Prepartum and Postpartum Massage
Pregnancy is beautiful but the discomfort can be challenging. Every baby is different and so are pregnancies. Read up on some possible challenges and how massage helps mamas to be and mamas after baby has arrived.
The glow that mothers have when carrying our future generation is like no other. The care of nutrition, well-being, and the protectiveness of self and child while pregnant are unparalleled. With this great responsibility, these women experience a range of happiness and discomfort physically, mentally, and emotionally. And even after they have given birth they still need to cope with many challenges while caring for their beautiful child. A mother’s job is never finished nor easy.
Prepartum massage is a solution to address some of the discomforts that are experienced throughout pregnancy. To list a few benefits for pregnancy wellness massage; it can reduce back pain, joint pain, and neck pain, improve circulation, reduce swelling/edema, reduce muscle tension, relieve headaches, lower stress and anxiety, promote better sleep, and prepare mom’s body for delivery. Massage is usually recommended after the first trimester (12 weeks).
Of course in this delicate time there are precautions for massage. High-risk pregnancies need to be approved for massage by the medical treatment team. High risk factors include but are not limited to pregnancies with twins/multiples, previous miscarriages, pre-eclampsia, symptoms of miscarriage, pre-term labor, gestational diabetes, and deep vein thrombosis.
After the big day comes and baby is born, mom enters the phase of postpartum recovery. Mothers who have natural births or deliver without complications start their recovery pretty quickly. Women who experience a c-section take more time to heal due to the procedure.
Mothers who have had natural births or without complications can receive massage as soon as they feel ready. C-section mothers are usually advised to wait 5-6 weeks, when scar tissue has settled and they have gotten clearance from their medical treatment team as needed.
Postpartum massage is important due to the new demands of the baby and also the balancing of mom’s body. Aches and pains from carrying, breast feeding, changing diapers are just the start. Physically, mom will need to re-establish pelvic alignment to prevent future back and postural dysfunctions. Healthy eating habits help to lose “baby fat” and help produce breast milk if breast feeding. Of course there are several other challenges unseen such as mental stress, sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalances, weakness, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Massage not only assists with the physical aspect of healing but also can promote the good mood balancing stress hormone Cortisol, as well as providing a connection and soothing touch to recover from anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleep deprivation.
For our mothers with c-sections, they need special treatment too. After having clearance usually 5-6 weeks after baby arrives they can receive massage. After the 8th-12th week of recovery and again with clearance from their medical treatment team, they can start to have massage on their cesarean scars. Releasing scar tissue can help reduce the compensation and restriction of movement between tissues such as fascia and muscle and may help with the appearance of the incision.
Massage is an often overlooked solution to ease Prepartum and Postpartum discomforts. Let these moms-to-be and new moms know the power of massage during this beautiful and trying time.