There is no doubt in my mind that I am where I am supposed to be when I am present during the labour and delivery of one of my clients. When I graduated from the Advanced Remedial Massage Therapy program at Wellington College in 1995, I had no idea that I would have the honor of being present at both the beginning and end of life because of my career. I’ve always had an interest in the body and once my children were in high school I started working at a chiropractors’ office in Winnipeg. The chiropractor had a strong belief in the benefits of Massage Therapy and encouraged me to pursue this field. The more I researched colleges and talked to Massage Therapists, the more I became interested in massage, so I enrolled at Wellington College and never looked back.
Having gone through pregnancy three times myself, I had a natural interest in prenatal massage. When I started my career, there was a lot of caution in treating pregnant women because they were perceived as being in a delicate state. Pregnancy imbalances were thought to be exclusively hormonal, receiving no benefit from treatment, and remaining dysfunctional throughout the whole pregnancy. I couldn’t understand why women should have to suffer through the nine months of pregnancy with a condition that could potentially be treated by massage so I started practicing with the principles I learned in College and applied it to my treatment of pregnant women. The results were great. With a new peeked interest, I attended a few workshops on the subject, but they weren’t up to the standard I had become used to in school. It was then that I began to develop a prenatal massage curriculum that involved more assessment and treatment. I also loved the nurturing part of massage and wanted to incorporate she understanding into my method as well. Pregnancy is such a beautiful time in a woman’s life when they is so receptive to touch therapy and open to advice about labour and delivery as well as what to expect during and after pregnancy. Now I have created a curriculum I am proud of and feel privileged to teach that workshop series in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan to therapists who are eager to be a part of this incredible process.
In addition to looking after my pregnant clients at my clinic in Windsor Park, I also provide a service to teach labouring at home. This includes techniques such as focal points, hydrotherapy, meditation, beneficial positions and acupressure points the couple can do by themselves. When the day comes, if needed, I go to their home to help them through that process and allow the mother to labour for as long as she can in the comfort of her familiar surroundings. When we are ready, I journey with them to the hospital, birthing centre or remain at home with their mid wife and help them through to delivery. I remain with the couple until two hours after the baby is born, when I give the mom a massage, help with breast feeding and make sure the family is perfect before leaving.
I feel so honored to have a job that allows me to empower women as they learn about themselves and to watch husbands as they learn about their wives during this unique time in life. I believe it is because of the help and support of my mentor, Randy Ellingson, principal of Wellington College, that I have felt the freedom to explore this wonderful part of massage therapy. In the past I have studied and taught at Wellington, and it is always my pleasure to return to instruct the Pregnant Pelvis workshops. I believe in what the College has taught me and I love to pass on that passion to other therapists. My life has been so touched by this field. It is a blessing to be able to work with pregnant women and their babies. It is truly an honour to be part of a birth story!