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Glossary of Providers

Acupunture - a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. Acupuncture is a pseudoscience, the theories and practices of TCM are not based on scientific knowledge.

Aromatherapy - a pseudoscience based on the usage of aromatic materials, including essential oils for therapeutic benefit. Aromatherapy targets the emotional center of the brain, via the body's olfactory nerve (sense of smell).

Baby Nurse - a night nurse or baby nurse is an expert in newborn care who helps new parents during the first few weeks of life at home. Also called "newborn care specialists," they typically work at night, feeding and changing the baby so the new parents can get some much needed rest.

Birth Doula - a trained support person, typically without formal obstetric training, who provides support and guidance to a woman during pregnancy and labor.

Birth Photographer - documenting labor, and that exact moment when you look at your baby for the first time, hold them in your arms, smell them and hear their cry for the first time.

Birthing Ball/Peanut Ball - birthing balls can reduce pain and help you feel more comfortable during labor. Many birthing balls are round, but some are also in the shape of a peanut. Peanut balls are made from the same material as a round birthing ball.

Breastfeeding - also called nursing, is the process of feeding a mother's breast milk to her infant, either directly from the breast or by expressing the milk from the breast and bottle feeding it to the infant.

Childbirth Educator - a professional source of information, with skills to support parents as they prepare for pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenthood.

Chiropractor - a healthcare worker who performs adjustments (manipulations) to the spine or other parts of the body. The goal is to correct alignment problems, ease pain, and support the body's natural ability to heal itself. They may also use other treatments including heat and ice.

Cranio-sacral Therapist - a form of bodywork or alternative therapy that uses gentle touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. It is based on fundamental misconceptions about the physiology of the human skull and is promoted as a cure-all for a variety of health conditions.

Doula - a trained support person who is not a healthcare professional. A doula supports another individual through a significant health-related experience, such as childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion or stillbirth, or non-reproductive experiences such as dying.

End of Life Doula - a non medical professional trained to care for a terminally ill person's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs during the death process. While you may never have heard of this position in the healthcare field, there is quite a market for “death doulas.”

Health Coach - the use of evidence-based skillful conversation, clinical interventions and strategies to actively and safely engage patients in health behavior change.

Hynobirthing - a birthing method that uses self-hypnosis, visualization and relaxation techniques to help a woman feel physically, mentally and spiritually prepared to birth her baby. Hypnobirthing can reduce fear, anxiety and pain and replace it with knowledge and understanding of what our bodies are capable of during childbirth.

Infant/Newborn Care Specialist - an individual trained and skilled in newborn care. She provides unique expertise in all aspects of newborn care, parental education and support. Her job is to help nurture and care for newborns while providing guidance and education for the parents.

Lactation Consultant - a health professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners certifies lactation consultants who meet its criteria and pass their examination.

Massage Therapist - a trained and licensed professional that practices the manual, or hands-on movement of soft body tissues to enhance a person's well-being. Soft body tissues include muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.

Maternity Photographer - maternity photographers use the best poses, lighting and the most flattering angles for the pregnant female body. They can also advise the pregnant woman on what to wear and understand that you might need to take a break (or several) during the session.

Midwife - a healthcare professional who cares for mothers and newborns during pregnancy and childbirth, a specialization known as midwifery. The education and training for a midwife is similar to that of a nurse, in contrast to obstetricians and perinatologists who are physicians.

Nutritionist - a person who advises others on matters of food and nutrition and their impacts on health. Some people specialize in particular areas, such as sports nutrition, public health, or animal nutrition, among other disciplines.

Occupational Therapist - health care professionals specializing in occupational therapy and occupational science. OTs and occupational therapy assistants use scientific bases, and a holistic perspective to promote a person's ability to fulfill their daily routines and roles.

Overnight Doula - provides overnight, in-home support for families with newborn babies. Night doulas work in the postpartum period, i.e. the days, weeks, and months after a baby is born. They differ from postpartum doulas (day doulas), who work exclusively during daylight hours.

Pelvic Floor - a 'sling' of muscles, a bit like a small muscle hammock that runs between the pubic bone in the front, and the tailbone at the back. A woman's pelvic floor muscles support her womb (uterus), bladder, and bowel (colon).

Perinatal Mental Health Specialist - (PMH) problems occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions.

Physical Therapist - physical therapists help injured or ill people improve or regain movement, and manage pain. They are often an important part of preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment for patients with chronic conditions, illnesses or injuries.

Placenta - an organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby and removes waste products from your baby's blood. The placenta attaches to the wall of your uterus, and your baby's umbilical cord arises from it.

Placenta Encapsulation - the practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into pills.

Post-natal - the period after childbirth.

Postpartum Doula - provides families with information and support on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing, and coping skills for new parents. They might also help with light housework, meal preparation, and help incorporate an older child into this new experience.

Prenatal - before birth; during or relating to pregnancy.

Prenatal Yoga - a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, strengthening, mental centering and focused breathing.

Rebozo - (ree-bo-zo) is a shawl that can be used for comfort and to help labor progress. Rebozo is a Spanish word that means “shawl".

Reflexology - also known as zone therapy. Reflexology is an alternative medical practice involving the application of pressure to specific points on the feet and hands. This is done using thumb, finger, and hand massage techniques without the use of oil or lotion.

Reiki - a very specific form of energy healing, in which hands are placed just off the body or lightly touching the body, as in “laying on of hands.” Reiki can also be done “long-distance,” as a form of prayer.

Sleep Specialist - guides parents in how to help their child learn to fall asleep without assistance. If techniques or advice recommended by a sleep consultant make parents feel uncomfortable, the sleep consultant should be prepared to make adjustments according to what works best for the family.

Tongue Tie - (ankyloglossia) is a condition in which an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue's tip to the floor of the mouth.

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