In many different cultures, it’s typical for a new mother to receive a massage every day for up to a month or longer after delivering a child. As a way to provide attention and care during this fragile stage of new bonding and recovery, massage is an excellent way to encourage healing and to provide a sense of calmness in what can be an emotional period of time.
To sooth the new mom amidst the chaos of bringing a newborn home, massage boasts many benefits. For example:
- Massage is great for easing sore spots and relaxing muscle tension. especially after the feat of childbirth. Many women experience extremely sore abdomens, hips, and back areas after labor.
- It can also help process toxins leftover in the body post-delivery due to the increased blood flow and oxygenation of muscles promoted through massage.
- Another component of massage is that it helps induce relaxation and encourages the body to release more endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which can help boost and stabilize mood.
- Speaking of hormones, Oxytocin is a key hormone for new mothers and when receiving a massage, the body is encouraged to produce and release this hormone that can help facilitate breastfeeding and healing of the uterus.
- Stimulates lymph flow to boost immunity and improve general wellbeing.
- Helps work through blocked ducts and can loosen hardened areas in the breasts to reduce risk of mastitis when it comes to breastfeeding. Please note that all massage should be gentle and applied delicately to these tender areas.
- Last, but not least, a postnatal massage is a great break for new mothers from the demands of a tiny, helpless baby. The time alone is perfect for resting and recovering while another caretaker (partner, mother in law, friend, or sitter) steps in to provide the space for a new mom to catch a small break and refresh.
As always, talk to your doctor about what’s right for you before heading in for a massage and be sure to talk to your massage therapist about what feels good for you! The postnatal period is a special time of life and a massage can help refresh the mind and body while promoting a proper road to recovery.