Benefits of Having a Postpartum Massage
A postpartum massage is vital piece in postpartum support to both welcome you into parenthood, as well as aiding in your recovery from birth and pregnancy. The physical benefits of decreased muscular tension, balancing of hormones, and decreased fluid retention related to swelling, and the emotional benefits of relaxation and stress reduction are key factors in a healthy postpartum recovery.
The ideal time for a postpartum massage is as soon as you feel comfortable and ready for one! Generally, this timeframe is after about 3 days for a vaginal birth or after you have obtained verbal permission from your medical team after a cesarean birth. We will have a large amount of pillows on hand to provide a little extra support wherever you need it if you are ready to lay on your stomach, or provide the support needed if you would prefer to lay on your side. We have found that our clients are ecstatic to finally lay on their stomachs, but need a pillow under their breasts due to soreness and tenderness.
A few of the most common benefits for a postpartum massage are:
Relaxation and stress reduction
Very few new parents take any time for themselves in the first days, weeks, and months of parenthood. Taking even just 60 minutes for a massage not only help physically, but emotionally by provide some much needed (and deserved) self care.
Relieves birth and breastfeeding muscle tension
During and after the birthing process, the tension put on your body can present new and different muscular pains. We are specially trained to reach those spots, and help reduce the tension. Furthermore, learning how to breastfeed can put a strain on your back, chest, and arms, and we can work with you to help reduce any muscular pain you have to hopefully make your breastfeeding journey easier.
After pregnancy, your estrogen and progesterone levels are adjusting to not having a baby anymore, and may cause you to feel off. While we can not help with those specific hormones, we can help increase oxytocin levels by providing a nurturing touch and decreasing cortisol levels that may be on the rise due to stress related to having a newborn
Decrease postpartum swelling
During pregnancy, your body had an increase level of fluid, and after pregnancy your body is figuring out to decrease that fluid, so postpartum swelling is very common. A postpartum massage can help facilitate the elimination of excess fluids.
Postpartum massages can either be done in our office, or in your home, depending where you feel most comfortable. A few things that we recommend:
Have another adult to watch your baby so you can fully concentrate on the massage.
If you decide to come into our office for a massage, we have a very comfortable couches and great recliners your support person can get some cuddles in with your new baby.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, please do so immediately prior to the massage.
The reasoning is two fold: first, it will reduce any worry you have your baby will get hungry while you are taking some much needed time for self-care, and second, it will allow you to more comfortably lay on stomach.
Keep us updated with you feel most comfortable laying on the table.
Laying on your stomach can be a welcome relief, but side lying might be more supportive for your body. This varies client to client, and we will have enough pillows on hand for you to comfortably lay either way.
And as with any massage, it is important to keep your therapist updated with any medical issues that occurred during pregnancy, birth, and immediately following birth. As long as you are in communication with your medical team, massage is generally safe and recommended. However, if you notice that you have any redness and heat in you legs, abdominal area, or breasts, we would ask you seek medical attention prior to receiving a massage as that can be sign for a potential serious infection.