A Gentle Beginning to my new world…..

In the past 9 months I’ve tried and tested out an array of wonderful pregnancy related  treatments in Amsterdam. What I’ve come to realise is that it is always the authenticity and passion of the practitioner that makes a real difference to how the session is experienced.

When I became pregnant I joined a new community group on Facebook for expectant expat mothers in Amsterdam. Members of the group would recommend a handful of gifted practitioners in Amsterdam who offer unique pregnancy related treatments.

One of these women I had the pleasure of meeting was Mirjam Heemskerk, who owns Gentle Beginnings. Since 2006 she has been providing treatments for pregnant and new mothers which are based on ancient traditional wisdom.

I was drawn to Mirjam because of the unique and traditional offerings she provides.  Her aim is to nourish pregnant women so that they regain and maintain their physical and emotional strength. Some of her services include;

  • prenatal and postnatal massage
  • warming abdominal care
  • womb and pelvis therapy
  • bengkung belly binding
  • placenta encapsulation
  • ceremony, preparation of remedies

I had booked myself in for pregnancy massage session with Mirjam at her home practice in the south of Amsterdam.  I was greeted by a warm woman with a beautiful energy, who was instantly very easy to connect with.

Over a glass of delicious herbal tea, she told me about her services for pregnant women. The essence of her work is to honour the expectant mother, In the words of Mirjam;

Transformation into motherhood is a massive undertaking that not only needs to be recognized and honored, but deeply necessitates a healing touch that can welcome the new mama with open arms. It needs caregivers that nurture new mothers before and after birth while supporting their RECOVERY & RECUPERATION; as EVERY woman needs to be welcomed into motherhood with GENTLE LOVING CARE! 
For a mother being taken good care of, means the whole family is being taken care of !!

I’ve had a few massages during my pregnancy which have typically been in clinical settings, such as Doctor Feel Good or other similar establishments. Whilst the massages have always been good –  I have always left yearning for something deeper and spiritual during my pregnancy. This is exactly what I experienced with Mirjam.

Mirjam’s treatment room is decorated with an inviting feminine energy of soft pink walls which are adorned with beautiful ornaments and trinkets. In the background soft sacred music was playing gently. I was happy to have my treatment in such an enchanting space, and I immediately felt relaxed with Mirjam.

The massage was soothing, gentle and deeply relaxing, perfect for a heavily pregnant woman! Mirjam has magical hands which seem to be full of warm energy, that left me feeling very nurtured. During the session I felt connected with my baby, who was gently kicking whilst I was being massaged.  The few aches and pains that I had were gently being rubbed away and at the end of the session I was literally unable to move as I felt a deep sense of serenity.

As my pregnancy draws to a close, and motherhood awaits full of anticipation and change, I feel very honoured to have come into contact with practitioners who have made it their life’s work to be part of the special journey that is pregnancy, making women feeling nurtured and cared for during this period.

I find myself drawn to treatments which derive from different cultural practices, keen to explore and understand how ancient traditions honour this incredible transition.

I will be keen to try out future postpartum sessions with Mirjam, such as the Mexican Rebozo Closing Ritual. In this ancient nurturing tradition, the postpartum mother is massaged, bathed with carefully selected herbs and her body is gently wrapped with rebozos and tucked in blankets with the intention to honour the body during pregnancy period and to allow the woman to reconnect with her body as she enters a new stage of motherhood. This sounds totally divine!

It is days like today where I realise how lucky I am to live in Amsterdam.  It may be a busy city, but it still feels small enough to retain a community feel where you can make meaningful connections with gifted practitioners who are passionate about the work that they do, and make an empowering and lasting difference to the pregnancy journey.