After an extensive stressful 9 months of expecting your family’s new member and spending one or two day(s) of distressing labor, now you definitely need to take a few hours away from your motherhood responsibilities and have the luxury of a number of comforting and healing massage sessions. Talk to your husband, mother, friend, or anyone helpful about what you need and ask them to help you with taking care of the baby for an hour so that you can benefit from postnatal massage.
What is Postnatal Massage
Postnatal massage is a full body massage that is carried out after baby delivery. This relaxing massage usually starts with your feet and continues up to your head. It is usually performed by a massage therapist who is specialized in the postnatal massage. In case you cannot leave home, these therapists can come to your home for as many sessions as you need. However, a complete postnatal massage includes 40 sessions of treatment. And, you can start them as soon as you bring your newborn baby home from the hospital.
Postnatal massage works great in soothing you after the long tiresome pregnancy and now with the chaos of having a newborn baby at home. However, in case you have had a Caesarean section, consult with your doctor before starting massage therapy. It usually takes a few weeks until your body gets ready for a massage after a Caesarean section. In addition, you have to make sure that your C-section scar is no longer sensitive to any type of massage and touch.
What Are the Benefits of Postnatal Massage
First and foremost, similar to all other massage therapies, postnatal massage is a great way to lessen your stress and tension by releasing the natural painkilling endorphins. Moreover, it can be an aid in faster body recovery after baby delivery. A number of other postnatal massage benefits include:
- Reducing Muscle Soreness: During pregnancy, your body changes, your skin stretches, and your muscles and joints have to bear a much heavier weight. The highest peak of pain and strain occurs during childbirth, specifically around your abdomen and lower back. After baby delivery, all your body certainly needs a type of recovery. The prenatal massage takes care of it! It helps to alleviate your muscle soreness and skin sensitivity.
- Enhancing Blood Flow and Oxygen Delivery: During the pregnancy, your added weight causes too much pressure on your blood vessels and muscles. By a soothing massage which can unknot your muscles, blood can be circulated more smoothly within your blood vessels, delivering oxygen and nutrition to all the cells of your muscles and tissues. Promoted blood flow can also extract waste materials from your muscles and remove them.
- Reducing Swelling: Your body retained a large amount of water and fluid during pregnancy to prepare you for childbirth. Now, it is time to discard all the unnecessary buildup of fluid. An overall massage after childbirth can stimulate the lymphatic drainage and remove extra fluids and toxins which have been collected and retained in the swollen areas.
- Improving Breastfeeding: The mother-baby love hormone, oxytocin, helps your body to produce milk. An enjoyable massage helps the secretion of oxytocin and increases your milk supply. Do not forget to have your breastfeeding bra on during the massage since your breasts might leak milk when oxytocin production is improved. Moreover, a skillfully applied massage can help to remove lumps or blockage and also prevent breastfeeding infections which are caused by the blockage of milk ducts in the breasts.
During the first months of your newborn baby’s life, you may not be able to get enough sleep. However, all the mentioned benefits can also give you better sleep quality. Feeling less stressed both in mind and body can help you to deal better with your natural postnatal depression and anxiety.
What Should You Do if You Are Unable to Schedule a Full Body Massage
Even if changing diapers, long and never-ending breastfeeding, lack of night-time sleep, and other issues do not give you the required time for a full body massage and you are not able to ask for help, you are still able to enjoy a brief chair massage.
Chair massage is a brief massage that is applied mostly on your upper back, shoulders, neck, and arms. Unlike most other massage types, chair massage is usually performed on a special chair rather than a massage table. During a chair massage session, you typically sit in a special chair and your body front leans on the chair. Your arms are placed on the chair handles and your head in its padded cradle. The parts which are exposed to your masseuse to be massaged are your upper back, neck, and shoulders. These body parts have the neediest muscles for recovery and release since they are responsible and dutiful for holding a little baby for long hours!
During a chair massage session, you can free your mind, get rid of stress and tension, alleviate your back soreness which can be caused by improper breastfeeding positions, and benefit from a number of other advantages. If you are not ready to expose your undressed body after a few months of pregnancy skin stretching and gaining weight, then this is the right massage type for you! During the chair massage, there is no need to take your clothes off and even the most self-conscious new mothers can enjoy gentle massage strokes while all their clothes are on.
When Should You Avoid Receiving a Postnatal Massage
Before receiving any massage type, you have to consult with your specialist physician and obtain his/her approval. Make sure that you have no serious medical complications and your body is ready for a series of gentle massage manipulations. Avoid planning for any massage therapy in case of having:
- any skin problems such as rashes, blisters, eczema
- a recent C-section
- pregnancy-induced hypertension
- high blood pressure
- consistent preterm contractions
And, risky health conditions are not limited to the aforementioned complications. Be also watchful for the type of oil you massage therapist uses. A sufficiently trained masseuse knows that he/she should not apply any type of massage oil or lotion on your nipples. Nothing is more helpful than being as communicative as you can with your therapist during a massage session. Let him/her know of any pain or discomfort you are feeling.