While pregnancy is a special time in every woman’s life, much attention is frontloaded on the ‘expecting’ phase instead of the postpartum period. After a baby arrives is an incredible and unique part of life that requires much adjustment to life anew. To help the mind and body return to normal after the dramatic changes associated with pregnancy and birth, massage can be a great tool for any new mother.
As a non-invasive and non-pharmacological approach, massage can help promote relaxation and reduce stress or anxiety levels. Particular benefits for postpartum women include:
- Decrease Swelling
Major hormone changes during pregnancy and the weight that comes with carrying a baby can cause edema, otherwise known as swelling. This fluid retention can remain after delivery but massage can help regulate the fluctuation in volume of blood and plasma by encouraging circulation of blood and lymph. Enhanced circulation can also aid in the quicker elimination of toxins from the body.
- Relieve Pain
There are many aches and pains in the postpartum period. From sleeping in contorted positions to holding or rocking a newborn, many new mothers experience muscle aches in the neck, shoulders, and back area. Massage can address these sore spots by working out areas of tension and encouraging pliable muscles.
- Promote Good Sleep
While sleep may be in short order, massage is one way to encourage quality sleep. By promoting relaxation, easing exhaustion, and decreasing stress, massage can help boost sleep patterns to enable mom’s to get better rest between those around-the-clock feedings.
As always, it is important to check in with your doctor before adding massage to your postpartum care routine. With clearance, massage can be an excellent tool to speed recovery and aid in an extra dose of TLC for any new mom!