr. Brewer's Diet.

Basically, here's what happens from a blood chemistry perspective. According to an article at www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com,

"Your liver makes albumin out of the protein that you eat. Albumin and salt have osmotic pressure which is needed to hold fluids in your blood circulation. The swelling that you see implies that you do not have enough albumin and salt to hold the fluids in your circulatory system, which is resulting in the fluids leaking out into your tissues--in your ankles, for example. Eating additional protein and calories, and salting your food to taste should provide additional osmotic pressure and pull the extra fluids out of your tissues and back into your circulation. Once this fluid has returned to your blood stream, any extra fluid that you don't need will be excreted by your kidneys".

Essentially what this means is that when you don't have enough protein and salt in your blood, the water in your bloodstream leaks out into the surrounding tissues. Therefore, this kind of normal swelling can be remedied by upping your intake of protein and salt. Dr. Brewer recommends taking protein every hour that you are awake, with salt to taste.

I recommend you get a turkey and cook it, or one of those rotisserie chickens from the health food store. Or perhaps a bag of frozen, high-quality chicken tenderloins. Do NOT buy lunch meat. This is not real meat. You want the real meat, the real bird.  You could also try good quality tuna, or wild Alaskan salmon. Hard boiled eggs may work as well, if you can tolerate them. Have a bite of your preferred protein once an hour, for every hour that you are awake, and salt it to taste with sea salt or mineral salt. (I don't recommend table salt - mineral salt is so much better for you and I've heard table salt is toxic. I don't ever use it, personally.)

If you are REALLY puffed up and super-uncomfortable, eat NOTHING but salted protein for an entire day and see what happens.

My clients who have done this have had excellent results. One client who I saw weekly at the end of her pregnancy told me that she had lost FIVE POUNDS during that week - of water. Can you imagine carrying around five extra pounds of water, in your ankles? Ouch. She sent photos (below) to prove it!

Snoop around Dr. Brewer's website for other good info.

Hope that helps! Post your success stories here!

 

(Disclaimer: be sure to consult with your prenatal care provider before making any dietary changes during pregnancy. You may have to turn them on to Dr. Brewer's information if they don't know about it!)

Top Ten Myths and Misconceptions About Doula Services

by Rebecca Overson, Maternity Massage Specialist and Birth Doula, Owner/Director of Salt Lake Prenatal Massage

I was working on a client last week - a first-time mom about 36 weeks pregnant.  Although we always encourage clients to tune in and focus on the massage, this woman was very curious and talkative and excited for her upcoming birth and was asking me lots and lots and LOTS of questions. Somewhere in the course of the dialogue I asked her if she had considered hiring a doula. Her response made me chuckle. She said:

"No, I'm just having a doctor deliver my baby at the hospital."

To which I replied,

"Hm, by your response I suspect you think a doula is something they are not."

Naturally she asked more questions and I gave my 2-minute elevator speech about what a doula is, what they do to support women and couples in labor, and a few reasons why many women opt to hire a doula.

It made me think that it might be nice to post something here to DISPEL THE TOP TEN MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DOULA SERVICES!

See if any of the following echo your beliefs about Doulas.

1. Doulas are only needed/useful if you are 100% committed to a natural birth.

Nope! A doula supports whatever your wishes are. A doula supports natural birth or medicated birth. (The only exception is for c-sections - most hospitals will not let more than one person in the operating room, which is usually the husband or partner. A doula can be there for you post-op, however.)

In a natural birth, the doula works very hard to help the mother (and father) deal with the physical, emotional and mental challenges of labor. In a medicated birth, the doula can help you to keep your head in the game and look out for your body which can be compromised by medication. I've often felt it's more challenging to support women with epidurals because in a sense, their body is handicapped and unable to respond to the physically-directed instinctual urges to move about in labor.

2. It's weird to "hire" a stranger to support you in a very personal experience.

Sure, maybe at first it seems that way, but consider this: you have NO relationship with the nursing staff. You get whatever nurse is assigned to you, and shifts change all the time. The benefit of having a doula is that you have ONE person that you know, that is dedicated to supporting YOU and no other mom in labor at that moment. Besides your husband or partner, your doula will be the one familiar face (because you should also know, most doctors don't arrive until your baby's head is crowning.) As you interview doulas, you get to know them and get a sense of their personality. I always advise you select a doula that you trust and respect and feel comfortable with. You will build a relationship with them that lasts a lifetime!

3. Doulas and midwives are basically the same thing, right?

Ummmm no. Doulas do not do anything medical. Doulas do not listen to the baby's heart rate, they don't check your blood pressure, they don't check for cervix dilation, they don't deliver babies.

Doulas provide support to the laboring couple. They provide emotional support, physical support, and information that helps couples make decisions during an emotionally and physically challenging ordeal.

As one client put it: "Doctors, Nurses, and Midwives attend to the actions your uterus, cervix, and baby. Doulas pay attention to what's going on in your head and your heart!"

4. I don't need a doula because my husband is going to be there.

5. If I hire a doula, my husband will feel useless or ousted.

6. I don't need a doula if I'm giving birth in a hospital.

7. A doula is a waste of money; I don't need to hire someone to put cold washcloths on my forehead, pat my back and give me sips of water between contractions.

8. My doula will talk to the doctors and nurses for me to make sure my wishes are known. It is their job to intervene if needed and save me from a bad birth experience.

9. I don't need a doula because the nurses and doctors at the hospital will help me.

10. I don't need a doula at a home birth because home birth midwives are so much more hands-on.

BONUS:

11. Only first-time moms need a doula because they've never given birth before.

Does an Epidural Increase Your Risk for a Severe Tear?

By: Crystal Wallentine My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right? Perhaps…in the same way that a tornado might be called an “air current.”

Utah has the highest epidural rate in the nation – over 90% according to http://forums.obgyn.net/ob-gyn-l/OBGYNL.9709/1052.html. The United States has the highest epidural rate in the world. Those countries with socialized healthcare have epidural rates that are significantly lower. For example 25% of women in the UK use epidurals for childbirth. (Unless you go to a private hospital, where the rates are double the public hospitals in socialized healthcare nations.)

This study examined the risk of third and fourth degree tearing as a result of childbirth. First-degree vaginal tears are the least severe, involving only the skin around the vaginal opening. Second-degree vaginal tears involve vaginal tissue (vaginal mucosa) and the perineal muscles — the muscles between the vagina and anus that help support the uterus, bladder and rectum. Third-degree vaginal tears involve the vaginal tissues, perineal muscles and the muscle that surrounds the anus (anal sphincter). Fourth-degree vaginal tears are the most severe. They involve the perineal muscles and anal sphincter as well as the tissue lining the rectum.

Traditionally, physicians and pregnant women thought that getting an epidural may increase your risk for a severe tear. A study of over 18,000 women in England has shown otherwise. As it turns out, epidurals do not increase your risk for severe tearing during childbirth!

In this study, for all vaginal deliveries, doctors compared the incidence of third- and fourth-degree tears between pregnant women who received an epidural and those who did not. This was done by chart review after the women had decided to have an epidural or not, to prevent research bias.

Among women who had spontaneous vaginal deliveries (they were not induced but went into labor on their own), the risk for third- and fourth- degree tears was 1.9% if they had an epidural, and 2.7% if they did not have an epidural. I know that 1.9% does not seem like much. What it means is almost 2 out of 100 women have a decreased risk of tearing. I don’t know about you, but if there were a risk that 2 in 100 people would die in a plane crash every time you flew, I wouldn’t get on that plane.

The risk for perineal tear was also lower for women who received an epidural who also had a delivery assisted by forceps or vacuum extraction. An assisted birth (sometimes called an instrumental or operative vaginal birth) uses instruments (either forceps or vacuum device) that are attached to your baby's head so that he/she can be pulled out. This study did not include patients that had episiotomies during birth.

Dr. MacDougall, the lead investigator of the study, said that he believes “that in some women, perineal injury results from rapid, uncontrolled delivery of the fetal head. Rapid descent of the head produces severe pain, which causes an overwhelming urge to push just when the tissues are most vulnerable to injury. This can result in a severe tear.”

The study did not compare delivery techniques, or minor tears (first- or second-degree tears).

In conclusion, epidurals do not increase your risk for severe tearing during childbirth. I hope this information is helpful when deciding whether to have an epidural during your birthing experience.

Source: 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (abstract 13).