Giving birth can be a stressful, complicated ordeal. It often takes an enormous emotional and physical toll on the body. A postpartum massage is designed to help women recover from childbirth. It relieves pain and stress, improves mood, and increases circulation to help with breastfeeding. Learn more about how massage aids with the healing process to help women get back on their feet.
What is a Postpartum Massage?
A postpartum massage is technically any full-body massage that takes place within 12 months of childbirth. The experience depends on the patient and their specific needs. Some women prefer a gentle touch, while others will benefit more from a deep-tissue massage. The process may also include acupuncture, gently stretching, and reflexology to improve their range of motion.
Many women recovering from childbirth struggle with pain, swelling, and fatigue that can affect their ability to bond with their child. Postpartum massage helps women overcome these hurdles by helping them relax and increasing circulation, which speeds up the healing process.
The massage should take place in a soothing environment, such as a medical spa or the patient’s home. Certain areas of the body may be sensitive to pressure and some women recovering from birth struggle to lay on their stomachs. The therapist will work with the patient to help them find the most comfortable position.
What are the Benefits of Postpartum Massage?
Most of us know that massage can help with pain, stress, and fatigue, but new mothers stand to gain additional benefits as well. Women tend to lose a lot of sleep while raising a newborn, and a massage can be just what they need to find some much-needed relief. It often leads to a goodnight’s sleep, so they feel refreshed the next day.
Swelling can be a concern for new mothers as well. The body will eventually redistribute the water after giving birth, but a massage can speed up the process. The therapist will apply pressure to the swollen areas to help the body get rid of excess fluids.
The process can even help with hormone regeneration. Women often see their hormones fluctuate, which can lead to nausea and weight gain. Regular massage helps the body relax to restore the body’s original hormonal balance. This is key to helping women produce enough milk for breastfeeding.
Lastly, massage can help women cope with postpartum depression, or what known as the “baby blues.” Many have trouble getting back to their normal routine or adjusting to their new role as a parent. A little bit of self-care can reduce stress and anxiety that contributes to depression.
Is a Postpartum Massage Right for You?
Postpartum massage is safe for most women who have given birth. However, patients who had a cesarean delivery should talk with their doctor before scheduling an appointment. Many therapists will not work on patients who have had surgery within the last six months.
Patients should also consult with their doctor if they have had blood clots in the past, including during pregnancy. Individuals should find a licensed therapist with experience in postpartum massage.
When to Start Postpartum Massage?
Women can start postpartum massage as soon as they feel ready. Studies have shown that a simple back massage delivered within one day of delivery can reduce anxiety in new mothers. There is no set schedule in terms of starting the healing process. Women can go as many times as they need to get the desired benefits. Patients should talk with their massage therapist about their specific concerns or goals. They can track their progress over time to make sure the patient is hitting the appropriate milestones.
It can take the body months to recover from giving birth. New mothers have a lot to deal with, but they shouldn’t neglect their own needs as a result. They deserve a little care and attention after bringing another life into the world. Find a massage spa to start enjoying the benefits of postpartum massage.