The brand new Roll Model Mama online program is being released just in time for Mother’s Day. This series of full-body restorative self-massage videos just might be the answer to many mama-to-be’s aches, pains and pressing concerns about pre and post-natal self-care.

I recently got on the phone with creator Jill Miller to learn more about exactly how these self care massage videos can help make pregnancy, birth and new motherhood a whole lot better.

“The fact of the matter is, going through the 40 weeks of pregnancy — you need a lot of support,” noted Jill. “But prenatal massage can be really expensive and isn’t always available in every city or town when you need it most. Pre-natal massage in the right hands is exquisite, but it’s also pricey since it’s considered a ‘Specialty Service.’ I want to empower women to become their own self-care massage specialists so that they can provide the same type of relief for their own aches and pains. So this is a self-directed solution for women who want immediate access to pill-free pain relief.”

Learning Your Anatomy to Better Trust Your Body

As with all of Jill’s programs, knowing key points about your anatomy is central to the Roll Model Mama videos and an in-depth Anatomy Locator sets the tone for the practices to come. But knowing your anatomy isn’t just about getting the therapy balls in the right place to generate the best possible self-massage, it’s also about building confidence in your body.

“Anytime I’m teaching anatomy it’s to help build body-trust,” said Jill. “Re-familiarizing people with a map of their body, or introducing them for the first time if they’ve never thought about their anatomy… it boils down to having more information so they can build body trust. I wanted to highlight certain muscles that are frequently sources of discomfort for pregnant women. What we do with the therapy balls in Roll Model Mama is we place them on these specific muscles that tend to become restricted during the course of that 40 weeks. We also explore how body tensions impact emotional well-being.”

Self-Care During Pregnancy to Make You Stronger and Fitter

After having been through four pregnancies and having two children (two of her pregnancies were lost), I was very curious to ask Jill what misconceptions she sees around movement and pregnancy.

“A big misconception is that you are fragile and breakable and that you have to change everything about how you move,” offered Jill. “What I hope I communicate in Roll Model Mama is that because of this changing load — this growing soft-tissue iceberg in your body — it is prudent that you move better than you ever have before.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a baby in utero being called a growing soft-tissue iceberg… that does sound like quite an athletic feat to take on!

“Really there’s not that much that changes in terms of what you can and can’t do,” said Jill. “There are certain things that are a really bad idea, and we go over those in Roll Model Mama, but you are surprisingly strong, powerful, robust and capable. By massaging your tissues, by connecting to those tissues, by improving the way you hold yourself, you’ll be able to strengthen your body equanimously and efficiently.”

Preparing the Pregnant Body for Healing After Birth

The techniques you’ll learn in Roll Model Mama aren’t just for before baby is born, they will also help prepare the new mom for healing after her birth.

“You’ve just been through an athletic event,” says Jill. “It’s the most utterly human thing to procreate and have a kid. We need some time to heal, for our wounds to close up. Even if you have the most ideal vaginal birth you also shed your placenta, there is considerable bleeding for six weeks, and your uterus needs to change its size. If you’ve had stitches in your vagina, anus or abdomen, you need recovery time.”

This is why it’s so important to practice self-massage and self-care. By doing so you give yourself the support that will help you care for your little one even better.

“These tactile tools are avenues to human touch that you give yourself. It’s a way to re-parent yourself in preparing for parenting.”

Learn more about the Roll Model Mama Video and Kit

Ariel Kiley

Ariel Kiley is an NYC-based yoga and meditation teacher, teacher trainer, published author, and IAYT certified Yoga Therapist. Ariel is spokesperson and program designer for Equinox Fitness Clubs Regeneration classes. She created the 2018 "Yoga Fundamentals" program on DailyBurn.com. She is a lead teacher trainer for the fitness therapy system Yoga Tune Up®. Ariel also is co-creator and co-director of the Dou Yoga 200-hour teacher training. Ariel has published numerous posts and articles on the topics of yoga, meditation and yoga therapy. Additionally she co-authored the book Smitten: The Way of the Brilliant Flirt about self-realization and dating (Chronicle 2013). She has been featured on Extra!TV, CNN, NY Daily News and has worked as yoga consultant to the TV show The Affair. Ariel specializes in stress reduction and Somatic Experiencing® trauma resolution.

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Mélanie Ouellet

The prenatal period is the best time to develop the interest of taking care of them and to move more. They will then be able to pursue these postpartum habits for better overall health.

LCF

Unfortunately too late for me to use TB in that context but I wished I had known of it at time of my pregnancies. Lots to do during and after and I value very much the work that can be done on pelvic floor it is such a difficult area of the body to become confident with and know how to reeducate it after birth, efficiently and safely.

Amanda Kreuzer

I did the first prenatal series Jill created with my first daughter. I thought that was amazing! I am looking forward to starting the newest prenatal series with my current pregnancy!

Rachel Taylor

It’s so crazy that we (as a culture and individually) have internalized this idea that pregnant women are weak and delicate, isn’t it? Amazing how deeply the patriarchy worms its way into our beliefs and actions. Pregnant women are growing new human beings. It’s an incredible feat of strength and power. And yet I think pregnant women are often forced into two corseted categories: either accept the premise that we’re weak and need limitations placed on us externally and internally (and by the way stay quiet and ladylike and definitely do not claim any power), or, reject that premise and… Read more »

Lucy Beiler

How wonderful that Jill and staff have put together Roll Model Mama. 34 years ago Roll Model wasn’t around when I birthed our 3 children, or I would have definitely been rolling my way through the pregnancies and beyond. And now as Oma to two lovely grandchildren with a third on the way, I am thrilled to say our expectant daughter is a Roll Model Mama! Our grandchildren already “roll” around too.

Maxine

This is an interesting snapshot into the Roll Model Mama. I’m very curious to see this. As women in gestation producing a lot of relaxin and therefore can expand, but at times lose important stability that cause many discomforts (like piriformis syndrome). They require a fine balance of movement and specific releases to hep as they grow and prepare for labour. I might have to buy this!

Ashley Corlis

This is amazing! During my pregnancy I used the yoga tune up balls for aches and pains in my priformis from extra pressure from carrying my sweet girl. I would love to have even more info about where to roll and some techniques for this to share with other pregnant mamas or if I decide to become pregnant again in the future!

Sun Kim

pre/postnatal care is so important!!! and I am so glad that now we have Roll Model Mama – We can empower ourselves with self massages!!

Rea

This morning I was just invite to the baby shower of my best friend (she is very early into the pregnancy) and now I know what will I give her ahead of the baby shower… this toolkit!! <3

Shelly Lutz

Roll Model Mama is a must for pregnancy! I have so many new aches and pains from my hips and rib cage expanding, bust enlarging, and having to get used to the extra weight of my rapidly growing belly. I did not anticipate how much rib pain I would have, or how sensitive my glutes would become from the extra load and change in my hips. The YTU balls have been a lifesaver since it has been terribly inconvenient to get into a massage and really feel like I need something on a daily basis. Having the ability to remedy… Read more »