Labour + Delivery Support Services
Our goal is to provide accessible, non-judgemental, and open-hearted support for all Mothers throughout this journey. It is our wish that you cultivate a trust in yourself; a trust that you can handle whatever unfolds during pregnancy, in your birth experience, or with your baby. No matter how unexpected or challenging it may be, your body is strong, your body is fierce, and your body knows exactly what to do. ~ Dana Sawatzky, RMT + Jenna McMahon, RMT
A labour-and-delivery (L&D) support therapist is a massage therapist that has taken post-graduate training and certification in pre-natal care, labour-and-delivery support, and also infant massage and baby bonding. They specialize in the care of a woman during her labour and delivery to provide a comfortable, supportive, and non-judgemental environment.
By having a support therapist present during your labour, you have the comfort of knowing that you and your partner will have someone to coach you throughout the entire experience. Whether you intend on having a hospital birth, or choose to work with a Midwife at home or in Winnipeg's Birthing Centre, your L&D support therapist will be by your side.
Imagine how nurtured, relaxed, and stress-free you feel during a massage therapy treatment. Now consider what it would be like to have that same mental and physical support throughout the entire duration of your labour. Your L&D support therapist has become equipped with a specific skill set of techniques and tools to support your labouring body, and keep you calm and steady throughout your birth. Experience the comfort of having your RMT follow you right from the treatment table and into you birth setting. No matter what your journey looks like, their therapeutic massage and touch can be a compliment to, or complete replacement for drug interventions.
Pain management will be offered through the application massage, compression, body positions, breathing techniques, hydrotherapy, visualization and mediation. As your labour is individual to you, your support therapist will work moment to moment to help make your experience as natural, calm, and stress-free as possible.
Leading up to your due date, it will be required of you to receive prenatal massage therapy from your L&D support therapist. This is in the interest of their getting to know your physical body, and how best to support it prior to and during your labour. It also allows your mind and body to associate their presence and touch with being relaxed and grounded, which acts as a strong tool within your birth setting.
At Equilibrium, we strive to provide the best care we can for pregnant mothers. This care doesn't have to stop at in-office Massage Therapy, Acupuncture + Nutrition.
Common questions answered:
Are you a doula?
L&D Support RMT's are not specifically DONA certified Doulas, however, they have completed many required credit course hours through their Massage Therapy College and Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba to hold their title. They will provide the same support and continuous care as a Doula, along with bringing a skill set of hands on massage therapy techniques into your birth setting.
How are you different from a doula?
The service your support therapist will provide is much the same as a Doula, in that they care for your physical and emotional needs throughout the entire process. As Registered Massage Therapist's, they carry with them unparalleled knowledge of the anatomy of your body as well as the stamina to provide with physical support for the duration of your labour.
What if I already have a doula?
Having a support team ready to assist you during your birth eases anxiety and stress. L&D support therapists are a wonderful addition, and can easily work alongside a Doula or other support team members.
What do your services include?
An L&D Support Therapist is prepared to provide the following:
- Prenatal massage in order to get to know your body, and help to relieve pain to prepare you for birth.
- A 2 hour+ in-home (within city limits) class to go over and practice positioning, acupressure points, massage techniques, breathing/visualization techniques, and birth plans with you, your partner, and anyone else who plans to be present at your birth. This is a special bonding time for you and your support therapist to help formulate a "game-plan", and attain a clear outline of everyone's expectations and roles.
- On-call priority for 10 days prior to your due date, and until you go into active labour.
- Attendance at your labour and birth to offer physical, mental, and emotional support as stated above.
- Support for your partner throughout this incredible and emotional journey, and the knowingness that you will never be left alone.
Do I have to be delivering at home or at the birth centre to use your services?
Not at all! This is your journey and you have the right to choose where and how you give birth. Your Support Therapist is equipped to attend births in hospital, home, or birth centre, and are incredibly adept with working with all healthcare professionals. They will assist you in anyway possible to make sure that you birth experience in a positive one.
To best decide if hiring a L&D support therapist is the right choice for you, we suggest that you contact us directly to have a personal consultation, and/or set up a meeting to ask any questions you may have.