Post-partum massage has been shown to be effective for a quicker recovery and better health. Unique postpartum benefits include hormone regulation, pain relief, reduced swelling, relaxation, stress reduction, better sleep and improved breastfeeding. More advanced therapy helps restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition, speeds healing and assists with C-section recovery.
Post-partum massage focuses on helping to restore the body to its pre-pregnancy condition and to address the demands of breast-feeding and of course, the physical and emotional stresses of carrying and caring for a newborn.
Massage therapy helps to speed a woman’s recovery by restoring tone to the muscular and connective tissue, realigns body weight to its original distribution, tones overstretched areas of the skin, increases circulation which assists in the removal of excess fluids, reduces swelling and nourishes the body.
Residual body aches from pregnancy are normal. Adding breastfeeding and childcare can intensify arm, shoulder and back pain. Massage is an effective holistic approach that relaxes muscles and relieves pain without medication. A skilled therapist may also resolve even associated numbness and tingling. Chronic or severe pain may require multiple sessions for resolution.
As with all massage, postpartum massage eases muscle tension and stress from the overall responsibilities that correspond with caring for a newborn. Sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, swelling, and postpartum blues can all be reduced through massage.
Post-partum depression is a more serious, longer-lasting condition that affects 10-15% of mothers. Studies show massage to be beneficial for treating postpartum depression. Don’t hesitate to consult healthcare providers for assistance, including a postpartum body worker.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful gift to your newborn, but can also be a challenge for some moms. Massage therapy relaxes the body, increases circulation and increases milk production. Studies show that massage increases prolactin levels, a lactation hormone.
Relaxation in the chest muscles opens the shoulders and improves lactation. New research indicates that breast massage helps relieve breast pain, decreases breast milk sodium and improves newborn suckling. Consult with your therapist about this service as work directly on the breasts may not be legal in some areas.
When Can a New Mother Start Postpartum Massage?
You may start receiving postpartum massages as soon as you feel comfortable. Your therapists will position you comfortably if your abdomen or breasts are sore. If you have maternal complications, first consult with your medical provider.
What Positions Are Safe in Postpartum Massage?
Any position is safe after delivery, but may be adjusted for your comfort or specific treatment. Some moms crave being able to lie face-down again after lying on their sides for almost nine months. Others may be uncomfortable face-down because of breast discomfort or the distraction of leaking milk. The side-lying position can be comfortable and very effective to treat specific issues of the shoulders, pelvis or legs.
Aromatherapy during a Postpartum Massage
Holistic treatment with aromatherapy can be effective therapy for postpartum moms. Essential oils are pure extractions from plants and can assist with relaxation, hormone balance, cleansing, and treatment of anxiety or depression. Most high-quality oils are safe and non-allergenic after pregnancy, but let your therapist know if you are nursing. Most aromatherapy can be diffused into the air, added to lotion or applied topically. Inquire about the therapist’s expertise in this area and if there is an additional charge.
Include Postpartum Massage in Your After Pregnancy Care
Massage can improve post-delivery recovery and health for many women. Supplement the guidance and advice of your medical care provider with massage to support the transition to your new maternal role. A trained therapist will assist you with physical, emotional and educational support as you find the joy of motherhood. Consult with your physician if you have had any complications or have concerns before beginning any new therapeutic practice.