Doula Liability Insurance - by admin@mcb on June 20 2018

Doula Liability Insurance

Doula liability insurance (malpractice insurance) is not currently mandated by any state or national laws. But does that mean you should not have it?

Statistics for doulas being sued are not available through online searches, most likely because the instance is extremely rare. Although rare, the fact is that doulas can be, and have been, sued. If something goes wrong in labor, malpractice lawyers typically name everyone who was present in the labor room in the lawsuit. Even if the doula did nothing wrong, doula liability insurance could cover lawyer fees. Simply because obstetrics is one of the highest litigated areas of medical malpractice, having liability/malpractice insurance may make sense.

Ways to Limit Your Need for Doula Liability Insurance

The Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE) recommends several simple steps doulas can take before and after a birth to help limit the chance of being sued in their role as a doula. These include:

• Communication: Before the birth, spend time with your doula clients so you know what they want from you, and they know what you can and cannot do for them. After the birth, communication may be even more important, especially if the labor and delivery did not go as well as the client had planned and hoped. One or two postpartum visits to discuss the birth experience gives your client an opportunity to ask questions and process the momentous experience you shared.

• Liability Release Agreement: While a release of liability form does not protect you if you are negligent, by having your client sign a liability release form, particularly one that covers various potential complications, it shows informed consent to the comfort measures you will provide. The Institute of Somatic Therapy provides a sample template for a doula contract and release as part of the Massage Doula Support training program. You might also consider adding a mediation clause to avoid being named in a lawsuit.

• Operate only within your scope of training: By becoming certified, you have demonstrable proof of knowing the standards in the doula profession. Doulas are not medical providers, and should not be performing any clinical tasks, such as dilation or heart rate monitoring, etc. You should also not give medical advice, especially anything that contradicts what the doctor or midwife gives. Your role is secondary to the primary care provider, and your client should know that by your words and actions. Provided that you only operate within established standards, you are less likely to be found responsible for adverse circumstances that arose during the labor.

• Don’t take risks: Massage doulas are discouraged from going to their clients’ home prior to hospitalization so as to not get in a situation where labor progressed faster than anticipated and getting to the hospital in time is not possible. Driving your client to the hospital exposes you to additional risks. You also have to use precautions based on intervention the client might receive. For example, if she is confined to the hospital bed, don’t take risks by trying unusual positions, or if she has an epidural, don’t use heat or ice to areas where she has no feeling.

Sources for Doula Liability Insurance

Massage doulas, as long as they are working within the legal scope of massage therapy, should be covered under their massage malpractice policy. Such policies are offered by a variety of professional massage therapy associations, such as ABMP and AMTA, as well as through private insurers. For doulas who are not massage therapists, or massage doulas who specifically want doula liability insurance, one insurance group popular among birth doulas is Cotterell, Mitchell & Fifer. Other sources can also be found through any internet search engine.

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Institute of Somatic Therapy offers online continuing education for massage therapists. Our courses include prenatal massage and massage doula support.

For Fourth of July, Offer Discounts for Veterans - by admin@mcb on June 11 2018

For Fourth of July, Offer Discounts for Veterans

This Fourth of July, offer special deals for those who have sacrificed to keep us safe. ©iStockphoto.com/Anchiy
This Fourth of July, offer special deals for those who have sacrificed to keep us safe. ©iStockphoto.com/Anchiy

Consider a Fourth of July Promotion

The Fourth of July is a celebration of everything that makes America great. From coast to coast we celebrate with parades, fireworks, cookouts, family, and friends. It is also the perfect time to remember and celebrate the veterans that have fought to keep our country free.

Offering a Fourth of July massage therapy promotion is an excellent way to honor veterans and active duty military personal and promote your massage therapy business at the same time.

Advertise Your Promotion Through a Press Release

Consider writing a press release to advertise your promotion. If you have never written a press release, here are some ideas:

  • Look professional. Do an online search to find the proper format for a press release.
  • Word it to be of interest to the readers, not to look like you are simply advertising yourself.
  • You can quote yourself as though it was written by a reporter.
  • Try to keep it to a single page. The real purpose is for the media to want to interview you for a full story.

Send your press release to local newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, and any other local media outlets.

If you are interested in more ways to improve your massage therapy business visit us online at the Institute of Somatic Therapy. We can help you discover innovative courses that are perfect for growing your massage therapy business and better meeting the diverse needs of your clients.

If you haven’t already, we urge you to take our free sample course. Click here:  Seven Mistakes Massage Therapists Make, and How to Avoid Them. This course will help you analyze your massage practice to find potential areas of improvement.

Institute of Somatic Therapy  is approved by the NCBTMB (Provider #280672-00) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by Florida (#MCE-326), and New York (#0019). Our courses are also valid for AMTA, ABMP, and most individual states.

Positioning for Prenatal Massage - by admin@mcb on June 01 2018

Positioning for Prenatal Massage

There are two schools of thought on client positioning for prenatal massage therapy.

  1. Some therapists prefer to keep the woman in as close to fully prone and supine as possible to provide prenatal massage in the same positions as a standard massage. This is achieve with the use any number of specialty tables and support systems to achieve this purpose.
  2. Other therapists prefer to use a sidelying and modified supine position for performing massage therapy during pregnancy.

At the Institute of Somatic Therapy, we carefully considered positioning for prenatal massage. Our decision has been to teach in the  sidelying and modified supine (semi-reclining) positions. The routine we teach focuses on the back and legs while the pregnant woman is in a sidelying position, and the abdomen, arms, neck and face when she is in a modified supine position.

Why IST Prefers Sidelying Positioning for Prenatal Massage

Image from Istockphoto
Image from Istockphoto

There are several reasons why the Institute of Somatic Therapy prefers sidelying positioning for prenatal massage rather than the use of a support system that allows for a fully prone position.

Some of our reasons for preferring the side-lying position include the following:

1. Potential Strain to Uterine Ligaments: With some prenatal massage tables, it can be difficult to get a perfect, firm fit over the abdomen, so uterine ligament strain can be caused. While the woman may not notice it during the duration of the massage, she may have some discomfort afterwards.  Other systems do not provide good support for the legs, and others only allow for prone and don’t provide a way to modify the supine position to keep the weight of the uterus off the vena cava for the supine portion of the massage.

2. Ease for Client: As the pregnancy reaches the final trimester, it can be difficult for the client to get into and out of the prone position without assistance, and it can be difficult to assist an undressed client in and out of that position without compromising her privacy.

3. Cost Efficient: Most therapists already own a standard table, and can’t afford the expense of another table when it is not absolutely necessary. The cost of the sidelying and modified supine bolsters are often less than a specialty table.

4. Comfortable: A sidelying, fetal position is a very nurturing, comfortable position, one in which most people sleep, so it is very calming physically and psychologically.

5. Effective: A sidelying position places the client in a position which makes it very easy for the therapist to access her hip, IT band, piriformis, and sciatic nerve areas. These areas of the body are often in need of special focus to relieve the strain of the pregnancy. You cannot get the same access to these trouble spots in a prone position.

That being said, we realize this is a personal choice, and do not require our students to adopt this position if they have strong feelings about the prone positioning. Most of the techniques we teach are easily adapted into a prone position if that is what you and your client prefer.

Becoming Certified as a Prenatal Massage Therapist

To learn more about becoming certified as a prenatal massage therapist with Institute of Somatic Therapy, click here.

Institute of Somatic Therapy  is approved by the NCBTMB (Provider #280672-00) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Institute of Somatic Therapy is also approved by Florida (#MCE-326), and New York (#0019). Our courses are  valid for AMTA, ABMP, and most individual states.