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FAQs

If you're considering booking a massage session, including me in your birthing or postpartum care team, or seeking support for your fertility or nursing journey, you likely have numerous questions. In this section, I provide detailed answers to address your inquiries, offering the knowledge and confidence necessary to integrate me into your self-care team.

FAQ - General
FAQ - Massage
FAQ -Doula

General FAQs

Where are you located?

205-A Old Perry Road
Bonaire, GA 31005

In the small building beside ADA Supplies and 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?

For new clients, it is recommended to arrive 10-15 minutes early to complete any necessary paperwork. Please note that all paperwork is digital and paperless, conveniently done in the office on a tablet. Intake forms need to be completed annually or as health history changes.

Late arrivals will result in the session starting without you, ensuring that it still concludes on time. To accommodate other clients with scheduled sessions, it is essential to respect the allocated time. Your cooperation in arriving early is appreciated to ensure you receive the full session you are paying for.

Existing clients are encouraged to arrive 5-10 minutes early to settle in before their scheduled session.

What should I wear for my massage?

Feel free to wear whatever makes you comfortable. Once in the massage room, I will introduce you to the massage table and provide instructions on how to get on it. I will step out for a moment, allowing you to undress completely if you prefer, as it helps me work more effectively. You may choose to leave your underwear on if you have a preference. Standard massage practice involves keeping you covered at all times with a sheet, skillfully uncovering one area at a time for focused work and ensuring it is securely re-covered when finished. Your comfort and modesty are a priority, and I will regularly check in to ensure you are neither too cold nor too hot during the session.
 

I'm sick. Should I keep my appointment?

If you're feeling unwell, please contact me immediately to cancel your appointment, especially if you are experiencing body aches or suspect a fever. Rescheduling when you are healthier will ensure a safer and more enjoyable treatment. Keep in mind there is a 24-hour cancellation policy, so call as soon as you feel unwell—do not wait!

If you arrive at your appointment displaying any signs of illness, you will be sent home, and charges will apply. Call the moment you notice any symptoms to avoid charges.

Do you accept insurance?

I'm pleased to provide you with a payment receipt that you can submit to your insurance for potential reimbursement. Typically, insurance reimbursement for massage therapy requires a prescription from your doctor or chiropractor. Additionally, you can use an HSA or Flex-spending debit card with a major credit card logo for session payments.

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

If you refer a client to me who books an appointment, you'll receive a $5 discount that you can apply each time or save up for a free session! It's a great way to receive the care you need while helping others discover the benefits of massage.

 

Additionally, consider exploring my Pay It Forward Program, details of which can be found here
 

What if I am running late for my appointment? 

I kindly request all clients to plan on arriving 5-10 minutes early (15 minutes for first-time clients) for any massage session. I strive to maintain a punctual schedule. If you happen to be late, I'll efficiently get you on the massage table, and your session will conclude at the scheduled time. Open communication is appreciated; if you anticipate lateness, please inform me, and I'll do my best to accommodate. However, please be aware that my schedule might not allow much flexibility. If lateness leads to a cancellation, refer to the policy for no-shows. (If you are early and experience a slight delay in being taken back, rest assured you'll still receive the full duration of your booked time.)

What is required to reserve my appointment?

To secure your appointment, please provide your full name, email address, mobile number, and keep a credit or debit card on file as a guarantee. Additionally, inform me of how many weeks pregnant or postpartum you are, specifying whether your pregnancy is categorized as low- or high-risk (and, if high-risk, the specific reason).

Do you take walk-ins?

No, walk-ins are not accepted. However, occasional same-day/last-minute appointments may be available. Please call or text in advance or utilize the online booking system. An appointment is required.

What is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?

Your appointment time is exclusively reserved for you. To cancel or reschedule, a minimum of 24 hours' notice is required. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. By booking a session, you agree to the outlined policies.

Find my cancellation policy HERE.

 Massage FAQs

What is prenatal massage?

Prenatal massage is a specialized form of massage therapy designed for pregnant individuals. It focuses on relaxing tense muscles, alleviating sore spots, enhancing circulation and mobility, and promoting an overall sense of well-being. Therapists trained in prenatal massage tailor their techniques to accommodate the unique needs of pregnant bodies during each 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 significant difference exists. At Free Spirit Massage & Doula Services, I provide a specialized and advanced approach to prenatal massage. Unlike many other places, I don't require you to lie on your side during the massage, thanks to advanced cushioning systems ensuring safety and comfort throughout pregnancy. I tailor the massage pressure to your preference, avoiding the misconception of fragility. As a prenatal massage specialist with extensive experience and certifications, I offer in-depth knowledge about pregnancy and birth. Unlike some spa therapists, I have worked with numerous pregnant individuals, and I am committed to dispelling myths, such as the false claim that foot massage can induce labor. My passion for prenatal massage is evident in my continuous education and specialization in this field.

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

Absolutely not! There is no specific timeframe that is too early or too late for a prenatal massage. My cancellation policy is a bit more lenient for clients in labor (see below), and I can even provide massage treatment during labor if desired. Feel free to schedule a massage at any stage of your pregnancy; it's never too late to experience the benefits.

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

Rarely. However, there are some myths surrounding prenatal massage, such as concerns about stirring up toxins, inducing labor with foot massage, or restrictions on pressure and specific areas. These myths are false. While I may adjust certain techniques and positions to accommodate pregnancy, there is a misconception that certain practices are universally prohibited during pregnancy massage. If you have any concerns or questions about the safety and practices of prenatal massage, please feel free to contact me for clarification.

​Is pregnancy massage dangerous? 

No, pregnancy massage is not dangerous during a normal pregnancy. In fact, it can be beneficial in supporting a healthy pregnancy and does not cause miscarriage or induce preterm labor. However, the quality of the massage may vary based on the therapist's training and experience in prenatal massage. Specialization in this area makes a significant difference, similar to how a dental assistant, while knowledgeable about teeth, may not be the ideal choice for performing a root canal.

How often should I get pregnancy massage? 

The frequency of pregnancy massages aligns with your prenatal care visits: once every 4 weeks up to week 27; every other week up to week 36; and weekly from week 36 until childbirth. Many clients opt for massages every other week or weekly throughout the entire pregnancy and for the initial four months postpartum.

​Postpartum massage - What is it? 
Postpartum massage is an essential and advantageous practice, comparable in importance to prenatal massage. This form of bodywork proves to be beneficial for the various adaptations to parenthood. It contributes to a faster recovery and enhanced overall health. Notable postpartum advantages encompass hormone regulation, diminished swelling, improved sleep, and enhanced breast/chest-feeding experiences. Advanced therapeutic techniques aid in the restoration of your body to its pre-pregnancy state, accelerate healing, and support C-section recovery.

Postpartum massage - how soon, and how often? 

It's recommended to schedule your first postpartum massage within the initial 10 days after giving birth, preferably within 5 days. For added convenience, mobile massage services are available with an extra travel fee, allowing you to keep your baby close. Alternatively, you can bring your baby to my office, where accommodations are made for postpartum realities like giant maxi pads and leaky boobs. Following the initial session, consider scheduling massages every other week for the first 16 weeks postpartum. Prioritizing self-care through regular massage appointments can be transformative for parents, fostering a better and happier parenting experience.

How does prenatal/postpartum massage help? 

Prenatal and postpartum massage offers a range of benefits to enhance your well-being. These massages contribute to feeling good, reducing discomfort, and improving sleep quality. Pain relief is achieved in various areas, including the back, neck, shoulders, hips, arms, hands, legs, and feet. Furthermore, these massages positively impact mood and hormone regulation, diminish swelling, stress, and anxiety, and enhance circulation. Ultimately, the result is an uplifted and happier state—because who doesn't want that?

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

No, you don't have to lie on your side the entire time unless it's your preference. I am skilled in accommodating various positions to ensure your comfort throughout the massage. Your relaxation and ease are my top priorities.

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

No, I don't use those special tables with holes cut out for the belly. While they may sound interesting, tables with removable plugs for breasts and belly lack the necessary adjustment and support for different body types during pregnancy. Instead, I utilize an advanced orthopedic cushioning system placed on a standard massage table. This system adjusts to your growing body, allowing you to lie face down or on your side comfortably and safely.

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

Absolutely! I understand the desire, and I have the perfect solution. I use special orthopedic body support cushions that are fully adjustable to accommodate your growing belly and breasts throughout all stages of pregnancy. Many pregnant individuals find these cushions incredibly comfortable, and some even wish to take them home! However, if you are carrying twins or have a larger belly at the beginning of your pregnancy, lying on your side might be more comfortable after a certain point. Additionally, individuals who are petite (5'2" and under) may find face-down positioning less suitable. I'll let you try and decide for yourself!

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

Only during the first trimester. After that, I treat you like royalty, providing a comfortable reclining position with proper support for your head, neck, and back. Your knees and feet will be slightly elevated, offering a position that many find surprisingly comfortable. You might even discover that this reclined position is perfect for sleeping during the remainder of your pregnancy.

What length of appointment should I book? 

For a "full-body massage" covering every major muscle group, a minimum of 60 minutes is recommended, especially for your first massage session. Opting for 90 minutes is even better, providing a more comprehensive experience. While a 120-minute session is fantastic, it's not typically recommended for massage first-timers.

 

What is fertility massage?

Fertility massage is a distinctive and highly effective massage protocol that incorporates fertility awareness, cleansing therapies, and visualizations. This specialized massage may involve abdominal massage with castor oil packs, aiming to enhance circulation, which some practitioners believe may contribute to increased fertility.

You can read more about fertility massage here

 

How often should someone get fertility massage?
The recommended frequency for fertility massage involves a 3-session series initially, acting as a "tune-up." Subsequently, you have the flexibility to decide how often to return while actively trying to conceive. Monthly sessions are the minimum suggestion, and during your appointments, you'll gain knowledge about fertility massage techniques to perform self-treatments at home between office sessions.

​​Do you only work with pregnant individuals? 

While my passion and specialty lie in prenatal massage, I also provide massage services for individuals of all ages, both non-pregnant and children.

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

No, I serve all parents-to-be, regardless of their relationship status or sexual orientation. Whether you are a single parent, part of an LGBTQ+ couple, an adoptive parent, a surrogate parent, or any other type of parent-to-be, you are welcome here. I also work with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and children. My goal is to support and care for everyone in the journey to parenthood. 

What is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?

Find my cancellation policy HERE.

I understand that dealing with pregnancy and the associated challenges may lead to forgetfulness. To assist you, I provide multiple reminders to help you remember and adhere to the specified time window. Please take a moment to review your calendar and set up reminders to ensure smooth communication.

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

I am more lenient with my cancellation policies for individuals who go into labor. Feel free to inquire about specific arrangements when booking your appointment late in pregnancy!

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

Not necessarily, unless you have specific high-risk conditions that may be complicated by increased blood flow promoted by massage. If you have any concerns or questions about prenatal massage, feel free to consult with your prenatal care provider. I am confident in working with you and will address any potential concerns after reviewing your intake form.

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

In summary, while all Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) receive a basic introduction to pregnancy massage, specialized therapists undergo more in-depth training. Elective courses in Prenatal Massage cover not only the technical aspects but also delve into the emotional and cultural aspects of pregnancy and birth. Specialized therapists, like me, continuously pursue advanced education and certification in fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum massage to provide comprehensive and supportive care. My passion lies in this specialized field, ensuring I offer the best possible services to pregnant individuals.

Doula FAQs

Does a birth doula replace a father/partner?

Absolutely not. A birth doula is not a replacement but an additional support member within the birth team. Their role is to complement and assist everyone present. Doulas aid partners by guiding them in comfort techniques, offering valuable information, and, when needed, ensuring their well-being. This collaborative approach allows partners to share the coaching responsibilities with a knowledgeable and experienced companion, enhancing the overall birth experience for everyone involved.

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

No, a birth doula is distinct from a midwife or nurse. Unlike midwives or nurses, doulas do not provide medical or nursing care (RN/LPN). Freed from medical responsibilities, a doula can fully concentrate on offering continuous support throughout labor, delivering unbiased information, and being a consistent presence by your side.

Can a doula help even if I get an epidural?

Absolutely. A doula provides valuable support during early labor, including the process of epidural placement. Throughout the labor, she continues to offer emotional and informational assistance to both the laboring person and their family. Even during the final stages of delivery, a doula's presence can be immensely beneficial.

Can doula's attend c-section births?

Certainly. Even during a C-section, a doula can provide valuable support. While the doula's presence in the operating room may vary based on the family's preferences and medical staff guidelines, her support continues in the recovery room for the new parent.

 

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? 

A postpartum doula is traditionally recognized as someone who "mothers the mother," although I prefer the term "nurturing the parent." Whether it's your first or ninth baby, the postpartum phase is a significant time of adjustment for you, your body, and your entire family, often referred to as the fourth trimester.

While a birth doula offers assistance during labor and delivery, a postpartum doula provides non-medical support in the crucial days and weeks after childbirth. This support encompasses emotional, physical, and informational aspects. While the doula may assist with infant care, her primary focus lies on the birthing parent and their family.

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

The duration of in-home postpartum doula care varies, with typical periods ranging from 2 to 12 weeks. Some families opt for just a few overnights, while others may choose full-time assistance for up to 12 months. I tailor the care plan to accommodate your evolving needs, recognizing that families with multiples often require more hours of support compared to those welcoming a single baby.

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

The initial six weeks postpartum can be both challenging and joyous, and during this period, your focus should be on bonding with your baby rather than worrying about household tasks. In the past, families relied on the support of extended family and neighbors, but in today's world, geographical distances often limit such assistance. Additionally, working parents may face unique challenges, making professional in-home support invaluable. While I am available for as long as needed, the primary aim of a postpartum doula is to empower you, fostering your strength and confidence until you can navigate parenthood independently.

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

While having family support is wonderful, and their presence can be invaluable, it's essential to recognize the distinct role of a doula. Family members often mean well, but they may have differing opinions or conflicting advice, adding to the confusion of parenthood.

A doula brings a unique set of skills and perspectives, offering thoughtful, objective, and evidence-based support. Unlike family members, a doula is not emotionally invested in your choices, ensuring unbiased guidance during this significant transition to parenthood. While family provides emotional connection, a doula complements the support network by offering professional and tailored assistance.

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