Welcome to Massage Doula

Brought to you by the Institute of Somatic Therapy. We are the premier certifying organization for prenatal massage and Massage Doulas. Massage Doulas are Certified Massage Therapists who have completed advanced study in prenatal massage, postpartum massage, labor, delivery support and, optionally, infant massage.

TO FIND a prenatal massage therapist or massage doula in your area, please click on the "Find a Therapist" link above.

TO BECOME a certified prenatal massage therapist and certified massage doula, please click on the "Certification" link above. Our home study materials are also available to lay persons who wish to provide pregnancy, labor or infant massage to a friend or family member.

What a Certified Massage Doula can do for you:

  • Shorten length of labor, reduce need for pain medications or epidurals, reduce the need for pitocin, reduce the need for forceps & vacuum extraction, reduce the need for c-sections, dramatically increase your odds of a natural labor, most importantly improve the health of your baby!

What a Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist can do for you:

  • During Pregnancy: Safe, drug-free relief of aches & pains, reduce swelling, ease pressure on the sciatic nerve, learn relaxation skills for labor, prepare your body for delivery, assist circulation, release emotional tension, improve sleep patterns.
  • Postpartum: Restore muscle tone to abdomen, stimulate the uterus to return to its pre-pregnant size and position, alleviate muscle pain from postural shifts, fuller breasts, and weight of carried infant.

What a Certified Infant Massage Instructor can teach you to do:

  • Promote bonding, stimulate circulation, ease colic, gas, and digestive discomfort, improve sleeping patterns, stimulate brain development.

What a Certified Fertility Massage Therapist can do for you:

  • Help restore your uterus to its normal position and shape if it has become tilted or compressed by an impacted intestine
  • Improve circulation to your reproductive organs, allowing fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients to flow
  • Help loosen scar tissue and clear blockages to the Fallopian tubes
  • Provide relaxation to other organs, promoting their overall health and ability to function normally
  • Help achieve hormonal balance
  • Help relieve cramps



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