Doula Certification Training
Module 1 (Pregnancy, Labor, and Birth)
Lesson 3: Uterine massage, pressure points, and the 'inner smile' for feminine self- care and the power of breathwork
Congratulations for embarking on your journey as an
Original Instructions Doula
Please read and answer the following questions in a google doc, pdf or handwritten format
As Original Instructions Doulas, we have learned how we can nurture and support the female reproductive organs through traditional uterine massage, which is the practice of administering therapeutic massage to the pelvic muscles that hold the uterus in place.
The application of uterine massage, along with nutritive oils/fats, is a service which has long been included in the care provided by traditional Doulas and Midwives across the globe.
Favorable times for practice uterine massage are before conception, postpartum, in-between menses, and menopause.
Uterine massage is contraindicated during menses, pregnancy, and when physiological abnormalities such as cysts, tumors, and fibroids are present.
1.) Based on what we learned in class regarding how to locate our own uterus and how to care for and massage the pelvic muscles surrounding the uterus please complete the following questions and exercises.
In Order to best locate the fundus of your uterus by using your hands you should
A) Move your hands directly to where you know the uterus and ovaries to be located
B) Beginning at the belly button, slowly 'walk' your fingers down towards the pubic bone
C) Place your fingers on the upper hip bones and make steady compressions with your hands and forearms
D) Make counterclockwise semicircles with the palm of your hand until you feel the pelvic muscles
After completing a therapeutic uterine massage session with yourself or with someone else it is important to
A) Keep the feet of the person who received the treatment warm and out f direct contact with cold surfaces for as long as possible
B) Take care to acknowledge that the treatment time is ending by saying a closing prayer, song, affirmation, or by otherwise 'sealing' the session.
C) Stay hydrated with herbal tea or water
D) All of the above
Make time for yourself this week by planning two thirty-minute uterine massage healing sessions for you and by you. During the first session perform the treatment in the way we have learned but without focusing your concentration in any particular direction. During the second session perform the treatment on yourself in the way we have learned but this time keep your eyes closed and sing a healing song, hymn, or chant while performing the message. After each session write your observations of the session in a paragraph or two, noting your senses and the overall feeling of the treatment.
During your Original Instructions School weekend Doula training, you learned how to locate and appropriately stimulate several pressure points; one on the bottom of the foot and two on the lower back. Now, we will teach you about a couple of new pressure points as well as how to use MOXA sticks as another option for stimulating the points.
2) Traditional pressure points and MOXA treatments for a woman can help promote fertility as well as bring pain relief during labor.
Please read the articles, found at the links below, about the history of MOXA (Moxibustion) treatments and then watch the video showing how to apply the heat of a MOXA stick over the indicated pressure point.
Please read the following lesson on pressure points and MOXA
The Power of Breathwork in Birth (and always)
Throughout our Original Instructions Doula training, we have touched on the importance and benefits of being conscious of one's breath during pregnancy and the birthing process.
We spoke about how freely circulating oxygen in the body helps promote respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and reproductive health as well as optimal brain function.
On a psychological level, the importance of working with different types of breathing techniques cannot be overstated. Following our breath allows us access to our center and depth, and is therefore also an essential tool for connecting with and supporting birthing mothers in their power.
When mothers are provided with the freedom to experience their naturally altered states in pregnancy and labor working together with breath can help you as the Doula meet them where they're at.
Please click on the links below in order to review various popular methods of breathing for laboring mothers. As a practicing Doula you will want to stay informed about popular techniques which are likely to be referred by other practitioners in your area. While exploring popular methods, it is important to work with your breath intuitively.
Riding the Waves
Please complete all of the indicated questions and homework for the coming week. Upon completion, you may turn in your typed or written answers and journal entries in the form of google docs, pdf file, scanned attachment or HD photo to Brittany@OriginalInstructionsSchool.com