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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

Stuff I'm studying: Mother's Massage: A Guide to Prenatal and Postpartum Massage & Wellness

It's a CEU year for me, so I'm doing a recap of some of the courses I'm studying for this Continuing Education cycle - partly to share what I've learned, and partly to help me retain and remember what I've learned!

Stuff I'm studying: Mother's Massage

I already have a pretty extensive background in the study of prenatal and postnatal massage, but at the same time I always feel like I could learn more and besides that, the medical sciences and knowledge surrounding these areas is always changing. So I took this online class through ABMP, my insurance company. It was an interesting course, because unlike many courses that I've taken that involve an instructor delivering information on a specific topic, this class was very different. In addition to being self-paced, it involved multiple articles on a wide array of prenatal topics from the miscellaneous benefits of prenatal massage to how to handle prenatal massage when the mother has autoimmune issues, to (one of my favorite topics) busting common prenatal massage myths.

The first article spoke about the basic benefits of massage therapy during the prenatal and postpartum periods. It offered therapists the reminder that the mom's body does all the hard work, massage therapy during this time should be seen as a tool to help and support her, as well as discussing different roles such as midwives and doulas who can also support and help moms during this time. The next article I felt was geared more towards therapists who either didn't practice massage on prenatal clients or understand the full benefits, to help them understand why they should train in this modality or even encourage them to find channels to include this demographic in their practices.

Stuff I'm studying: Mother's Massage

Two of the articles went into very deep "medical-speak" discussing skeletal-muscular changes in a mother's body and how they can affect both her and the baby before and after birth. It discussed many different issues including how muscles that were too tight can change the way the mother's hips settle and can therefore make baby's position during delivery either easier or harder. Likewise after birth, the issues that "mom stuff" such as carrying a car seat or position while nursing can change the body and need massage to help. Very informative, but definitely not written for the lay-person, and occasionally even I got lost in the language.

Stuff I'm studying: Mother's Massage

Two articles discussed topics that often don't get discussed: ingredients in products used and what they can do to the bodies of both mother and babies, plus essential oils and herbs that are recommended or not advised to be used during pregnancy. This is one of those areas where you can research six different articles and get six different answers as far as what is safe and what isn't. Overall, these articles were informative, but also reminded me to always look at more than one source, especially referring back to the ones that I can prove are consistently trusted sources that aren't being swayed by particular groups, brands, companies, etc.

Overall, this course was absolutely different from any other Continuing Education course I have taken. It was nice getting different perspectives on things in a format different than a direct syllabus that delivers only "XYZ" and no time to look to anything surrounding "XYZ". It is very informative overall and since it isn't really a syllabus, the articles format will make it an easy source for me to go back and refer to when I need something very specific. Glad to have gotten a different perspective on information that I've been studying for a while.

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