Pregnancies lead to big business. In fact, in the United States, people spend more than $20 billion dollars a year on pregnancy/infant/toddler and preschool age products combined. Let’s face it, like the need for health care, the market for expectant mothers will always be there. In Northern Arizona, there are several companies that cater to pregnant women. In addition, there are a lot of products offered online.
Some of the local options include prenatal massage, prenatal yoga classes, photography and clothing stores.
Jessica Williams of Red Moon Massage offers a service that may be new to many people. She says massage can greatly reduce the discomfort, especially hip, lower back and sciatic nerve pain, that pregnant women often experience.
“I have a very intuitive and nurturing touch. Pregnancy massage is not a deep massage, but a lighter touch massage focusing on nurturing expectant mothers while still addressing and alleviating areas of discomfort,” she said.
Williams relocated to Flagstaff from California about a year and a half ago. She has national certification and a license to practice in Arizona. Her practice is in Cheshire, but she also travels to clients’ homes. She also works with Dr. Kymberlee Wilkens at Sunrise Wellness Center located at 715 N. Humphreys St.
Laurel Morales offers prenatal yoga classes to clients through The Yoga Experience, a studio in downtown Flagstaff.
She completed a 30+ hour prenatal yoga teacher training. She says that doing yoga strengthens muscles and supports the expanding belly and changing body.
“It also relieves tension built up through the process of change in the body tissues. Prenatal yoga empowers women to find their own source of wisdom and grace. It also offers tools that guide women through the journey of birth, such as meditation, breathing and exercises women can do at home,” she said.
Morales became interested in prenatal yoga when she was pregnant with her daughter, Scarlett. She says it helped her prepare physically and mentally for labor and childbirth. “Yoga helped me sift through all of the decisions and unsolicited advice to find my own voice.”
For 19 years, Flagstaff photographer Kristen Iwai has been taking photographs of pregnant women (and families and individuals). She has had a studio in Flagstaff for the past 14 years, relocating from the Boston area.
“People always ask why I like photographing pregnant women. As a visual artist, I think the shape of the pregnant belly is beautiful. The fact that we as human beings can make other people is awe-inspiring. I just continue to be fascinated to watch people go through that!”
Iwai received the 2008 and 2009 Best of Flagstaff Awards by Arizona Daily Sun readers for her photography. But it is her wonderment of the beginning of life that really motivates her to continue her work. “The pregnant shape is just so beautiful. So, when people are able to conceive and I can bear witness to an important process, it’s such an honor for me,” she said.
There are also several pregnancy and infant clothing stores in Flagstaff, including Madie & Mo’s, Babies to Kids, and Motherhood, which recently opened at the mall.
During the last several years, more than 30 million copies of the book, “What to Expect While You’re Expecting,” have been sold. The author has a very detailed Website at www.whattoexpect. com. There, parents-to-be and new parents can gather tips on everything from fertility issues to parenting teens. FBN
You may reach Flagstaff massage therapist Jessica Williams through her Website: www.redmoonmassage.net.
Laurel Morales can be reached through The Yoga Experience, which is located in downtown Flagstaff at 17 N. San Francisco Street. Its Website is: www.theyogaexperience.com.
Check out photographer Kristen Iwai’s Website at: www.kdiphotography.com.