Post-natal massage can help in your recovery from birth and relieve tension and stress for new Mums. Massage will assist swelling and sore muscles as well as providing emotional space and relief. Many new mums find massage helps ease tension and soreness from using different muscles during breast feeding, carrying and lifting a new baby. Massage also provides you with a small window in which to look after yourself, relax, unwind and have some space.
Consider the many benefits:
- Relaxation and Stress Reduction
- Pain Relief
- Hormone Regulation
- Decreased Swelling
- Better Sleep
- Improved Breastfeeding
When Can a New Mother Start Post-Natal Massage?
You may start receiving post-natal massages as soon as you feel comfortable. We 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 Post-Natal Massage?
Any position is safe after delivery but may be adjusted for your comfort or specific treatment. Some mums 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.
May I Bring Baby to My Appointment?
Many mothers want to leave their baby in good hands and take a break. However, some mums prefer to bring their newborn with them. At Need to be Kneaded your newborns are more than welcome. Newborns usually sleep a lot but if your little one decides they want to stay awake and chill with us, or want a feed, they can lay next to their mum on the table.
Aromatherapy during a Post-natal Massage
Holistic treatment with aromatherapy can be effective therapy for post-natal mums. Essential oils are pure extractions from plants and can assist with relaxation, hormone balance, cleansing, and treatment of anxiety or depression. We only use high-quality oils which are safe and non-allergenic after pregnancy but let us know if you are nursing. Most aromatherapy can be diffused into the air or applied topically.
Benefits of Post-Natal Massage
Relaxation and stress reduction
Massage relaxes muscles, increases circulation and lowers stress hormones, bringing relaxation and stress relief. All body systems appreciate treatment after nine months of change, culminating with the delivery of the greatest miracle in life.
Some women prefer lighter pampering massage while others enjoy deeper techniques to work out the muscle tightness.
Anxiety and depression respond very well to massage therapy. About two-thirds of new mums experience temporary post-natal blues related to hormonal changes, new responsibilities and adjustment frustrations. Emotional support and the other benefits of massage can help during this transition.
Post-natal depression is a more serious, longer-lasting condition that affects 10-15% of mothers. Studies show massage to be beneficial for treating post-natal depression.
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.
Massage greatly improves post-natal hormone balance. Estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are very high during pregnancy and decrease after delivery. Prolactin and oxytocin hormone levels rise to facilitate breastfeeding. Studies indicate that massage reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Certain essential oils may also bring hormone and mood balance.
Massage also reduces naturally occurring biochemicals associated with depression (dopamine and serotonin) and cardiovascular problems (norepinephrine), supporting Mum with the challenges of motherhood.
Body fluids need to find balance after pregnancy, in which there was an increase of about 50% in fluid volume. Massage increases circulation and lymphatic drainage to facilitate elimination of excess fluids and waste products. Tissue stimulation assists your body to shift water to the right places.
Swelling is also affected by hormones, which go through major changes after delivery. Massage helps hormone regulation, which also decreases. Continue your high fluid intake for healing and lactation, even though you may still have swelling.
Most new mums feel exhausted after labour and delivery, complicated with around-the-clock baby care. Massage will ease the fatigue, promote relaxation and assist with sleep. Studies have shown an increase in delta brain waves (those that accompany deep sleep) with massage therapy.
That is why it is very common to fall asleep during a massage. Getting enough sleep is key to post-natal recovery. Everything improves when you feel rested! Arrange some help and get regular massages for better rest and sleep. One study correlated better sleep with losing the baby fat on the tummy!
Breastfeeding is a beautiful gift to your newborn but can also be a challenge for some mums. 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 can help relieve breast pain, decreases breast milk sodium and improves newborn suckling.
Compiled from the following resources: Field, T. (1999). Pregnant Women Benefit From Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mar;20(1):31-8. Field, T. (2004). Massage Therapy Effects on Depressed Pregnant Women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jun;25(2):115-22.
Osborne, Carole. (2012). Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Prenatal, Labor, and Postpartum Practice, 2nd Edition, Wolters Klower,/ Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (2011) Research: Massage Benefits Postpartum Women, Nov https://www.massagemag.com/News/massage-news.php?id=11806&catid=1&title=research-massage-benefits-postpartum-women#