Looking for some clarification?
Are you considering working with me but have some questions? You’re not the only one. Here are some of the most asked questions I receive from clients. Don’t see your question on here or want me to elaborate? Send me a message!
Massage Therapy Questions
Absolutely, yes! Massage therapy is safe at any stage of pregnancy and that includes the first trimester. It is an old and annoying myth that massage should be avoided during this time. I do recommend being treated by a therapist who has extra training and experience in pregnancy massage.
You have two options for positioning after the first trimester of your pregnancy, side-lying and prone (lying on your belly) with the support of special pillow designed specifically for your growing bump! Both of these positions are safe, but there are certain situations where one position might be better than the other. We will go over positioning before every treatment so that you are always comfortable.
Please plan to arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will allow you time to fill out the intake forms, use the washroom, and for inevitable TTC/Toronto traffic delays (am I right?!). The first 5-10 minutes of your appointment will be spent going over your health history and discussing your reasons for seeking massage therapy. I know this part can sometimes feel silly and you just want to get on the table but keep in mind that my getting to know you and your wellness goals helps me give you a better treatment with better results. The hands-on portion of the treatment will end a few minutes before the end of your scheduled treatment time, this will give you time to get off the table and for us to discuss any home care and further treatment planning. It is not uncommon for first time appointments to be 90% on the table and 10% chatting.
A line you probably hear from your RMT often is, "undress to your level of comfort" - I use this line myself all of the time. But what does that mean? It's a pretty open ended statement that can leave some people standing in the room alone, panicked because they don't know what their level of comfort is. I will tell you what I tell my clients after making that statement: Generally, people undress to their underwear and remove their bra however, I've massaged people fully clothed and completely naked so wherever you fall in that spectrum is a-okay with me. I only undrape the area that I am working on, everything else will be covered by the sheet.
Personally, I would really love to see us move away from tipping massage therapists. We are health care professionals (would you tip your chiropractor or physiotherapist?) and I just don't think it's necessary. In my own practice, it's always rewarding to know a client enjoyed their treatment enough to want to tip me but I do not accept them (even though I am appreciative of the gesture). If you enjoyed your treatment, the best tip of all would be to tell your family and friends or leave a review about your experience.
I get it. Sometimes things come up that make it impossible to make your appointment and sometimes these things happen last minute. I typically ask for at least 24 hours notice if you need to cancel your appointment and avoid a late cancel fee. This is because that time has been set aside just for you and if you cancel last minute, or don’t show up at all, I might not be able to fill that otherwise booked spot. If you need to cancel last minute, please call me to let me know, don’t just not show up. Being stood up is a terrible feeling and I promise you I am a very nice, understanding person, plus mutual respect is a rad thing. I think it is worth mentioning that I will NEVER charge a late cancel fee if you can’t make it in because you’re in labour (and I also understand that in this instance, you may not be able to call me to tell me, which is obviously understandable!)
In short, a doula is your own personal tour guide through pregnancy, labour and birth. They’ll point out all the must see attractions, give you thoughtful answers to your questions about what you’re seeing/experiencing, give you insider tips on how to make the most of this time, and they’ll help you create and navigate the kind of journey you’re hoping for. It has been proven that people with continuous support from a doula during labour are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth and cesarean births (Bohren et al. Cochrane Review, 2017).
No. Midwives are medical care providers. Doulas are not. Your midwife (or other primary care providers) are responsible for the medical care of you and your baby(ies) and perform all the clinical tasks. A doula is there for emotional, physical and informational support.
This isn't a question but it is a concern that pops up lot. As your tour guide, a doula does not minimize this special time between you and your partner. They are there to be a part of your already strong team of supporters. A doula can help a partner just as much as the birthing parent by giving them reassurance, allow them to take breaks and get food/sleep/a moment if needed. As a doula, I always want to know how you and any birthing partner see their role in the birthing space and I'm there to help facilitate that.
YES! Most hospitals allow doulas and other support people to accompany you during your labour. When in doubt, contact the hospital you plan to give birth at and confirm they will allow a doula to accompany you.
Choosing your doula is a highly personal choice. When interviewing potential doulas ask yourself, is this someone I feel can support my choices? How do they make me feel? Would I be comfortable with this person seeing me naked/pooping/throwing up? Make a list of what is important to you and then ask the doula in your interview. Don’t be shy, we’ve heard it all!
No. However, some extended healthcare providers do cover some of the costs of a doula.
Want to explore working with me?
Intuitive care that blends technical proficiency and deep relaxation.
I am a registered massage therapist and birth doula serving Toronto, ON.
Your guide through pregnancy, birth and the immediate postpartum.