Not Your Average Massage: Uplifting Women + Reclaiming Maternal Health at A Healer’s Hand + The Nest

A Healer’s Hand has been serving the Madison, WI area for 20+ years and is one of the very best places for therapeutic massage – specifically specializing in pre and post natal care. In addition to massage – they have expanded to offer additional services. We highly recommend looking into their services – they are top notch!   

Unwavering Purpose

When A Healer’s Hand and The Nest Owner Nicole Budeau went into early labor just six months into her pregnancy, her entire world changed. In addition to experiencing the trauma of an emergency cesarean delivery (c-section), Nicole’s postpartum state encompassed months in the neonatal intensive care unit, holding her newborns close and watching as her twin boys — weighing under two pounds each — spent the first six months of their lives fighting to survive. 

Nicole, owner at A Healer’s Hand and The Nest

Despite an incredibly scary beginning, Nicole watched an extraordinary transformation unfold — a miracle in the making — as each infant responded positively to her gentle touch and slowly shifted from surviving to thriving. 

After discovering the incredible impact and healing difference of human touch, Nicole felt an overwhelming sense of purpose and clarity. She was inspired to share this life-changing knowledge with those around her — to empower women and educate communities about the transformative benefits of touch therapy. But beyond that, Nicole also knew her experience was not necessarily that uncommon and, unfortunately, how normal it was for women to experience trauma and pain during pregnancy, delivery, as well as overwhelm and isolation postpartum.  

Armed with knowledge, a healer’s hands, and an unwavering commitment to healthcare justice and social equity, the mission and vision for A Healer’s Hand was born. 

Steadfast Resolve

Twenty years later, Nicole — a licensed massage therapist (LMT), certified prenatal massage therapist (CPMT), certified infant massage instructor (CIMI), and Reiki Master Practitioner — remains steadfast in her dedication to improving the standard of prenatal and postpartum care.

Welcoming Space | A Healer’s Hand

A Healer’s Hand and The Nest (AHH) has grown to provide expanded service offerings — including advanced aesthetics, pelvic floor physical therapy, therapeutic massage, and continuing education for both industry professionals and community members. The business is widely praised for its high level of perinatal care and was named the 2022 Silver Winner for Best Specialty Spa in Madison Magazine’s iconic annual Best of Madison competition. This year, Nicole is up for Best Massage Therapist — propelling the practice into a new Best of Madison voting category. Learn more and submit your vote today! 

While Nicole is absolutely overjoyed to be part of such a compassionate collective of licensed massage, bodywork, and aesthetics professionals — and expresses her deepest gratitude for the community support and recognition AHH has received — she emphasizes just how much work is yet to be done. 

Alarming Maternal Health Statistics

According to the National Institutes of Health and The Journal of Perinatal Education, up to 45% of new mothers experience trauma — whether physical and/or emotional — during childbirth. The United States has the worst maternal mortality rates among the developed world. Furthermore, the American Pregnancy Association estimates approximately 70% of women experience pain during pregnancy. 

Since the unprecedented Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade last summer, many anticipate increased challenges related to reproductive health across the United States — from unintended pregnancy to limited access to obstetric care. For instance, a 2022 report from the March of Dimes found that the number of counties declared OB deserts increased by 2% since 2020. This means that there are now over 1,100 OB deserts in the United States, affecting over two million women of childbearing age.

Aspirations for the Future: Channeling Community + Inspiring Hope

While these trends are undoubtedly alarming, Nicole reassures that not all hope is lost. In collaboration with fellow AHH Licensed Massage Therapist, Rachel Rodgers, Nicole hosts a Pregnancy and Labor Support Series designed to teach pregnant couples — whether that means a partner, family member, or friend — specific massage techniques for:

  • Reducing pregnancy-related pain and identifying warning issues 
  • Optimizing the perinatal experience and improving birth outcomes 
  • Ensuring maximum postpartum care and support
  • Enhancing connection and intimacy between partners
  • Supporting partners in their roles as caregivers, helping them feel more confident and secure  

Nicole is currently exploring alternative methods for reaching a larger audience, such as virtual learning and/or taking the course on the road to better serve more women and more communities. 

“At A Healer’s Hand and The Nest, we are here to listen, to give women a voice, to help them understand what is happening to their bodies, and to provide them with the tools and resources they need to thrive. We provide therapeutic prenatal and postpartum massage to reduce pain and mitigate the physiological impacts of pregnancy and delivery, but we also educate and support, whether that means sharing knowledge to help women advocate for themselves throughout the perinatal experience or supporting them and offering compassion as they traverse their postpartum journey as parents in a way that works best for them. After all, it takes a village, right?”

Are you interested in helping Nicole bring more attention to these issues? Vote for Nicole and your favorite local businesses in Best of Madison 2023! Final voting is only open through June 30th. 

To learn more about Nicole Budeau and A Healer’s Hand + The Nest, please visit If you have an idea and would like to reach out, please send a message by emailing [email protected] or calling 608-442-4244 (4AHH). 

Madison Family
Madison is such a cool city. We love it around here. We live here too and our vision is to create a platform where real parents share real stories and we can all learn from one another. You will get to know real moms doing life right here in our neighborhoods and find information on a wealth of topics – local summer camps, preschools, swim lessons, shops and boutiques, events and experiences as so much more.


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