Saint Thomas Health Services` hospitals, including Baptist Hospital in Nashville and Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.., deliver a combined total of nearly 10,000 babies each year. These babies and their mothers will benefit from a new therapeutic massage service launched in June at Baptist Hospital and expanded to Middle Tennessee Medical Center this month.
Prenatal and neuromuscular massage techniques can assist a woman during pregnancy or after childbirth by reducing muscle tension, addressing postural issues and improving the immune system`s ability to reduce swelling. Infant massage releases endorphins for babies and parents, supports the development of neuro-pathways, helps to relieve colic and increases bonding between parents and baby.
A free, 15-minute massage will be offered to women who deliver their babies at Baptist Hospital or Middle Tennessee Medical Center. The massage will be provided during their hospital stay, pending physician approval, and the patient can choose to have the therapist focus on the neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Additional 15-minute sessions can be purchased for $20 each.
"The focus of our women`s health programs is the care and comfort of the patient, so we continue to find ways to enhance the patient experience, providing women with high-touch services that they want and deserve," said Amanda Cecconi, women`s health service line executive for Saint Thomas Health Services. "We are excited about providing extra pampering for our moms during their stay with us. In addition, we want to help our parents to create strong bonds with their newest blessing after they return home by providing infant massage training."
An introduction to infant massage class will be offered Monday through Saturday and will include demonstrations that encourage parents to utilize massage to care for and bond with their baby. Class fees are $10 per family and grandparents or other family members are welcome to attend with parents.
Pregnant women and parents interested in infant massage will also have access to these services outside of the hospital. Baptist Sports Medicine clinics, which provide outpatient rehabilitation and therapies, in addition to sports medicine services, will also offer therapeutic massage and complete infant massage classes. The services will be launched at the clinic on the Baptist Hospital campus, located in Baptist Medical Plaza II, 2021 Church Street, and eventually expanded to participating outpatient clinics in the Nashville areas based on demand. The therapeutic massage services available for women before or after delivery are $75 for an hour session and $40 per half hour session. The complete infant massage classes are more in-depth than the introduction classes and are $40 per couple.