Mastering Pregnancy Massage
Directed by Sean Riehl

[2006, Santa Barbara, California: Real Bodywork; 193 minutes, DVD.]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 92, Winter 2009/2010, © 2009, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Teri Myers.]

This incredibly thorough DVD, though geared toward massage therapists, will be useful to anyone working with women in the prenatal period. Instructor Leslie Stager, licensed massage therapist and former labor and delivery nurse, childbirth educator and midwifery clinic nurse, walks the viewer through all facets of providing massage for pregnant women, including indications and contraindications for the different trimesters, important questions to ask during an intake, and draping and positioning of pregnant clients. She then demonstrates a full-body pregnancy massage.

While midwives, doulas and other birth professionals are not likely to provide full-body massage for their clients, there are enough tips and tricks in this video to give all birth workers ideas for appropriate touch techniques they can use themselves during client visits or show to clients’ partners or family members for use at home. Of particular interest are specific acupressure points for relieving various discomforts common in pregnancy (shown throughout the video both on an actual client and in graphics that clearly delineate correct hand placement), and chapters detailing particular techniques for common pregnancy-related conditions ranging from back pain and sciatica to diastasis recti and edema. There is also a chapter dealing with bodywork for labor preparation.

A must-have for massage therapists, this video is also highly recommended for any health professional working in a hands-on capacity with women in the prenatal stage.

Reviewer Teri Myers is a budding farmer, holistic health counselor and licensed massage therapist, as well as the acting managing editor for Midwifery Today magazine.

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