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Calling out "Professional Palms"

I'm wrapping up this recent Comforting Touch for Doulas tour with a bunch of aha's and key takeaways. I want to share one that currently feels like a favorite...

In class I always teach about using our whole bodies, leaning in, trusting the closeness and intimacy that in other professional contexts could be considered inappropriate, whereas in birth is more often comforting to feel such close and nurturing support.

To feel the warmth of body heat. The grounding power of body weight. The comfort of more points of body contact, when touch is wanted.

So one fun phenomenon we noticed that I used to call “fly away fingers”, is when those less comfortable with touch will lift fingers up and away while they massage.

Playfully re-named now “professional palms”, it’s that push-pull between the desire to be “professional”, whereas using our whole hands, all our fingers can sometimes feel “too intimate”.

The learning time and time again was how much better the whole hand, fingers down, full contact experience feels for the receiver. That birth more often than not welcomes, even craves the nurturing quality of that kind of intimate touch. Of feeling so fully held.

Comforting Touch for me is about trusting that and giving other birth-workers permission to explore that level of freedom and comfort with their touch. For the sake of their own benefit by not holding unnecessary tension in your hands and bodies, AND for the sake of clients getting to feel so fully held.

Next Comforting Touch for Doulas dates TBD. Link here for more info.

Photo credit: Lina Trochez


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