FAQs

If you’re thinking about booking a massage session, adding me to your birthing or postpartum care team, or looking for support with your fertility or nursing journey, you probably have a lot of questions. Here, I answer your questions in detail and help you gain the knowledge and confidence you need to add me to your self-care team. 

General FAQs

Where are you located?

205-A Old Perry Road
Bonaire, GA 31005

In the small building across the street from Bonaire First Baptist Church at the corner of Old Hwy 96 and Old Perry Road.
 

How early should I arrive for my massage?

New clients should always plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to and fill out any paperwork needed. I am all digital/paperless, so these will be done in office on a tablet.  
(Intake forms are completed once a year or as health history changes.) 

Your late arrival will require the session to start without you and still end ON TIME. Other clients who are booked after you would like to keep their sessions on time. Please help me give you the full session you are paying for by arriving early.

Existing clients can plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early to get settled in before their session.
 

What should I wear for my massage?

Come as you are. Once you get in the massage room, I will introduce you to the massage table and explain how to get on it. I will ask you to get completely undressed after I step out for a moment, as I prefer not to have to work around anything. You are welcome to leave undies on if you have a good reason to. It is standard massage practice to leave you covered at all times with a sheet with one area at a time skillfully uncovered to be worked on and re-covered securely when that area is finished. You will be comfortable and modest, and I will check in with you to make sure you are not too cold or too hot.
 

I'm sick. Should I keep my appointment?

If you get sick, please contact me immediately to cancel your appointment - especially if you are experiencing body aches or you suspect a fever. Your treatment will be safer and more enjoyable once you feel better. Please note there is a 24-hour cancellation policy in effect, so call AS SOON as you feel you're ill. Do not wait!

Due to recent events with COVID, if you arrive at your appointment showing signs of ANY illness, you will be sent home and charged for the appointment. Please call the moment you show signs of illness to avoid any charges. 
 

Do you accept insurance?

I am happy to give you a receipt for your payment so you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement. (It usually requires a prescription for massage therapy from your doctor or chiropractor.) You can also use a HSA or Flex-spending debit card with a major credit card logo to pay for your sessions.
 

What if I really need a massage, but really can not afford one?

For each client you refer to me that books an appointment, you get $5 off! You can use the $5 off each time or save up for a free session!  (And usually every pregnant individual knows at least three more pregnant people. Spread the word!)

I also have a Pay It Forward Program. You can read about it here
 

What if I am running late for my appointment?

I ask all clients to ALWAYS plan on arriving 5-10 mins (15 minutes for first time clients) early for any massage session. Unlike the average doctor's office, I actually run on time! If you are late, I will get you on the massage table quickly, and you will get whatever time remains of the session you are paying for. Just communicate with me if you are going to be late, and I'll see what I can do, but please understand that I don't usually have wiggle room in my schedule. If you are so late that you have to cancel, see policy for no-shows. (If you are early, and I end up taking you back a few minutes late, you'll still get the full time you booked and it's up to me to make up time in my schedule.)
 

What is required to reserve my appointment?

Your full name, email address, mobile number, a credit or debit card on file to guarantee your appointment, as well as how many weeks pregnant or postpartum you are, and whether your pregnancy is low- or high-risk (and if high risk, for what reason).
 

Do you take walk-ins?

No. But rarely I will have same-day/last-minute appointments. Please call/text first, or book online. Appointment is required.

What is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?

Your appointment time has been reserved for you and nobody else. It is common courtesy, and in your agreement when you book your session and sign your intake form, to give no less than 24 hours’ notice for cancellations or rescheduling. Though I may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, by booking a session with me, you agree to my policies listed below.​

Find my cancellation policy HERE.

 Massage FAQs

What is prenatal massage?

Massage therapy for pregnant people. Prenatal massage aims to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and just make you feel good. But prenatal massage is also customized to the needs of pregnant individuals and their changing bodies, and therapists trained in prenatal massage adjust their techniques accordingly for every session.

What's the difference between getting prenatal massage at Free Spirit Massage & Doula Services vs. any other spa or place in Middle Georgia that offers pregnancy massage?   

A LOT.  Let's put it this way: A Dentist is a Doctor too... but not the kind of doctor you should choose to deliver your baby. A few highlights: I don't require you to lie on your side for the massage because I have advanced cushioning systems to ensure your safety and comfort at all stages of pregnancy, I will work with as deep of pressure as you want (I don't treat you like you are fragile), I’m not hesitant/afraid to work on you, I am a SPECIALIST in prenatal massage and have worked on countless numbers of pregnant people (most spa therapists have only worked on a handful), I am highly knowledgeable about pregnancy and birth and I don't perpetuate myths and misconceptions such as "I can induce your labor with foot massage" (which is hopeful... but false.) I have taken many prenatal massage classes over the entirety of my massage career and became certified. I went to school for massage planning on specializing in prenatal massage. It is my passion.
 

Is it ever too early or too late in pregnancy to get a massage? 

Absolutely not! The only difference is my cancellation policy for clients in labor is a bit more lenient (see below).
I can even provide massage treatment during labor if you want! It's never too late for a massage either. 
 

​Aren't there certain things you can't do on pregnant people during a massage? 

Rarely. But you may have heard a few myths: massage will stir up toxins and is dangerous, foot massage will put you in labor, you can only use light pressure massage, no deep work on your lower back, no massage in the first trimester, no face-down massage EVER, therapist can naturally induce labor or do things that will put you in labor..... these are all false. The main difference is that I don't do super deep sports-massage type techniques on your legs (but most clients don't want that), and I have to position you differently on the massage table as your belly grows. If you have any concerns about the safety and practice of pregnancy massage, please contact me for clarification.
 

​Is pregnancy massage dangerous? 

No. Massage during a normal pregnancy is not harmful at all. Massage supports a healthy pregnancy, and does not cause miscarriage or induce preterm labor. That being said...not all massage therapists or spas who offer prenatal massage have extensive training or experience doing it, and if you are the recipient of one of those massages, you might be left unsettled and disappointed. Specialization makes a BIG difference; a dental assistant knows a LOT about teeth, but s/he shouldn't be the one performing a root canal.
 

How often should I get pregnancy massage? 

Same as your prenatal care visits! Once every 4 weeks up to week 27; every other week up to week 36; weekly from week 36 on until you give birth. MANY of my clients come every other week or every week for the whole pregnancy, and for four months postpartum.
 

​Postpartum massage - What is it? 
Postpartum massage can be as important and beneficial as massage during pregnancy. Postpartum bodywork is an effective and holistic approach for the many adjustments to parenthood. It has been shown to be effective for a quicker recovery and better health. Unique postpartum benefits include hormone regulation, reduced swelling, better sleep, and improved breast/chest-feeding. More advanced therapy helps restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition, speeds healing and assists with C-section recovery.

Postpartum massage - how soon, and how often? 

Come back in within the first 10 days (preferably 5 days) of giving birth. I can even come TO you so you can keep baby with you (Mobile massage does have an extra travel fee). But you can also bring baby to my office with you (Giant maxi pads and leaky boobs welcome.)  Then, every other week at least for the first 16 weeks postpartum. (I promise it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Why? Because parents rarely prioritize self-care. Schedule being a parent around your massage appointments and you will be a better, happier parent.)
 

How does prenatal massage help? 

It will help you feel good, hurt less, and sleep better. It helps relieve pain in the back, neck, shoulders, hips, arms and hands, legs and feet. It even helps with mood and hormone regulation, reduces swelling, stress and anxiety and improves circulation. Overall, you'll be happier... and who doesn't want THAT?
 

​Do I have to lie on my side the whole time? 

Only if you prefer to. I know how to do that very well. 
 

Do you have those special pregnancy tables with holes cut out for the belly?

oh, noooooo. (Do they still sell those??? ) While they are a novel idea, tables with removable "plugs" for breasts and belly do not adjust or support the body adequately. One size does NOT fit all when it comes to gestational bodies. I DO have an advanced orthopedic cushioning system that goes on top of a standard massage table and adjusts to your growing body, that enables you to lie face down (or on your side if you prefer) comfortably and safely.  
 

​Do I get to lie face-down during a pregnancy massage? 

Absolutely... every pregnant persons dream come true! I am masterful in the use of special orthopedic body support cushions that are fully adjustable to accommodate your growing belly and breasts during all stages of pregnancy. Most pregnant people find them so comfortable that they beg me to let them take the cushions home! If you are carrying twins, or have a larger belly at the start of your pregnancy, it may be more prudent and comfortable to lie you on your side after a certain point. Also, people that are petite (5'2" and under) may not fit well face-down on the cushions. But I will let you try them and decide for yourself! 
 

​Can I lie flat on my back during pregnancy massage? 

Only during the first trimester. After that, I prop you up like Royalty, reclining on your throne, with your head/neck/back supported, your knees and feet slightly elevated too. Magically, you'll also discover that this is a great position to sleep in for the rest of your pregnancy.
 

What length of appointment should I book? 

For "full-body massage" (where I say hello to every major muscle group), we need at least 60 minutes, especially if it is your first massage session. 90 minutes is even better, and 120 minutes is freakin' fantastic (but not recommended for massage first-timers). 

 

What is fertility massage?

Fertility massage is a unique and highly effective massage protocol, that includes fertility awareness, cleansing therapies and visualizations. Fertility massage can include massage of the abdomen with castor oil packs intended to increase circulation, which is thought by some practitioners to boost fertility. 

You can read more about fertility massage here

 

How often should someone get fertility massage?
This fertility massage treatment plan is a 3 session series. You'll come for treatment for 3 sessions to get a "tune-up" and then you can choose to come as often as you want once you are actively trying to conceive. Once a month is the minimum recommendation, but you will learn the basics of fertility massage in your sessions so you and your partner can do treatments on yourselves between your sessions in office.
 

​​Do you only work with pregnant individuals? 

Although prenatal massage is my passion and specialty, I also work on all ages of non-pregnant individuals and children.
 

Do you only work on biological moms? (or heterosexual moms, etc.) 

No, I serve all parents-to-be...as well as their husbands, wives and partners. I work with independent/single parents-to-be, birth parents, intended adoptive parents, surrogate parents, teen parents, young parents, old parents, and parents who have lost their babies too soon.
Even boyfriends, fiancés, aunts, uncles, grandparents and kids. Everyone is welcome here.
 

What is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?

Your appointment time has been reserved for you and nobody else. It is common courtesy, and in your agreement when you book your session and sign your intake form, to give no less than 24 hours’ notice for cancellations or rescheduling. Though I may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, by booking a session with me, you agree to my policies listed below.​

Find my cancellation policy HERE.

I know we are dealing with pregnancy- and pregnancy-brain; therefore, I give you a lot of reminders to support you in honoring this window of time. Please double check your calendar and set adequate reminders yourself! 
 

What if I go into labor and have to cancel my appointment? 

I am much more lenient in my cancellation policies for individuals who go into labor; just ask when booking your appointment late in pregnancy!
 

​​Do I need a note from my doctor or midwife for a prenatal massage? 

Not unless you have certain high-risk conditions that could be complicated by promotion of blood flow throughout your body via massage. If you have any concerns in general about pregnancy massage, feel free to ask your prenatal care provider. I am totally confident working with you and will let you know after reviewing your intake form if there are any further concerns.
 

​What difference in qualifications or training do you have over a non-specialized massage therapist? 

I'll try to keep this relatively brief: All LMTs have a short crash course during massage school on how to do a (pretty lousy) pregnancy massage with the pregnant person propped on their side with a few pillows. (IF they even get that much!) Many myths are perpetuated out of fear of doing harm (ie, no 1st trimester massage, no foot/ankle massage, massage can induce labor, massage has to be light touch only, etc.)
Some take an elective course in Prenatal Massage that is far more in dept. In addition to common sense pregnancy massage practice, they learn what pregnant people want, need, and expect. Not only do they learn EVERYTHING they should know about pregnancy and birth, they also get over the pregnancy fears and myths they learned in massage school. They learn that while pregnant people require special handling, pregnancy is NOT a disease, and pregnant people are NOT fragile. They learn what to do and what not to do, when to worry and when not to worry, and also dive into the culture of birth in the USA and what pregnant people are really going through during pregnancy and the many choices they must face. They learn skills and mindsets required to be truly supportive, professional, caring, and helpful for all aspects of pregnancy. I have taken numerous Prenatal Massage courses over the years and became certified in fertility, pregnancy and postpartum massage as this type of bodywork is my passion. 

Doula FAQs

Does a birth doula replace a father/partner?

A doula doesn’t replace anyone. She is another member of the birth team and supports everyone in their own role. A doula’s presence helps partners participate at their own comfort level, showing them how and when to use various comfort techniques, providing information, and in some cases, looking after them as well. Partners are often grateful to be able to share the “coaching” responsibility with someone more experienced and can therefore enjoy the birth experience more.
 

Is a birth doula the same thing as a Midwife or nurse?

No. A doula provides no medical or nursing (RN/LPN) care. Since s/he doesn’t have these responsibilities, or other patients to attend to, she can give her complete attention to being by your side for the entire length of labor providing support and unbiased evidence information.

Can a doula help even if I get an epidural?

Yes. A doula’s presence is helpful during early labor and during the epidural placement process. She then continues to care for the laboring person and their family, offering emotional and informational support. And when it’s time to deliver the baby, the doula’s assistance can be invaluable.

Can doula's attend c-section births?

Yes, someone having a C-section can still use a doula’s support. The doula may or may not be in the operating room, depending on the wishes of the family and the medical staff, but either way, the doula is still there for the new parent in the recovery room.

 

What are the benefits of a doula?

Labor doulas are statistically proven to improve outcomes:

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*

  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*

  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*

  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief

  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery

  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
     

What is a postpartum doula? 

The role is traditionally described as “mothering the mother.”  I prefer to call it "nurturing the parent".

Whether this is your first or ninth baby, the postpartum period is a major time of transition for you, your body, and — well — your whole family. This period of time is often called the fourth trimester, and for good reason!

Whereas a birth doula provides support during the actual labor and birth, a postpartum doula provides non-medical support in these important days and weeks following delivery.

This support is emotional and physical, as well as informational. And while the doula does help with infant care, her primary focus is on the birthing parent and their family. 
 

How long do families typically use in-home postpartum doula care?

Anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks is typical, though some families do as few as a couple of overnights while others utilize 12 months of full-time help.

I customize care to fit your needs as they change from week to week. Generally speaking, multiples usually need more hours of in-home care than families welcoming one baby.
 

How will I become self-sufficient as a parent if I am dependent on the help of a postpartum doula?

The first six weeks postpartum are the toughest and also the sweetest — you shouldn’t be worried about things like doing laundry or fixing meals. You were meant to be nurtured during this time and your time should be spent getting to know your baby. In the past, new parents were supported by moms, aunts, cousins and even neighbors. Today, however, families are often separated by great distances, so that in-home support is less available. Additionally, parents who work outside the home or own their own businesses need support that empowers their parenting decisions- having a professional in the home can help families navigate all of their unique challenges.
Though I am there to help for as long as needed, a postpartum doula’s greatest accomplishment is to work herself out of the job. My ultimate goal is to help you grow stronger and more confident.

My mother, sister, aunt (insert family member) will be around, can't they be my doula?

That's great that you will have family support after you have your baby. Not everyone is so lucky! More and more people work and it's difficult to take the time off. If you do have a family member with you the first few weeks, that's wonderful. Family members usually mean well, but sometimes they like to push their opinions on you. For example, you read that it's good to wear your baby often but some in-law or cousin is telling you that you'll spoil the baby if you don't let him/her sleep in their crib. This conflicting information can make the transition to parenthood even more confusing. Your family is emotionally invested in you and your baby. A doula will provide you with thoughtful support, however it will always be objective and evidence-based.