Postpartum Massage Help Recovery After Birth?
The roots of massage therapy lie in India dating around 3000 BC or even earlier. It was thought to be a holy method of natural healing. Massage therapy was a method passed down through generations by Hindus in Ayurveda "life health" medicine to heal injuries, reduce pain, and prevent and cure illnesses. Ayurveda proponents think that illness and disease arise when people are out of harmony with their surroundings. Massage is said to help the body regain its natural and physical balance so that it can cure itself.
Your baby is out of your tummy now living its life to the fullest and you are super-busy taking care of your little one whole day and at times the whole night too. While you have got rid of the huge baby bump, the exhaustion, pain, and aches have not left you yet. You can’t help but crave a full-on pampering session that will help you relax and heal. Right? If yes, then hold your breath tight and smile because we are about to tell you just what you need to hear. A postpartum massage is just the thing you need right now. It is a full-body massage that you need to get within the first 12 weeks post-birth. Read on to know more about massage.
What is the Right Time to Start Massage?
The best part is you can start getting a massage whenever you feel ready. Even some hospitals offer in-hospital massage services to new moms after their delivery. It was revealed by a 2016 study that getting a back massage on the next day of delivery significantly reduces the risk of anxiety in new mothers.
Consult your doctor before getting your postpartum massage in case you had a C-section. A few massage techniques may be inappropriate for your specific recovery. When it comes to getting postpartum massages, there is no set schedule. Many new mothers have massages once a week or two for the few initial months after giving birth, while others only get one or two massages. However, in order to gain the maximum benefits, you should continue your massage for 40 days continuously. Time, personal resources, and health considerations can all influence how many and how often you get your postpartum massages.
Benefits of a Postpartum Massage
You may feel that your postpartum massage is solely for the purpose of your relaxation but the case is not so. Massage offers a plethora of benefits to your body after delivery. Let’s have a look at what these benefits are:
Hormonal imbalances, the immense pressure of the growing baby inside the uterus on the major blood vessels caused restricted blood circulation. This may lead to water retention along with the swelling of joints. Massage can assist in the redistribution of water throughout the body as well as the drainage and circulation of surplus fluids.
Special massaging techniques to stimulate breast tissue are employed in postnatal massages. It really causes the release of oxytocin, which produces the 'letdown' reflex, which may cause you to leak breast milk even while the massage is going on.
Uterine contractions aid in the natural cleansing process after delivery, removing blood and other waste. After delivery, a stomach massage can help the uterus with its natural cleansing process as well as recover its pre-natal size and shape.
Pregnancy can be stressful and your body goes through a lot in these months. Many new moms experience “baby blues” and postpartum anxiety and depression. A good post-natal massage reduces your stress, anxiety, and depressed feelings and alleviates your mood.
Massage promotes improved blood circulation and further fosters soothing of the stretched tissues. This bestows you with a beautiful post-pregnancy glow. This also reduces the appearance of your stretch marks.
Tired of sleepless nights? Late-night breastfeeding sessions, diaper changing times? We get you. You need sleep and massage relaxes your muscles and makes your body deep sleep-ready.
Post-natal massages improve your blood flow and work on your muscles and can actually tuck back your tummy muscles. It helps your body to regain the lost vitality and strengthens the overworked muscles
When To Avoid Postpartum Massage
But in the end, we will always advise you to consult your doctor before you get your much desired post-natal massage. Because there are a number of occasions on which you should completely avoid massage. In case you had a cesarean delivery, ask your doctor as well as your massage therapist if it is safe for you to get one. Some massage therapists refuse to work on clients who have undergone surgery within the last six weeks. If you've had blood clots during pregnancy or in the past, your doctor may have already advised you to avoid massage. In case of skin conditions such as eczema, rashes, blisters, etc. you should avoid massage too.
Our Tips For Your Postpartum Massage
Your baby has kept you busy since Day 1 of its birth. The whole day passes within the blink of an eye, and sometimes you don’t even get a good night’s sleep. And your postnatal massage session is something your desire, deserve and need. We are proud of you that amidst all the hurly-burly you have decided to take out time for yourself and prioritize yourself. So, if your mommy guilt is making you have second thoughts, ignore it. Here are a few tips that we humbly offer you to make your massage more relaxing:
1. Get Help
The first thing that you need to stop doing while getting a massage is worry. While you enjoy your massage, ask your hubby, mom-in-law, or any other trusted person to look after the massage. The baby will be fine. Don’t overthink.
2. Choose the Right Time
If possible, schedule your massage just after you've fed and changed your child. If all of your baby's requirements are fulfilled, you'll have a better chance of finding an hour or two when it doesn't need you and maybe when he/she is taking the longer afternoon nap. It will also be easy to temporarily entrust your little one to a family member or a trustworthy caretaker.
Our Top Picks for Oils for Your Post-Natal Massage
The first thing that we must say is that you must avoid any oil that contains chemicals like parabens. Always go for natural and natal-safe oils with no harmful chemicals and toxins in them. Here we have enlisted the top oils that we feel are best for your postpartum massage.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the most popular massage oils, particularly in South India. It's most commonly used for head massages, but it can also be used for body massages. It is said to provide a moisturizing and cooling effect on the body. Those who feel that heat is required to recuperate from childbirth will not advocate this oil for use after the birth, although it may be relaxing for them in the summer. Coconut oil has a lovely aroma and absorbs readily into the skin. It's easy to find and one of the more affordable massage oils.
2. Mustard Oil
Our good, old friend Sarson ka tel is often the first choice for many across the country when it comes to massage, especially if you stay in a colder region or have delivered in the winter months. It has a warming effect and the heat helps to heal. According to some, mustard oil also alleviates joint pain and helps in blood circulation. At times, garlic or ajwain is added to the mustard oil which is heated to give a warming effect on many occasions. Mustard oil is readily available and inexpensive, however, the smell may not be to your liking. Because the oil is so heavy, it's also tough to get it off your clothes. It's important to keep a massage sheet and some garments on hand for your massages, which you can easily discard when you don’t need them.
3. Olive Oil
There has been a steady increase in the usage of olive oil in recent times, particularly in urban areas. It is well-known for being a good skin and hair conditioner, and it also reduces stiffness. It also has a lovely aroma, and absorbs quickly. Olive oil is neither too warming nor cooling. Because it is imported, it is one of the most expensive of the oils.
4. Sweet Almond Oil
The use of sweet almond oil, the renowned Badam ka tel, is growing in popularity. It is a good moisturizer since it is quickly absorbed by the skin. This sweet-smelling oil is also said to help with muscle pain, inflammation, and itching, as well as improving the complexion and fading stretch marks.
5. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil or til ka tel is popular in many regions of India. Known for its skin firming capability, this oil with a non-viscous consistency is known for soothing the ‘vata’ that manifests after delivery. It prevents dryness thereby moisturizing and soothing your skin and is used in belly wraps that aim to make your organs return to their pre-pregnancy position. According to Ayurveda, sesame is believed to be good for controlling blood pressure and stress. The oil is rich in linoleic acid and thus, also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties.
1. How long after giving birth should I wait for a massage? A new mom can start getting a massage whenever they are ready. It’s best to get a massage within the first four days of giving birth to your baby.
2. Why is massage important after delivery? Massage relaxes your muscles, helps you to heal, reduces stress, improves blood circulation, alleviates your mood, and is good for your skin. Some moms like a gentle touch massage, while others prefer a deeper massage that penetrates deeper into the body's muscles and soft tissues for a more thorough recovery.
3. Is it safe to get a massage during breastfeeding? Yes, it is safe to get a massage during breastfeeding. In fact, massage promotes your milk production.
Massages are magical. They are calming, and soothing and you must go for a good massage be it you or your baby. It relaxes your body improving your blood circulation, thereby indulging you in a fulfilling experience. Plus, it is deeply embedded in Indian culture. Make the most of it while you can. Life’s going to get only more and more busy as your baby grows up.