Kate Jordan: The Importance of Bodywork During the Childbearing Year

From Kate Jordan Seminars

Pregnancy is a time of major structural, physiological, psychological, spiritual, and social change in a woman’s life. Massage therapy is a particularly appropriate form of adjunctive health care for women in both normal and high-risk pregnancies.

Some of the benefits of massage therapy and bodywork in pregnancy and labor include emotional support in a time of transition, relaxation and stress reduction, immune system enhancement, increased blood and lymph circulation, reduction of leg edema, relief of muscle spasms and myofascial pain, reduction of strain and dysfunction in weight-bearing joints and myofascial structures, development of sensory awareness to prepare for the experience of labor, improved labor outcome with reduced pain perception and shorter labors, and enhancement of a mother’s ability to touch her own baby lovingly.

In the postpartum period, massage therapy can facilitate recovery from birth through enhanced circulation and lymphatic drainage; alleviate muscle strain and soreness caused by labor and delivery; provide adjunctive treatment of hemorrhoids, bladder disorders, and post- episiotomy soreness with reflex massage; rehabilitate the skin, connective tissue, and musculature of the abdomen; promote structural realignment of the psoas and pelvic musculature; facilitate healing from cesarean section using connective tissue and scar massage techniques; address the physical stress of caring for a newborn; and provide nurturing and emotional support during the early postpartum period.

Bodywork for the Childbearing Year® presents the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, labor, and birth in relation to those techniques that therapists can most effectively use to provide relief and support to their pregnant clients. Students learn to recognize contraindications, complications, and high-risk pregnancies, emphasizing appropriate consultation with other childbirth professionals. Relevant research documenting the benefits of touch, particularly during the childbearing year, is discussed to prepare students to present the benefits of pregnancy massage to healthcare providers.

Instruction is 25% lively lecture and discussions and 75% demonstration and practice of techniques. A practicum with pregnant women completes this extensive hands-on learning experience. Certification is granted by Kate Jordan Seminars to those students who satisfactorily accomplish both written and practical evaluations. Students should be practicing therapists who are trained and experienced in Swedish massage and one or more of the other modalities utilized. Midwives, nurses, and childbirth educators are admitted to the course with instructor approval. Advance reading and anatomical review are recommended.

Kate Jordan is a nationally recognized expert in pregnancy massage. A massage therapist since 1972, she has been presenting programs on infant massage and pregnancy, labor, and postpartum massage to schools, hospitals, and professional associations since 1980.

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