Pregnancy time is very long and stressful for a woman because during this time the body goes through many changes. After delivery you need a good massage to bring the body back to its pre-pregnancy state. This massage helps to relieve body fatigue. Postpartum massage is needed to strengthen the loose muscles and tissues during pregnancy, so that your body can regain its strength naturally.
What is postpartum massage
Postpartum massage is basically a full body massage after delivery. It is usually administered by a professionally trained masseur who massages your entire body. In Ayurveda also it is advisable to take care of mother and baby separately for 40 days after delivery, where the health of mother and newborn is taken care of in full manner. During this, the mother’s body is massaged well. Later bathing using herbs and using home remedies is an important part of this.
Massaging the body improves blood flow and helps in the secretion of endorphin hormones, making you feel relaxed in your body. Postpartum massage is also necessary for the specific muscles of your body which are emphasized after delivery.
Ten Benefits of Postpartum Massage –
There are many benefits of body massage after delivery:
- Helps the uterus get back healthy – The uterine contraction helps to release blood and other postpartum secretions from the natural cleansing process after delivery. Abdominal massage after delivery can aid the uterus in its natural cleansing processes and also helps restore its prenatal shape and form.
- Reduces Inflammation – Due to heaviness in the uterus and hormonal imbalance, increased pressure on the major blood vessels leads to a decrease in blood circulation leading to water retention and swelling of the joints. Working on the soft tissues of the body improves circulation and removes excess fluid and toxins.
- Improving breastfeeding – In postpartum massage, massage is done in a special way to stimulate the tissue of the breasts. It activates the production of the hormone oxytocin, thereby increasing milk production.
- Prevention of lumps – Massage helps improve the flow of milk in the breasts, loosens the lumps of milk and even helps to reduce the swelling of the breast. Breast inflammation is a type of bacterial infection that causes breast milk to be blocked.
- Improving soundness, organ configuration and synergy – During pregnancy, the main muscles stretch and they become weak. Changes in organ configuration and hormonal changes due to changes in body weight and balance make the connective tissues relaxed. Postpartum massage can correct this change and help you regain your strength.
- Reduces Stress – The period of pregnancy is quite stressful and for 9 months your body has to go through a lot of changes. Postpartum massage helps your body to reduce stress.
- Reduces postpartum depression – It is natural for any woman to experience anxiety, stress and other emotions after delivery. Postpartum depression is a serious problem in this regard, seen in 10–15% of new mothers. Feel the need of your body and pay attention to it.
- Heal quickly – Postpartum massage strengthens muscles and helps your body recover quickly.
- Dazzling Skin – Massage improves blood flow and helps to heal dilated tissue. This gives you a beautiful glow in your skin even after pregnancy. Even it reduces the stretch marks on the body, which you always want to eliminate.
- Regain body – Post-pregnancy massage actually helps to relax the muscles and can help reduce your stomach by improving blood flow. It reduces muscle tension and helps in regaining strength in your body.
When can you start a massage
Women who have normal delivery can start postnatal massage as soon as they return from the hospital. Usually, it occurs within the first five days after delivery. However, after c-section (cesarean) delivery, massage can only be done when the wound heals sufficiently. It usually occurs after 1-2 weeks. In such a case it is better to seek the advice of a doctor before starting the massage. Apart from this, the massage should be continued for 40 consecutive days to get maximum benefits. However, many women, who are mostly jobbers, get less time for this and often due to lack of time, they are not able to get a proper massage.
What precautions should be taken while having a cesarean delivery
In case of cesarean delivery it is better to start massage after 1-2 weeks and for this it is very important to get approval from the doctor. It is said that there is no stretch in the area of stitches and first your wounds are filled properly so that there is no risk. You can start massage after 1-2 weeks. Nevertheless, ask the masseuse to stay away from the stitches and massage the rest of the body.
However, there is a scar tissue massage called massage that can be done after the delivery period is about one month. This type of massage helps to avoid the attachment of the stitches with other body parts and tissues and prevents problems arising in the uterus, bladder and intestine. Before beginning this massage, make sure that your birthmarks do not feel sensitive when touched. Massage should be done only when labor wounds heal well.
When should you avoid postpartum massage
The following precautions should be taken during any massage, or before the massage:
- Make sure that you do not have any prior itching or rashes, as it is likely to increase with massage. If you feel sensitivity, tell the person who is massaging you.
- This also applies to oils and medicines that are used on your body during massage. Also, avoid applying these products on your nipple area, so that it does not pose any danger to the baby while drinking milk.
- Avoid using products that contain parabens. Parabens inhibit the function of hormones and can cause breast cancer or any other cancer.
- For women who have problems such as high blood pressure or hernia, it is especially applicable not to unduly pressurize any pressure point.
- Women who are constantly suffering from Braxton-Hicks also need to be cautious.
- Women with conditions such as pregnancy high blood pressure (P.I.H.), proper or high-risk pregnancies should seek appropriate medical consultation before initiating massage.
- You should see a doctor if there are other complications such as excessive swelling or sudden, severe headaches.
- If your muscles are under intense stress during massage, it is important to support the body properly. For example, Linea alba, which separates the rectal muscles, may have excessive stretch due to excess weight and delivery pressure. During the massage, such areas should be taken care of.
Which body position is better during massage
Like pregnancy, the best position for abdominal massage after delivery is ‘lying on the side’. The waist is usually supported by a pillow. You should not use any table for massage as it can put wrong pressure on your abdominal area and later it can cause problems to you.
Post-pregnancy massage can be of many types, whether it is a light circular massage or using different techniques. The focus of craniosacral therapy is on the neck, face, and cranial muscles, which helps reduce the severe headaches commonly found in mothers. From mustard oil (hot oil) to sesame oil (cold oil), coconut, almond or specially prepared Ayurvedic oil are used for massage. However, make sure that you are not allergic to these oils. There are also different techniques for massage, such as acupressure, Jamu massage from Indonesia, Swedish massage, etc. You should also include massage of your feet in the massage.
Postpartum massage is a great way for mothers to regain their body in a pre-mature form. Keeping all the precautions in mind, you can choose the best option for you to suit your needs, after consulting the doctor appropriately.