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Frequently Asked Questions

Are you affiliated with DONA, ALACE, CAPPA, ICEA, or any other doula certifying organization?
We are not. Those agencies certify for doula labor support only, and do not include prenatal, postpartum, and infant massage, nor do you need to be a massage therapist to take their training. Our course was designed specifically for massage therapists who wish to incorporate prenatal massage, labor support, and infant massage into their services.

How do home study courses compare to live seminars?
The advantage with home study, it is available 24/7 at your convenience, without having to travel or cancel clients. While an instructor won't be standing over you, we are available by phone or email to answer any questions that you have. The convenience and ability to review the material, in the long run, is at least equal to, and can actually increase your overall level of learning. When all of this information comes at you during a short time, studies indicate that the retention rate is as low as 50%. With home study, you can review over and over again, which, with enough repetition, can increase your retention rate as high as 100%. That would more than compensate for any real or perceived disadvantage of not having the instructor stand over you as you practice.

How do home study courses work?
You receive the course materials, along with instructions on how to complete the practice sessions. You can take the written test online, and immediately print your certificate for CEUs upon completion. Once you have completed the practice sessions, return them to us to earn your certification title.

Do I get a certificate for my office?
Yes - Upon completion of the online exam, you will be able to instantly print a certificate to show evidence of your CEUs. When you return the documentation of the practice sessions, you will also receive a gold-sealed certificate suitable for framing.

How soon will I receive my course materials?
We try to ship the same day, or within 24 hours, although if the enrollment is received over a weekend or holiday there will be a slight delay.

Can I enroll and my friend also take the test for credit?
Yes. We offer an enrollment option to receive the entire course materials, or, if your friend already has the course materials, you can take the "test only" option without purchasing another set of course materials.

Do I need a special table to give pregnancy massage?
This course teaches a side-lying and modified supine positioning. We do not recommend specialty tables or equipment designed for allowing the woman to lay on her stomach for several reasons: Unless it is perfectly molded to her body, it will cause strain on her uterine ligaments, it is difficult to get in and out of in the final trimester, and makes no provision for a modified supine position (necessary to keep the weight of the uterus off of the vena cava).

Fertility Massage has many benefits. Some of these benefits include:

Helps to restore the uterus to its normal position and shape if it has become tilted or compressed by a fecal impacted intestine; Improves circulation to the reproductive organs (Improved circulation brings fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients to the organs, as well as to the ova); Helps loosen scar tissue and clear blockages to the Fallopian tubes; Helps relax a stomach that is hardened from stress or digestive issues; Promotes liver health to process toxins from the body; Helps to improve digestive health and nutrient absorption by promoting small intestine health; Eliminates impacted feces in the large intestine; Helps to achieve hormonal balance (Dr. John Lee, in his book Hormonal Balance Made Simple, says that hormonal balance starts in the digestive system); Helps to relieve cramps

During pregnancy a woman's body undergoes tremendous changes, and all in a relatively short space of time. These changes occur not only physically, but emotionally too. The overall goal of pregnancy massage is to help to minimize stress, promote relaxation and help prepare the muscles for childbirth.

Massage during pregnancy can help to relieve:

Lower back pain Sciatic pain Tension in the neck and shoulders Tension headaches Calf cramps Insomnia Swollen hand and feet

Labor is both physically and emotionally demanding for the mother. Birth partners often feel at a loss as to how to help at this time. Learning the massage techniques specifically designed for use during labor not only gives the birth partner a positive role to play, but also helps the mother at the same time.

Easing muscular tension Relieving calf cramps Relaxing tight muscles Aiding relaxation and energy conservation Lowering blood pressure Helping the mother to focus her breathing Provide a safe, non-invasive form of pain relief

"Doula" is an ancient Greek word for "servant" or "handmaiden" and has come to refer to "A woman who is experienced in childbirth, and who provides continuous physical, emotional and information support to a woman before, during and immediately after childbirth". A doula offers help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning. A massage doula also uses massage techniques which can help the mother to have a more positive birth experience.

Having a doula present at the birth can help to:

Shorten the length of labor Reduce the need for pain medication Reduce the need for epidurals Reduce the need for Caesarean sections Reduce the need for forceps or vacuum extraction Enhances the mother's birth experience

Scheduling regular massages after delivery helps reduce the time your body needs to regain its former shape and return to its pre-pregnant state. Postnatal bodywork helps reposition the pelvis and spine after delivery. It also helps reprogram muscles to respond to the sudden loss of ten to fourteen pounds, and aids in realigning the posture to support the postpartum distribution of weight.

Special massage techniques restore muscle tone to abdominal muscles stretched by pregnancy. Massage therapy helps relieve upper back muscles which must support fuller breasts and the added weight of carrying an infant. Regular massage therapy can also alleviate neck and shoulder pain associated with breastfeeding and bottle feeding.

Finally, massage can help speed the healing of a Cesarean incision.

Infant massage has been practiced in many cultures since ancient times, and is now being rediscovered in the West. Clinical research has shown that positive, loving, nurturing touch has an important impact on an infant's development. Infant massage is something that every parent can learn - providing benefits to both the infant and parent.

Infant massage can:

Help promote bonding between the parent and infant Enhance the parents' ability to understand their baby's needs Soothe babies and help improve sleep patterns Aid digestion and help to relieve colic, gas, and constipation Help to calm babies' emotions and relieve stress Help develop muscle tone, co-ordination and suppleness Help to stimulate the circulation