I’m incredibly fortunate to hold space for pregnant women and their partners as they create their family.
With pregnancy massages and coaching, I support the journey from preconception to pregnancy – and pre-labour to postpartum – and the transition into parenthood.
In this blog, I’m going to share why I’m so passionate about what I do, why I believe in offering pregnancy care to women and their partners, and touch on my own story and how this has shaped me into the practitioner I am today.
“I thought I was just getting a massage, but I got so much more.”
1/ To help reduce stress when you are planning to start your family.
We’re more stressed than ever.
Various studies have shown stress may delay women getting pregnant or reduce their ability to conceive. While stress is not the only factor that contributes to infertility, helping women relax is beneficial. When you are less stressed and everything in your body is aligned, you are more likely to become pregnant.
Scar tissue from endometriosis surgeries can impact your ability to conceive – because of the inner adhesions – so massage and stomach work can help with this too.
2/ To help bring peace and alignment when you are pregnant.
I massage a lot of women who have had fertility challenges, a history of miscarriages, or are finding it hard to cope with the explosion of hormones. Even when you desperately want a baby, it’s common to ask questions: How am I going to afford this? Can I have time off work? Am I going to be a good parent?
Part of my job is to hold space for you – to create a safe and nurturing environment and explain that these fears and thoughts are common, but you can work through them.
Massages by a trained practitioner are safe during pregnancy. Late pregnancy massages can also induce labour naturally.
3/ To build a solid foundation with your partner before you become parents.
During pregnancy coaching I ask questions like:
What kind of parent do you want to be?
What kind of emotions do you need to thrive?
What might be holding you back from being the kind of parent you want to be?
How do you want to be with your partner as a parent, and during pregnancy?
I do this coaching with the pregnant woman, with her partner, or as a couple to start building open and emotionally-regulated conversations. So when you reach the hard parts of your pregnancy – and when baby arrives and you’re facing sleepless nights – you have already adopted this supportive communication style and are mirroring emotional regulation for your children too.
4/ To provide a culturally sensitive way of approaching pregnancy and early parenthood.
I recognise the richness of different cultures and the golden nuggets that have been passed down through generations. I think it’s vital women and their partners and family connect with their culture – go back to basics, relearn what their ancestors used to do – and have the ability to connect to their cultural wisdom.
It’s so easy to buy into the hyped version of pregnancy and having a baby – we can be led to believe that if you don’t get this designer pram or clothes, your baby is missing out. What our babies really need is our time and love, to be fed, and a safe and warm space.
5/ To empathise with your hopes and fears because of my experiences of challenging pregnancies and births.
My experiences of being the only New Zealand woman with my type of heart condition to have children, heavily-monitored and anxious pregnancies, miscarriages, premature and difficult labours, and the fear of not surviving childbirth has made me a better practitioner.
I understand the stress, worry and anxiety because of my own parenting journey.
As soon as you’re pregnant, you’re instantly protective of your baby and would do anything in your power to make sure they thrive. I get that.
6/ To create a safe place for vulnerable conversations where you can be open about grief and pain.
Conversations around miscarriage, mental health and grief are difficult to have.
My pregnancy coaching clients each receive a journal when they sign up which can be worked through with me or on your own.
I want to create a place for both you and your partner to sit together and talk about your feelings, so you learn each other’s communication style and what it means to be emotionally vulnerable and available to each other.
Some men believe their job is to be strong and resilient so may hide their fears. But underneath they hold onto anxieties: Will I be a good dad? Can I support my family financially?
So for both parties it’s vital to be able to talk about fears openly and without judgement.
I want you to feel empowered and in a safe space. That you’re not limited to a short appointment or to only talking about surface-level stuff.
7/ To help women and whānau feel empowered.
A pregnancy massage is never just about the massage itself. It’s about creating space for real connection, asking women and their partners how they are doing and helping them feel heard. Gently asking them if they want to have a chat about their experience. Giving them trust that I’m in their corner and have empathy for their experience.
Lots of my clients leave feeling informed and supported – they say, “I thought I was just getting a massage, but I got so much more.”
8/ To support you through one of the most precious moments of your life.
I hold space for families through the whole process from preconception to postpartum. I find this incredibly rewarding as I get to be there for you during some of the most vulnerable, sacred, and precious times of your life.
One of the mums I’ve supported through pregnancy, has had her beautiful baby and she now calls me Auntie Emma. It’s such an honour to be part of this special time.
9/ To help smooth the transition for women and their partners.
We don’t talk enough about women switching gear from their careers to being on maternity leave. We don’t leave enough time to adjust to this massive transition. Normally we only allow a week or two to get to know this new version of ourselves. We’re supposed to bond with our baby and become a new parent – for many of us this doesn’t come easily.
I want to help soften that transition and talk about it. To validate what you are learning about your baby and how the dynamics will change between partners as we make space for this new human!
10/ To support midwifes, nurses, and obstetricians.
With our current systems, our amazing workforce are stretched and don’t have the capacity to go into as much depth with the women and whānau they support as they might like. I’m not here to replace their work but to offer a complementary service and fill a much-needed gap.
I receive referrals from midwives, obstetricians and Fertility Associates as they recognise the value of massages and coaching.
How does pregnancy massage and coaching work?
At Emma-Kate Wellbeing, you’ll get personalised care and support backed by training, science, and my lived experiences.
You can either come for a standalone massage, coaching or a combination of both.
I ask each of my new clients to complete a form so I can understand your concerns and hopes for your pregnancy or fertility journey and help put you at ease that you’re in safe hands.