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BIRTH & BEYOND

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Birth & Beyond is an independent midwifery service based in Madison, Connecticut. Our Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) provides the full spectrum of women’s health care, including comprehensive, personalized maternity and gynaecological care. Our goal is to provide excellent care, attending to physical, emotional and educational needs to maximize health, wellness and empower women and their families.

We are midwives who believe in birth and respect each woman’s right to guide her own health care. We want women to know their options and provide resources and support to help them make informed decisions about their pregnancy, birth and parenting.

The Birth & Beyond midwives are the only CNMs in Connecticut providing home birth services. This comprehensive approach allows for seamless care tailored to the health needs of the mother. Our midwives also provide well woman care including preconception counselling, fertility services (IUI), natural family planning and contraceptive options, lactation support, physicals and gynaecological exams for women from adolescence through menopause.

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MASSAGE DURING BIRTH

As pregnancy massage is common practice among most traditional cultures, so too is the touching and caressing of a woman during her labour. In Malaysia, the navel is massaged with coconut oil, said to help the baby descend. In Japan, acupressure or shiatsu points are pressed to encourage an easy and quick delivery. A traditional Jamaican midwife has a whole repertoire of massage techniques for the different stages of labour, including rubbing the abdomen with leaves to help position the baby, and lightly massaging the whole body with olive oil to ease the intense contractions.

Recent studies have also shown that women who receive massage during labour reported a decrease in depressed mood, anxiety and pain. In addition, the massaged mothers had significantly shorter labours, a shorter hospital stay, and less postpartum depression.

In our Western culture, men are now assuming a more active role in the birth room and learning simple massage techniques can be a wonderful way for fathers to support their partners during labour with calm, reassuring touch.

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POSTNATAL MASSAGE: MOTHERING THE MOTHER

Following the birth of her baby, a mother not only has to recover, but also care for her dependent newborn, 24/7. It’s not surprising that this special yet challenging time is honoured by many cultures with body care rituals that help to support and nurture the new mother.

In Malaysia, a specially trained masseur comes every day for 30 days to massage the mother, covering her belly with warm herbal pastes to tone the uterus, before binding her abdomen to help strengthen the muscles and internal organs. In Java, the new mother’s body is massaged all over with rice-flower paste, and a mudpack with added herbs is applied to her forehead.