The Gentle Birth - Birth with the Healing Power of Touch
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Importance of Postpartum Massage

Ok, so I have loads of pregnant clients who see me for prenatal massage services. They all feel the benefits of the therapy, and they come back every week, same time, until they give birth.

So what about after the baby is born? Obviously there is recovery time. But new mothers tend to fall into this pattern of letting their own care go completely by the wayside after the baby is born. I did it myself. It's difficult not to. We have a new little one to take care of day and night. But meanwhile, your abs are weakened(or torn open, if you had a c-section). Your relaxin hormone has begun to fade, so your  muscles are starting to get tighter. Your upper back hurts from holding the baby, compromising good posture. Your hips are realigning, most likely unevenly, causing problems with your low back. Your breasts hurt from both engorgement and chest muscles tightening from holding the baby all the time. And, of course, you are absolutely exhausted because, well, you're a new mom.

Solution: yes...massage can actually help most of these issues. Postpartum massage requires special training to understand the physiological changes you are going through and how to help your body return to normal. Abdominal massage helps to strengthen your abs back up(who doesn't want that??), and in the case of C-sections, can reduce the overall appearance of the scar and return feeling to your abdomen's skin(yes, you can lose feeling with the surgery). More importantly it can break up the internal scar tissue which have potentially negative effects on subsequent pregnancies. Massage will sooth those tense muscles in your lower back, and help strengthen the ones in your upper back that are probably too lengthened now. 
There is even breast tissue massage for clogged milk ducts, and loosening your pec muscles(besides it's application for mastectomy and breast reduction recovery). There is currently no one in Seattle who offers breast tissue massage, but I'm working on getting that certification by the year's end. 
Massaging you cannot make your baby sleep longer through the night, but it may help you get a bit of relaxation and recovery time, so you just might have enough energy to help you get on with that wonderful and terrifying new task of being mommy!

NEW LOCATION!!

I'm excited to announce that I will be relocating, as my partner and I have found a lovely home in Redmond. Don't worry, Tacoma folks! I'll still be there for you! :)

I will now be more available to attend births in Seattle, Issaquah, Bellevue, Redmond, Everett, and their surrounding areas. To new beginning, all, wish us luck!

Welcome Jillian!

Congratulations to Sabrina on her new bundle of joy, Jillian. Born march 17, 2013 at 8:49 am....St. Patrick's Day! I've never seen such thick blond hair! You worked so hard and had such a beautiful birth. 
Also, thank you to the team at Providence Women and children's Pavillion in Everett. It was such a pleasure working with you. All of you were so friendly and helpful! Go Team!!

Welcome Taelor Christine!

Congrats to my Birth client, Natasha, On the birth of her daughter, Taelor. Born on Monday March 11, 2013 at 4:31 am. 19 inches, 5 lbs 12 oz. TINY!!! Thanks for the experience.

Birth client testimonials

You may view my clients' testimonials on my profile on doula match. Follow this link

http://doulamatch.net/profile/3363/gina-cantatore-lmp-cd-cbi

Doula certification!

It's official. I have completed my doula certification with Childbirth International! Thank you to all my friends, family, and of course my birth clients for all of your support. Being a part of your birthing processes has been a profound experience, and I'm honored you chose me. I will never forget you and your precious little ones. I look forward to helping more women birth the way they want to.

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had wonderful holidays! Work is fantastic and I'm looking forward to continuing all my massage and doula work with my clients and seeing their beautiful babies come into this world.
I do not personally have any New Years resolution. I am very happy right now, and I hope I continue to work on being happy. My advice to all this year (especially to you mommies-to-be) is take it easy and one day at a time. Forgetting to stop and smile or laugh or just enjoy a simple pleasure can be very detrimental to our health. So do just those things, every day, as often as you can. Cherish your child's laugh, Kiss your loved one, and anytime you go to say the words "I love you", say it with all your heart and soul as if you will never get to say it again!
Happy New Year

-Gina

Welcome, Zobelle!!!

Congratulations to my birth clients! Zobelle Irene was born after a very long 32 hours of labor, and although not everything went as we planned, we learned that some things happen for a reason. She and Mommy and Daddy are all home and healthy! Zobelle means "beautiful life". She will represent it well.

Hypnobirthing

I just love learning new things! My most recent client is using Hypnobirthing (specifically Hypnobabies) for her birth. It's really teaching me not so much a new way of thinking, but bringing me back to my own roots of belief about birth, a line of thought I haven't been in tune with since before my birth experience with Zoe. This is going to be amazing!

Pregnancy and Chiropractics

My awesome employer saw this article and sent it to me. I learned something amazing. 

  • Chiropractic care has been shown to significantly reduce labour time for women who had care throughout their pregnancy. In one study, Dr Joan Fallon found that first-time mums averaged a 24% shorter labour, while experienced mothers (those who had given birth before) had a 39% reduction in the average labour time in a substantial percentage of births.
  • In another hospital study that incorporated chiropractic adjustments during the patient’s pregnancy,the results indicated that there was a 50% decrease in the need for painkillers during delivery, attributable to pre-delivery adjustments.
  • A study conducted by Dr Irvin Henderson MD (a member of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees) demonstrated that “Women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester were able to carry and deliver their child with much more comfort.”
Show me any woman who would not be excited about these possibilities! Adjustments help women successfully prepare for labour. In addition, a well functioning nervous system enables a mother to easily combat many of the hurdles of pregnancy. Often women learn to just accept pregnancy discomforts such as nausea, heartburn, constipation, pubic pain, etc, when in fact they don’t need to. A chiropractor will check your spine to assess if it is properly aligned and subluxation-free (free of joint and nerve dysfunction). Regular visits while you are pregnant will help to keep you in great shape in preparation for your birth. Chiropractic care is extremely important—before, during and after pregnancy. Here are some tips for Caring For Your Spine.Tips for Caring for Your Spine During PregnancyHere are some top tips for caring for your spine:
  • Don’t try to sit straight up from a lying position using your abdominal muscles. Instead, bend your knees, turn onto your side and push yourself up with your arm.
  • Remember to unlock your knees when standing.
  • Refrain from wearing high-heels.
  • Avoid standing with your hands on your hips and pushing your tummy forward.
  • Let others lift heavy items for you.
  • Avoid twisting your spine on top of your pelvis; instead try moving your whole body with your feet first. For example, when getting out of the car, turn your whole body towards the open door as you place your feet on the ground.
  • If you have other young children PLEASE avoid carrying them whenever possible. Have them walk (it is good for you to slow down the haste anyway), and sit and cuddle them as much as you can. Many pregnant women injure their abdominal muscles, pelvic floor or their pelvis by carrying other children.
  • Avoid remaining in one position for too long. If you need to stand for an extended period, place one foot on a small box or an equivalent to reduce the load on your back. Swap legs.
  • Keep your pelvic floor strong.
  • Perform regular moderate exercise
  • Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen, especially when stressed.
  • Every day, gently stretch your body..
  • Once a week or as often as you can, schedule a massage.
  • Sleep with a pillow between your knees and place another pillow at your breast level to snuggle, so that you do not roll your upper body forward.
  • Have your spine regularly checked by a chiropractor.





for more info, go to : http://www.koraorganics.com/blog/live-in-my-skin/chiropractic-and-pregnancy/

The babies

I'm so happy to know that the babies I helped to birth and their parents are doing so well. To see that process again and again, I look at my own daughter, who just turned Two years old, and wonder. Maybe I should do it again. I know so much more now about the process and newer techniques, and what I would look for in my own doula...and what I would look for in myself for strength. Someday, I may try again. I feel that urge coming on. That desire to give life can be so overwhelming.

The birth

Two very long births in 8 very long days. I was more exhausted then I could imagine, until I thought of the mothers I had served and how much they were enduring. That gives me the strength to go on through a 61 ours labor (yes, that is actually how long one of them was). I felt so honored to be a part of each family's experience, and felt such joy at witnessing a moment that would change their (and  my) life forever. I sum it up to one phrase: 
Sometimes, the most joyful sound in the world is a cry.

Thank you to each family for letting me into your lives to share your moment of glory. I will never forget it.

-Gina

Doula Certification!

I've begun my journey with Childbirth International. I'm working hard to earn my official certification as a birth doula! 

My new work environment!

Within the next few weeks, Bellevue Therapeutic Massage will open it's doors, and I will be working on all the clients I can handle. My employer is very excited to have me on the team and be a doula at the same time. This is going to be a glorious opportunity!

My Massage License

After a very long 12 months, I've just passed my massage licensing exam with an exceptional score. I'm 8 days from finishing the program. All that needs to happen now is to turn it my last bit of homework, and for the state to activate my license!! Thank you everyone who has supported me throughout the past year.   -Gina
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