Hey mamas! So I have told you all about the amazing benefits of massage during your pregnancy, now I want to tell you all about how wonderful and beneficial massage is once baby has arrived!
WHAT IS POSTNATAL MASSAGE?
Let me begin by telling you what postnatal massage is; It is a nurturing full body massage to help mama regain physical and mental strength after pregnancy and labour.
Labour can be a long and exhausting process, during this time your muscles are constantly contracting and releasing, sometimes over many many hours. Massage can help release this muscle memory and tension and leave your muscles in a more relaxed state, alleviating any pain and realigning your body.
If all new mums could get a massage as soon as possible after birth that would absolutely ideal to start the gentle healing process. There is an amazing tradition in India, which I just love! New mamas are supported and cared for by maalishwalis (massage therapists/female relatives) for their first 40 days postpartum. They massage both mum and baby daily and help out with any housework, how great is that?!
A POSTNATAL MASSAGE CAN...
Depending on your labour experience and how you are feeling you can have a massage as soon as you are home from the hospital, it is so important to take care of yourself in this fantastic but delicate time, I know it's easier said than done but you will never regret being kind to yourself! I can't remember where I heard it/read it but I love this piece of advice; 'Spend the first week in bed, the second week around the bed'. I totally embraced it and allowed my body to heal gently and slowly and bonded with Rafe and I look back at that period with such fondness (except for the mastitis!) In this time you could have a massage therapist come to your home to encourage a speedier recovery.
You can totally have a massage if you have had a cesarean, in fact it can help with scar healing. It is usually best to wait at least 1-2 weeks to allow yourself to heal and positions can always be adapted to avoid any discomfort.
A postnatal massage is the perfect time for you to take some time out for yourself, you'll be surprised at what just 1 hour can do. However, it is completely fine to involve your baby in the treatment, they can lay down with you and you can even breastfeed while you are being massaged - it is a lovely way to spend time and bond with your little baba!
I get asked a lot by mamas if it is too late for them to have a postnatal massage and my answer is there is no time cut off to when you can have one. The postnatal period is usually defined by the first 6 weeks, however if you didn't get the chance to have a massage in that time it doesn't mean it's too late to start you can have babies that are months or years old and there will be lots of things that massage can help with such as sore backs from carrying you children around - all mamas deserve a massage!
A good postnatal therapist will look at the structure of your body to see where any misalignment can be remedied, firm pressure and stretches will be used to get your body feeling great!