Postpartum Massage Techniques
A postpartum period begins with the delivery of a baby and continues up to six weeks. This is also called the postnatal period. This is a very important phase in a woman’s life because the pregnant body is returning to its normal shape and size. It is also the time when the uterus is shrinking back to pre pregnancy size and the hormonal levels are getting back to normal.
During postpartum care, the mother is checked for tear and sutures if needed. Also blood pressure and bleeding is monitored. The bladder is also assessed for any infection. She gets educated about breastfeeding and contraception.
- Postpartum massage techniques
- Time to start massage
- Benefits of Postpartum massage
Below are some Postpartum massage techniques:
A massage after delivery is as important as one during pregnancy. Massage is a technique of relieving pains and stress without medication. The various ways of massage are:
- Jamu massage: This massage, followed by the Indonesians, deals with tightening and strengthening of the stomach muscles. Heated bricks or stones are used for massage and this is usually followed by binding, to flatten the stomach as fast as possible.
- Swedish massage: This massage uses long stroking and kneading to tone the body. It reduces muscle spasms and improves circulation.
- Foot reflexology: This massage aims at applying pressure to the various parts of the foot because every point of the foot is associated with a different part of our body.
- Acupressure: In this massage style, pressure is applied to stimulate various points on our body, usually along what is considered the energy lines. This helps the pain of childbirth.
- Herbal baths: These are part of a massage. The water used in these baths contains various herbs, roots and spices. This removes the soreness in veins, odour of discharge and relaxes the body.
Time to start massage:
A new mother can have a postpartum massage as soon as she feels comfortable. Usually in a normal delivery, you can start within 4 to 5 days of delivery. In case of a C-section, it is best to wait a couple of weeks after delivery, before starting massage. In cases where there are complications in delivery, it is best to take the advice of your doctor. During massage, the therapist will ensure that the position you are in, does not increase discomfort in the abdomen or breast area.
Benefits of a postpartum massage:
A postpartum massage can be very relaxing and therapeutic. It aids in the new mother recovering better and faster from the pain and exertion of delivering a baby. It also helps relieve the stress of childbirth. Let us discuss a few of the major benefits of the postpartum massage in detail:
- Hormone regulation: Massage improves hormonal balances. The pregnancy hormones like estrogen and progesterone are high during pregnancy and reduce after delivery. Certain essential oils used in the massage elevate mood and bring hormonal balance.
- Reduced swelling of the body: The fluids in the body increase by 50% during pregnancy. Massage helps in better circulation and drainage of the excess fluids. Stimulation of tissues help shift water to the right places. Massage also helps hormonal balance which also reduce swelling in the body.
- Improved breastfeeding: Massage helps circulation and thereby increasing milk production in new mothers. Relaxation of chest muscles, improves lactation. It also relieves breast pain.
- Relaxation and stress reduction: A massage relaxes the muscles, improves blood circulation and thereby relaxing the body. Some prefer a light massage whereas few others prefer deeper techniques to work out the knots. It completely heals the body.
- Better sleep: Massage eases fatigue and assists in sleeping. The body gets drained out after labor and a good massage helps heal the body. Massage helps increase the brain waves which assist in sleep.
- Helps anxiety and depression: Most mothers experience what is called ‘postpartum blues’. This is in fact a type of depression caused due to new responsibilities, change in routine, frustration because of new changes in her life etc. A massage relieves this stress.
- Pain relief: The woman’s body undergoes immense pain and tear during the delivery. The massage heals the body and reduces body ache. Moreover, pain caused in arms and shoulders during breastfeeding also get relieved.
The main idea of the post partum massage is to ensure that the new mother feels healed and relaxed. This also helps her in managing and taking care of herself and her baby. Along with physical relief, massage also helps in making the woman feel emotionally good. It gives them a sense of happiness and comfort. Both the physical and mental well being is ensured with a good massage.