Amy Gerard, CMT , LMT
“In order to treat the child treat the mother.”
After experiencing my own pregnancies and births of my two sons, I became passionate about helping women make that transition from life as they knew it, into the abyss of parenthood. It can be scary, isolating, lonely and exhausting, along with all the wondrous and wonderful. I want women to know they are not alone and provide a bridge to comfort and connection, where they didn’t see one before.
Pre and postnatal massage can offer enormous support to a woman during what can be one of the most exhilarating, yet painful and stressful times of her life.
I’ve spent many years specializing in perinatal massage and received certification from Niara Healing Arts in 2004. I have worked with dozens of pregnant women since, in my private practice, as well as in two clinics in Manhattan that specialize in perinatal care: The Medical Massage Group (voted Best Prenatal/Postnatal Massage by New York Magazine) and Maternal Massage and More.
In prenatal massage, specific areas are focused on to relieve sciatica, hip and low back pain.
Pregnancy massage promotes better function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and overall body tone, and can help decrease your mental and physical fatigue.
The benefits of prenatal massage can include:
• assistance in maintaining proper posture; relaxation and decreased insomnia
• stress relief on weight-bearing joints, such as ankles, lower back and pelvis
• lessened sciatic pain
• reduced swelling in hands and feet
• preparing the muscles used during childbirth
• fewer calf cramps
• headache and sinus congestion relief
Studies show prenatal massage to be an effective tool in reducing stress hormones in the body. During your pregnancy, your body is being changed, challenged and stressed in a myriad of ways. Prenatal massage affords you the opportunity to receive special attention and care, not only nurturing you, but your baby as well.
When your pregnancy is over and you are enjoying your newborn baby, an entirely new way of life has emerged for you and your family. You have entered what is called the recovery phase. You may be feeling depleted and fatigued, experience muscle soreness and strain, various aches and pains, not to mention the potentially overwhelming emotions caused by the change in hormones in your bloodstream.
Postnatal massage provides physical and emotional nurturing during this pivotal time where you still need some extra support. It can help restore your body to pre-pregnancy physiology, and assist in the healing process after childbirth.
Postnatal massage is highly regarded throughout the world for its ability to help women recover from pregnancy and birthing.
The benefits of postnatal massage can include:
- ease of muscle aches and fatigue that develop from a new mother's rapid transition from a pregnant body (changes in chemistry, shape, center of gravity) to the body after birth (lack of sleep, new muscle movements, getting back into pre-pregnancy shape)
- improved circulation throughout the body, reduction of post-partum swelling that many women experience
- stress relief and emotional support