What is Postnatal Massage?
Postnatal massage is a type of bodywork that helps to ease the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. It's also known as prenatal massage if you get it before your baby arrives, but it's called postnatal because it focuses on helping new mothers recover from childbirth. Postnatal massage is usually done by trained therapists who have experience working with pregnant women and new moms. The therapist will use various techniques such as gentle stretching, deep tissue work and reflexology to help you relax while also easing any muscle tension or other pain in your body caused by carrying around extra weight during pregnancy (and then giving birth!).
Who Should Receive Postnatal Massage?
Postnatal massage is ideal for women who have recently given birth, but it's also a great option for those experiencing pregnancy-related aches and pains. Postnatal massage can help to:
Reduce stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins that make you feel relaxed and happy
Help you sleep better by relaxing tense muscles in your back, neck and shoulders (which may be caused by carrying baby)
Improve circulation to the pelvic area - this helps with recovery from childbirth as well as reducing the risk of developing hemorrhoids or varicose veins later on
How Does Postnatal Massage Work?
Postnatal massage can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. It helps to ease the aches and pains that come with pregnancy and childbirth, as well as encourage relaxation after the intense experience of giving birth. Massage also promotes blood flow, which improves circulation and reduces swelling in the legs. Postnatal massage is not just for new mothers--it's also recommended for fathers who want to help their partners recover from childbirth by giving them a relaxing rubdown!
What Are the Benefits of Postnatal Massage?
The benefits of postnatal massage are numerous, but what exactly does it do for you?
Physical benefits: Postnatal massage can help reduce swelling in your legs and feet, which is common after pregnancy. It's also great for loosening up muscles that have been working hard during labor and delivery.
Mental benefits: Massage has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress, depression and fatigue--all common symptoms during this time period. It helps you focus on something other than the stresses of caring for a newborn baby or adjusting to life as a new parent by giving you some time just for yourself (and maybe even some alone time with your partner).
Emotional benefits: Postnatal massages can help improve moods by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream--those feel-good hormones that make us happy!
What Are the Risks of Postnatal Massage?
There are some potential risks to postnatal massage. It's important to be aware of these and seek medical advice if you have any concerns.
If you have a low-lying placenta (placenta accreta), this should be removed before any massage is given as it could cause heavy bleeding.
If your baby has been born prematurely (before 37 weeks), or if they have a health problem such as jaundice or an infection, then avoid massaging them until they are better.
If you're breastfeeding, wait until after feeding before having a treatment so that the milk doesn't get into the lungs through breathing techniques used during the session.
What to Look for When Choosing a Massage Therapist?
When choosing a massage therapist, you should look for:
Qualifications. A good massage therapist will have the right training and experience to meet your needs.
Experience. You want someone who has been doing this for a while, so they know what they are doing and can give you the best service possible!
How to Prepare for a Postnatal Massage?
Before you head to your appointment, there are a few things you can do to prepare.
Wear loose clothing that won't restrict your movements or get in the way of the massage therapist.
Bring any medications and supplements with you, if applicable (for example, pain medication). If possible, avoid taking these medications before coming in for your session so that they don't interfere with the experience of getting a massage after birth.
Write down any questions or concerns about what to expect during the session beforehand so that they're fresh in your mind when it comes time for discussion!
How to Maximize the Benefits of Postnatal Massage?
In order to maximize the benefits of postnatal massage, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that you're getting regular massages. Ideally, this should be once per week for at least six weeks after giving birth and then once every other week thereafter. If it's not possible for you to go in for a full hour session every time (and many women find this too much), try breaking up your sessions into smaller chunks--say 15 minutes here or 20 minutes there--and combine them with stretches at home so that each session lasts about 45 minutes total. Second, make sure that each session is tailored specifically for your needs as an individual mother: do some research beforehand so that when booking sessions with different therapists over time (and especially if seeking out recommendations from friends), they will know exactly what kind of pressure level works best for both mommy-to-be before birth and new mommy after birth! Thirdly...
Postnatal massage is a great way to help your body recover from pregnancy and birth. It can also be used to help you feel more comfortable as you move into parenthood, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. If you're interested in learning more about postnatal massage, or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, contact us today!