General OT Questions
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy helps enable an individual to engage in activities that are meaningful to them. A new or expecting mom will probably want to continue her hobbies and also learn how to best care for her child, all while staying healthy.
Isn't occupational therapy related to my job?
This is a very common misconception. The 'occupational' in occupational therapy (OT) refers to any activity that occupies you, especially those that are meaningful to you. Therefore occupational therapy (or 'meaningful activity therapy') really is about helping you do what you want or need to do. This is why occupational therapy is especially important during the massive changes that occur for parents during and after pregnancy.
How do I know if I need OT?
Talk to me! If there are specific physical challenges you or your baby are facing there are often many small ergonomic and lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference. Even if you are currently healthy and pain-free, promoting healthy habits will keep it that way.
The Nurture OT service
Does this service offered by Nurture OT benefit my baby?
Definitely. Any investment a parent makes to promote their own health, comfort and happiness can have a huge positive impact on the growing relationship between parent and baby. Giving birth to and then spending many hours a day with your baby is a huge physical and mental challenge. Starting out with healthy habits will therefore allow you to embrace this time positively, and this will transmit to your baby. On a more practical level, setting up your routine (such as how to feed your baby in comfort) will make it more likely that you can continue this routine for as long as you wish.
Is this service for when I have given birth or for during pregnancy?
There are many things we can discuss both during and after pregnancy. Some topics apply to the pregnancy period only, and will help promote your comfort and a healthy birth. Many more topics apply to caring for your baby after birth and ensuring parents can return to activities they want or need to do, such as returning to exercise or work. Getting to know parents during pregnancy often enables me to best support their needs after the pregnancy. There is no bad time to have an initial conversation.
Can I use your service if I am not expecting?
Yes! If you are not a parent, or a parent to older children, but suffer chronic pain, continence issues, niggling injuries or discomfort, 1:1 sessions with me could help.
Do you have experience in other areas of occupational therapy?
I have worked in geriatric care, community and hospital based services, developmental disability services, and also for several years as a school-based occupational therapist.
Do you offer group sessions?
Yes! I collaborate with Bay Area organizations or other providers (e.g. yoga instructors) to offer group classes, and this information will appear on this website (see 'Mom and Baby Group' in the 'Parenting' tab) and on the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NurtureOT). Also, I can offer group session rates if you have friends who would like to explore Nurture OT's services together.
Do you recommend particular brands/models of equipment?
Often the most suitable item depends on the parent and/or baby. I am happy to discuss different options available, and this discussion would be tailored to your specific needs. I have no affiliations with any particular brand as I want my advice to remain impartial.
How many sessions do you recommend?
This depends on what you require; a tailored plan is drawn up at our initial session. Anywhere from two to six sessions would be recommended, but this varies depending on your needs. I am happy to do follow-ups (virtual or in-person), and also maintain longer working relationships if you wish. Please contact Nurture Occupational Therapy to discuss your needs.
How long is a session?
A session is one hour long. Very occasionally shorter or longer sessions are recommended, depending on your needs.
What should I wear for a session?
Please wear something comfortable, that you are able to move in. Casual or workout clothes work well.
Do I need to clean my house before visits?
No! Nurture Occupational Therapy is here to support you in your parenting journey, not to judge your home. As a mother of two, I know that life is hectic and cleaning/tidying is often the least of our worries! I will be supporting you through offering ergonomic advice on your baby care set-up (such as changing table, stroller, feeding chair), and not looking at how clean or tidy your home is.
Does a session have to be at my house?
It is recommended, as you will almost always receive a more specific, tailored service. However, I am happy to meet in other locations if you prefer, as long as we can easily communicate (parks often work well).
Can my family attend a session?
Yes! Indeed, for some topics, having your partner, other caregivers and/or baby there for some or all of a session can be helpful. All I recommend is you try to ensure we can have an uninterrupted session as best you can.
How do virtual appointments work?
Virtual sessions utilize Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp for a video call, and are offered for those clients who live (or have moved) away from the Bay Area. If you live within the Bay Area and are interested in virtual sessions, please contact Nurture OT to discuss as I may be able to accommodate this.
How much does the service cost?
The cost depends on a number of factors, such as how many sessions are booked in advance and the distance traveled to a session (>15 miles incurs a $15 surcharge). The 'basic' initial session package (two sessions), which includes a full assessment session and follow up session, is $195. Virtual sessions are priced differently. Please follow this link to learn more.
How can I pay?
I accept several different forms of electronic payment, including credit and debit cards, and Paypal. Please contact me for other options.
Do I need to pay in advance?
Yes. In order to hold your session time I have to ask for payment for each session in advance.
Is there a cancellation policy?
A fee of $50 will be incurred if an appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. The session fee (if already paid) will be applied to the next session scheduled.
What if I/you are late for a session?
The session will start at the time scheduled and will last for one hour. If the session starts late due to a client reason, it will still finish an hour after the agreed session start time. If the session starts late due to the therapist's late arrival, the session will last for one hour from when the therapist arrives.
Are sessions confidential?
All information disclosed within our sessions is kept confidential, and any physical documentation is securely stored in a locked location. Clients can request access to their records at any time.
Do you offer mental health advice?
Occupational therapists are dual trained in physical and mental health. This holistic approach incorporates both your physical and mental well-being as part of our sessions. I will refer you on to a medical practitioner for mental health support if I feel your needs are outside my scope of practice.
Do you offer medical advice?
I do not provide medical advice, and would refer you to a medical practitioner where appropriate. I am able to offer support and advice for coping with and remediating physical symptoms within my scope of practice.
Can I work with Nurture OT if I don't live within California?
I am licensed within the state of California; therapists are licensed on a state by state basis. If you live outside of California, please feel free to get in touch and I will refer you to an occupational therapist local to your area.