Postnatal massage can be used in the weeks and months following the birth to
help the body heal from the stress of pregnancy and delivery.
What are the benefits of a postnatal massage?
A postnatal massage will help:
- To ease sore spots and relax muscle tension. The whole process of childbirth has been a strain on your body, particularly your abdomen, lower back and hips. Your upper back might also be sore if you are breastfeeding and not using a suitable position.
- Increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your muscles, getting rid of the toxins.
- You feel relaxed. Massage encourages the body to release endorphins - the natural pain killers and feel good hormones secreted by the brain.
- Your body to release oxytocin. Oxytocin triggers the letdown reflex which releases milk from your breast. This means that you might leak breast milk during your massage so keep your breastfeeding bra on with some breast pads in. A breast massage will help open blocked ducts, loosen clumps or hardened areas, and reduce the risk of mastitis. Vigorous massage on the breasts can do more damage than good however so ensure that only soft and gentle strokes are applied to your breasts.
- Speed up recovery from a caesarean section if you've had one. Although you need to stay clear of your wound as long as it hasn't healed, gentle massage to the area thereafter will increase blood supply and help with internal healing.
- Improve well-being and immunity by stimulating lymph flow.
- You cope with the baby blues and postnatal depression. Some experts say that a massage is an excellent stress buster and mood elevator.
If nothing else, a postnatal massage will give you some time alone. The break will give you the strength to meet the many needs of your baby and home. Or it might help you unwind for a nap if your baby is sleeping too.