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Origin Story: How Comforting Touch Came to Be

The origin of Comforting Touch; for doulas, for parents-to-be, for birth, for postpartum, for babies, and birth professionals, all of it...takes us back to when my professional life as a massage therapist began back in 1996.

I had been practicing for several years when in 2001 my life was forever altered by an invitation to attend my first birth. It was with a friend who loved massage and imagined she’d want lots of touch for comfort during her labor. Which, in fact, she did! I massaged her for nearly 14 hours straight!

That birth thrust me head over heels into the beauty, power, intensity, and intimacy of birth, the role of being a doula and the power of touch in birth.

After a bunch of years into doula work I was approached by a colleague who asked if I could teach her what I was doing with my hands at births, figuring my massage background had given me an advantage she could learn from. I told her to find a partner to practice on and I would teach her what I knew!

While there were specific techniques I knew I could show her, it was even more important to me to impart to her the principles of touch that would make even improvisational touch much more pleasurable and satisfying for her clients.

I started to think, what is it that makes the best massages so good? And the worst ones, so bad?! How do we go from ‘blah’ to ‘ah’?

What kinds of touch made my clients bodies melt, and made them feel safe and held? Which had them shoo-ing hands away?

How had I adapted my touch for birth to be less backbreaking and more sustainable? What did partners need to know?

The answers to these questions became the foundation for Comforting Touch.

In fact it was that doula, now a midwife, after that first fledgling class who said to me, “Yiska, you have to teach this stuff to everyone!”

And as students consistently walked away from my classes and prenatal visits feeling more confident, I knew this approach was what every doula and expectant couple needed to empower them and guide the touch part of birth support.

Today, Comforting Touch has evolved to bring you many offerings. Find the right one for you below!


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