A massage is one of those experiences that most women dream about after they give birth. The intense muscular soreness that she experiences throughout her entire body is like no other.
Massage after birth is labeled as postpartum massage. The postpartum period is technically 6 weeks after birth however a woman’s body may take up to one year to fully recover. Postpartum massage can be used to help the new mom on many different levels but in regards to how soon to schedule, much depends on the type of birth you experienced.
With the rising popularity among most Obstetric physicians , a cesarean section has become the most convenient path. However, many mothers to be still choose a natural path despite the pressure. If the birth is natural the recovery time is much quicker. I have safely given massage to a woman as soon as 48 hours after birth without any complications. The mother was always extremely appreciative and found the massage to help with eliminating muscular soreness. This is considering that the birth was successful. A woman will experience discharge and bleeding, perhaps even some cramping. If she is able to be mobile without discomfort she can receive a massage. I recommend a full body session because she most likely contracted every muscle in her body while pushing. A good massage session will release the tension and pain in her muscles and allow her to receive nurturing and care herself. As a new mom, her life will be focused on caring for her child during the next decade. Although she will always be a mom, she needs to receive care herself.
C-sections as I mentioned before is a popular method for birth and delivery. The convenience of c-cestion is that it can be scheduled. However, despite the appeal of convenience it is still surgery. For surgical cases, a massage should wait the 4-6 week window of time. Recovery from C-section is much slower and if I may recommend a modality in the massage it would be lymphatic drainage. A woman is confined to more rest during this period compared to a natural birth. While massage would not injure her (if the therapist avoided the surgical incision) it still creates some difficulty in being able to schedule an appointment right away. There are times when a C-section is unavoidable even for those women wishing for a natural birth. When it comes to massage though waiting the 4-6 week window is considered the best course of action. Excessive stretching of the lower legs during a massage is best to avoid to tearing.
There are so many benefits to receiving massage after birth. You feel loved and cared for by someone else. In so many ways, you’ll be adjusting to your new body. Massage is known to not only relieve tension but decrease stress levels. Chemically the brain secretes feel good hormones that helps increase an optimistic outlook. It also gives you time to rest physically which will always be welcome in your life.
If you received massage during your pregnancy the benefits of this therapy can continue as you enter this new stage as a mother. This time is a ritual that allows you to connect with your body as it returns to its place. Continuing massage after birth reminds us that our body is sacred, massage tunes you in to the large and small changes that you experience after birth, reassuring you that you have accomplished a wonderful and important task.
Michelle Orchid Rodriguez is a wellness lifestyle blogger and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Her mission is to promote a higher quality of life through healthy living. She is the founder and CEO of Lumina Massage Inc., a Miami-based specialty massage company that focuses on neuromuscular therapy and prenatal bodywork.