In the postpartum period, it is as important to care for yourself as it is during your pregnancy.
Massage can help you handle the physical demands of caring for a newborn by reducing tension and increasing energy. If you are nursing, a relaxing massage can help since tension interferes with milk letdown. Emotionally, massage can nurture and comfort you whether or not you are experiencing postpartum 'Bules,' When to schedule your first postpartum / postnatal massage will depend on how your delivery went and what your health care provider and massage therapist feel is best for you.
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
During a healthy pregnancy, and if the Mum-to-be is generally in good health herself, then massage is safe and can also be a wonderful addition to prenatal care.
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. And in most cases, it is safe and beneficial to receive massage up to and beyond the due date of the pregnancy.
Some establishments will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because they wish to avoid any liability due to the increased risk of miscarriage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, unless it’s a high-risk pregnancy, there is no physiological reason to avoid massage in the first trimester, as your uterus is still the size of a plum and protected by the bony structure of the pelvis.
Are there circumstances when massage during pregnancy isn’t advisable?
There are some instances when massage may not be appropriate, particularly if it is a high-risk pregnancy or you have certain health conditions.
So it’s always advisable to check with your doctor or midwife before having a massage.
How is pregnancy massage different to regular massage?
If you have had a massage before, then you know how great it feels. But pregnancy massage is a little different. For example, the positioning during the massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby. The therapist will also have to adjust their strokes and techniques to accommodate the pregnancy. The massage is always tailored to meet individual requirements.
What position will I be in during a massage?
The best position during massage is on your side with pillows for support, which provides the most stability for the baby and is also most comfortable for you. The massage table is also designed to be propped up so that you can be on your back in a semi-seated position. It can also be elevated at the legs to reduce swelling (NB: This is also a safe position to lie in during pregnancy as it does not put weight on the major blood vessels that return blood from your legs to your heart.)
What are the benefits of pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage has been found to relieve back, muscle and joint pain, sciatica, leg cramps, headaches and reduce swelling and stress. It is a popular alternative for pain relief, as medications are often limited.
Does my abdomen get massaged?
We do not massage the abdomen during pregnancy, unless it is requested. We do however believe that it is a wonderful thing for the expectant mother to massage her own abdomen, as it can be ideal for the start of the mother-baby bond which your massage therapist can advice you how to massage your own abdomen.
What clothing do I wear for massage?
Do I have to be undressed?Pregnancy massage can be performed with as much or as little clothing as you’re comfortable wearing – it’s always a personal decision. Usually we recommend that you keep underwear on, and we use towels for coverage so only the parts that are being massaged are exposed.
Is massage painful?
On tight and irritated areas, massage therapy can be uncomfortable and cause soreness the following day; this is sometimes necessary to release tension. The pressure of the massage can however be as light or as deep as is needed. It is important that you always feel comfortable and enjoy the treatment. If something doesn’t feel right, inform your therapist immediately.
Which massage oils do you use?
At TenPhysio we use grape seed oil with no added essential oils. Grape seed oil is one of the best oils to use during pregnancy, as it’s perfect for massage and yet doesn’t leave greasy or sticky residue.
We recommend avoiding the use of essential oils during pregnancy. This is purely a precautionary measure, and is simply because you may not always know the chemical composition of the oils, or what effect – if any – they could have on a developing baby.
How often should I have a massage when I am pregnant?
This is entirely up to you. Each woman and each pregnancy is different, so there is no standard answer for this question. If you’re having a difficult pregnancy, with back and muscular pain, leg cramps, sleeplessness and/or swelling we recommend coming once a week in the last trimester. Usually we recommend a 60-90 minute massage.
How soon can I come back after the baby is born?
If it was a healthy pregnancy and delivery without any major complication, a massage can safely be given as soon as you feel ready. However, if you have a caesarean-section you will usually need to wait at least 5-6 weeks for the scar tissue to heal.
Are there any parts of my body that shouldn’t be massaged during pregnancy?During the first trimester the abdomen and deep work on the lower back should be avoided.
There are acupressure points on feet and hands that are known to stimulate contractions, but only if they are worked specifically and accurately. Gentle massage to assist with swelling or joint pain is safe for most women. The exception to this is that if you have had pre-term contractions, the ankles should be avoided entirely – just in case.
Having a baby can be one of life's most exciting and challenging experiences. It can also be a bit of a roller coaster – you'll feel joy, happiness and delight at times, but there may be others when you feel stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed and confused. It's important to keep your emotional health in check throughout the journey.
What is emotional health?
Emotional health is a state of wellbeing. Just as there are many benefits from being physically healthy, you, your partner and your baby can all benefit from being emotionally healthy.
When you feel well and content, you're better able to manage stress, maintain happy relationships, communicate your feelings and really enjoy life with your new baby.
Looking after yourself during pregnancy
Here are some tips to help you look after yourself and your emotions when you’re expecting a baby.
Why are emotional problems common during pregnancy?
The combination of physical, social and emotional changes in pregnancy may, for some people, lead to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
You’re at greater risk if you’ve experienced mental health conditions before, if you don’t have enough support, are a young or single parent, or have been through a tough time. This might include relationship difficulties, problems with conception, abuse or loss.
But mental health conditions can happen to anyone — just like any physical health condition. It’s important to look after yourself and keep an eye out for any changes in your mood, or if you’re finding it difficult to cope with daily life. While ups and downs are part of pregnancy, if you’ve been feeling sad, down, worried or anxious for two weeks or more, it’s time to seek support.
Miscarriage is traumatic for everyone, including parents, family and friends. Some people feel a deep sense of shame, and it’s easy to become isolated if you feel like you can’t talk about your experience with your loved ones. It’s very important to remain connected with your family and community during this especially difficult time. If you were expecting more than one baby, a miscarriage can also complicate the grieving process, particularly if one or more babies survive. The process of grieving may contribute to, or mask, signs of depression.
If you’ve lost a baby, it’s important to keep in touch with health professionals and organisations that provide support for families at this time. Joining a support group of people who’ve been through the same thing can often be a helpful step.
Feeling happy, content and well supported means you’re in the best possible position to be responsive and available to your baby. This helps to develop a strong, secure bond that will ensure your baby continues to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. Good emotional health and communication strengthens your relationships with any older kids and other family members. Focusing on these can also help couples through the challenges of adjusting to a new baby together.
Whether a woman is pregnant for the first time or an experienced mother, pregnancy can be stressful for women’s muscles and body. A woman’s body undergoes tremendous changes over the course of 42 weeks. It can also be confusing to most of the mothers who may not know what to expect of their body, more so when it is the first time being pregnant.
However, natural therapy such as post-natal massage can soothe discomfort caused during labour and helps in rejuvenating mother’s energy levels. A therapeutic post-natal massage eases postpartum stress and provides flexibility of muscles. In addition to this, massage helps in releasing Oxytocin, a hormone that boosts milk production. Also, a good body massage induces good sleep and improves blood circulation. Dr Subhashini N.S, Research Associate – R&D, The Himalaya Drug Company, answers questions on all you need to know about postnatal massage
How soon can a new mother get a massage after delivery?
Massage therapy after delivery can be a wonderful experience for new mothers. New mothers can receive her much-needed postpartum massage therapy soon after delivery. However, most doctors suggest that you wait to get massages post a C- section until the cut is completely healed, which normally takes about 6-7 weeks.
Read: Is it safe to get pedicures during pregnancy?
Will postnatal massage really help? How?
According to studies, massage therapy after delivery can
1. Reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression,
2. Relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and
3. Improve new mothers health.
4. Massage increases circulation and lymphatic drainage to facilitate elimination of excess fluids and waste products, boosts milk production,
5. Improves skin firmness, keeps the skin hydrated, soft, and supple.
6.Postnatal massage helps ease backaches, stress, fatigue, headaches and postpartum depression. In line with relaxation
7.Reduced stress, a postnatal massage eases exhaustion and assists you towards getting much-needed deeper sleep.
Read: 8 ways to counter hair fall postpartum.
How often should I get a postnatal massage?
Post- natal massage helps in reconnecting with mind and body. It creates a balance between a woman’s emotional and physical needs. Generally, oil massage is recommended daily for up to one-month post-delivery. For most new mothers, the regimen would also be recommended as 7-15 sessions within the first six months after delivery.
Here are five things that happen to you after delivery that no one talks about.
What measures should be taken for a post-natal massage?
Choosing the right massage oil and using the right massaging technique is an essential criteria for a postnatal massage.
Various oils come with their own set of benefits, and choosing the right one for an effective massage is essential. Herbal ingredients such as Sesame oil, winter cherry, Aloe vera and country mallow have synergistic effects and can help in relaxation and rejuvenation.
Choosing right massage therapy also plays an important role before performing the massage. The energy aspect of the physical body affects the overall health of the body.
How long should a postnatal massage last?
It recommended that each postnatal massage should range from 60-90 minutes. The therapeutic effects promote faster recuperation and more enjoyable days of motherhood.
13/2/2017 0 Comments
Q & A
Contraindication for a postnatal / postpartum massage?
A massage will not be performed with: