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What Experts are saying about Natural Childbirth & Massage Therapy

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massage therapy, massage labor, natural childbirth

What Experts are saying about Natural Childbirth & Massage Therapy

By: Lisa Saccoia, BS, LMT

Natural childbirth: Is it something you only find in the high peaks of the Adirondack Mountains? Or in communes? Well, turns out, no. Just ask Lee Gabrilovitch. She’s dedicated the past 15 years of her career helping to bring natural childbirth to the Capital Region.

Her philosophy is simple. Natural child birth honors the energetic and spiritual process of childbirth while ensuring physical safety. And, she says, massage therapy plays a major role.

 “Anxiety and fear impede labor, and loving touch and a sense of safety facilitated it. This is the way women were meant to labor,” she says. “With women massaging us.”

 Christina Hirazumi, mother of three, received massage therapy from Gabrilovitch during her labor. She called it one of the most “priceless” experiences.

 “Receiving massage therapy during labor was a welcome distraction from contractions. Feeling massage on my lower back and sacrum during intense contractions got my mind focused long enough for the pain to pass,” Hirazumi said. “The extra support in the room was priceless… It was comforting that someone was there just to focus on me.”

What is a natural child birth?

  • No pain medication
  • No induction of labor
  • No artificial rupture of membranes (breaking the water manually)

 Benefits of Massage Therapy during labor:

According the Gabrilovitch, the benefits of Massage Therapy for the laboring woman are:

  • Feeling of safety and comfort
  • Pain relief
  • Facilitate labor process
  • Decrease fear and anxiety

For 10 years following nursing school, Gabrilovitch’s passion working with laboring women grew. She became a child birth educator and labor support person. Her natural inclination to offer therapeutic touch led to her becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT). She then began providing massage therapy for laboring women in the labor and delivery unit.

“I saw that massage changed the labor process. The three biggest changes I saw were pain relief, speed of labor, and the shift from fight or flight into that calm, quiet, safe place.” 

massage therapy, massage labor, natural childbirthBased on her findings, Gabrilovitch created the Massage for the Laboring Woman class. This class – which offers Continuing Ed. hours for LMTS – offers hands-on instruction on how to massage laboring moms. Participants learn techniques to facilitate and support the labor/birth process. They’ll also learn how to prepare for the hospital environment (bed, equipment, staff).

Q: What can someone expect from the Massage for Laboring Women class at CNW: School of Massage?

A:  It’s my hope that people will attain the knowledge and skills to work with laboring women. Knowing these skills can facilitate a beautiful and rewarding birth experience.

Q: Why is Natural Child Birth & Massage during labor so important?

A: I am passionate about the natural birth process and massage therapy. It’s a natural physiological process that’s been approached as a medical process in this country. It can rob the woman and her newborn of the safest birth available, and from a birth experience that connects them.

Gabrilovitch is offering Massage for the Laboring Woman at the CNW: School of Massage Therapy on June 3rd. You can register through the CNW: School of Massage Continuing Education via our website. LMTs who complete this course will earn 5 Continuing Education hours.

Lee G THUMB - 2015-08-27 12:17:31Lee Gabrilovitch, B.A., RN, LMT

Lee is an instructor of Anatomy and Physiology at CNWSMT. She earned a B.A. in fine art from SUNY Binghamton, and received a diploma of Nursing from Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. In addition, she is a graduate of CNWSMT and has been practicing Massage Therapy since 2004. She had 13 years of teaching experience at CNWSMT. Lee brings an abundance of humor and vibrant enthusiasm to the classroom. She believes that simply providing presence and touch can dramatically improve a client’s physical, emotional and spiritual state.

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Center For Natural Wellness
School Of Massage Therapy
3 Cerone Commercial Drive
Albany, NY 12205
Administrative Office: (518) 489-4026
Student Massage Clinic: (518) 489-4068
Fax: (518) 489-0522


Administrative Office: (518) 489-4026 | Student Massage Clinic: (518) 489-4068 | Fax: (518) 489-0522