What makes Mama Bear Massage different from anywhere else?

Pregnancy is my specialty! I make adjustments to the table and environment in order to keep YOUR body comfortable. I will go as deep on pressure as you would like regardless of what stage of pregnancy you are in. I will not treat you like you are fragile. Every session we will discuss anything that has come up with your body and any fears that might be hanging out around your birth. I like to try and arm each and every client with information to bust through those fears that we sometimes carry around birth and labor.

How early in my pregnancy can I start massage?

Whenever you want to! There is no set time. No waiting until your 13th week here. Sometimes that first trimester is the hardest on a woman’s body, especially if this is her first pregnancy. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get bodywork done in the first trimester.

Do you only see pregnant clients?

While 90% of my clientele starts out as prenatal clients, about 10% of my first time clients are postpartum or non pregnant clients.

Do you see male clients?

Yes I see Male clients with the understanding that Mama Bear Massage LLC and Shawna Patton LMT CCH performs ONLY Therapeutic Massage services and we do report any inappropriate calls, messages or behavior.

Aren’t there certain things you can’t do on pregnant women during massage?

A lot less than you might think. You may have heard a few myths such as: massage will detox the body which could be dangerous to the fetus, 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, massage can naturally induce labor….. these are all false. (I can tell you why, if you need further clarification). The main difference is that I don’t do super deep sports-massage type techniques and stretches (but most clients aren’t coming in for that style of massage, even when they aren’t pregnant). I do have to position you differently on the massage table as your belly grows. Such as elevating the cushions so that your belly isn’t resting on the hard table but more held and supported like a hammock. But that’s really the biggest difference. If you have any concerns about the safety and practice of pregnancy massage, please feel welcome to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Is pregnancy massage dangerous?

Nope. 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 much BIGGER difference than you might think. For instance, a dental assistant knows a LOT about teeth, but she shouldn’t be the one performing a root canal.

How often do most women get prenatal massage?

Follow the structure of your prenatal care visits with your Midwife or OB. The closer you get to birth the more frequent you will want to make your sessions. Those check ins with your physician are to make sure that everything is on track and that you don’t have any concerns that need addressing. You bodywork sessions are the same way. As baby grows and your body expands we want to make sure your body is as relaxed as possible to ensure the best birthing experience possible. A good general guideline is once every 4 weeks until 27 weeks along, Every other week up until 36 weeks, Weekly from 36 weeks until birth. Many of my clients opt to come in every other week throughout the entire pregnancy and usually continue for up to 4 months postpartum. 

Postpartum, when is it okay to start massage again?

Come back in within the first 10 days of giving birth. You are more than welcome to bring a caretaker along if you would prefer baby stay in the room or very close by with you. Then, every other week at least for the first 16 weeks postpartum. Postpartum massage is so important. Why? Because women rarely prioritize self-care. Schedule motherhood around your massage appointments and you will be a better, happier mother. Take care you so that you can be the best Mama Bear possible for your little cubs.

What are the benefits of prenatal massage?

It helps you feel good, hurt less, and sleep better. It helps relieve pain in the back, neck, shoulders, hips, arms and hands, legs and feet. Overall, you’ll be  happier and find enjoyment in the pregnancy experience with your baby.

How does pregnancy massage work?

Beginning of each session we chat about what has been going on with your body and your pregnancy, what your goals are for the session. If I can provide a resource or answer questions I love to provide that for you. During your session you can lay face down during your entire pregnancy. As your body changes the way we position will also change. It’s all based on YOU not statistics. If you aren’t comfortable then nothing I do will be of benefit.

Do you use a pregnancy table with the cut outs for belly?

No. 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 women’s bodies. What I use is an advanced orthopedic cushioning systems that go on top of a standard massage table, that enable you to lie face down (or on your side if you prefer) comfortably and safely.

What do I wear or remove for the massage?

Whatever you are comfortable in. I have several clients who come in on their lunch breaks in corporate attire. As far as what to remove I ask specifically that you remove any jewelry (if you are comfortable with that) just so that I don’t get your pieces greasy from oil. Sometimes necklaces can get tangled in the hair or kinked in the chain. Remove as much clothing as you are comfortable with. I will keep you fully covered with blankets and sheets throughout your session.

How long of a session should I book?

If you are new to massage I suggest starting with a 60m session. This applies if it’s been a year or longer since your last session. Most clients go for a 90m session as it allows me to spend more time on each muscle group. It makes a big difference in your ability to relax and enjoy the benefits of the massage. Sometimes it’s challenging to empty the mind and fully relax for the first half hour or so. 90 minute sessions do a great job of allowing for that time to unwind the brain as well as the body. Like sinking into a hot bath after a long day. You don’t want to just plop down, wash up and get out. You want to enjoy feeling yourself relax into the water. It’s the same with massage!

What is your cancellation and rescheduling policy?

Your appointment time has been reserved for you and nobody else. It is common courtesy, and in your agreement when you sign your intake form, to give no less than 24 hours notice for cancellations or rescheduling. Though we may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, cancellations/rescheduling for any reason, within 24 hours of your appointment, are subject to a $45 cancellation fee, or 50% of the full cost of your session, whichever is greater. If we can re-book your vacancy with another client, you will not be charged at all. Cancellations/rescheduling with less than 2 hours notice are treated the same as no-shows  (missed appointments with no notice), and are charged at the full session rate, unless by some miracle we can fill your vacancy last-minute with another client. If you cancel because you are in labor, we ask for a minimum of 3 hours notice. Less than 3 hours notice will be charged $45 or 50% or the full cost of your session.

We know we are dealing with pregnancy- and mommy-brain; therefore we give you a bunch of reminders and confirmation requests to support you in honoring this window of time. Please double check your calendar and set adequate reminders!

What if I am running late for my appointment?

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 my Cancellation Policy (under “Resources” then “Policies”) for no-shows, cancellations and rescheduling last minute. (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 if I go into labor and have to cancel in less than 3 hours?

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

What is required in order 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 whatever reason).  High risk DOES NOT automatically mean you can’t get a massage either. But I do need to be aware if your provider feels that you are high risk for whatever reason.

Do you take walk ins or same day appointments?

I do not take walk ins at this time. However I do allow for same day appointments if there is space available in the schedule. Those can only be booked over the phone. Just give me a call and if I can get you in same day I will. However I cannot promise to be able to do that.

Do I need a note from my provider?

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 call and ask me any questions you might have. I am totally confident working with you and will let you know after I receive your intake form if there are any further concerns.

Do you accept insurance?

At this time I am not set up to be able to do that. However some clients have called their insurance providers and found that they could use their FSA\HSA cards to pay for a massage or be reimbursed with receipt. I recommend that you call your insurance prior to your session to see if either of those would be an option for you! Just let me know if you need a receipt at the time of your session.

Are you LGBTQ friendly?