Nearly everyone loves a good massage. The benefits are even greater for pregnant and postpartum women. Their bodies are going through such immense changes that some nurturing touch can make a HUGE difference.
It’s very common to have aches and pains in pregnancy as the body accommodates the growing belly and prepares for birth. Prenatal massage can be fantastic for alleviating back and hip pain.
By helping the muscles to return to balance (not too tight and not too loose), it can help the baby to move into the best position for birth.
Regular massage during pregnancy can help reduce stress levels and increase oxytocin levels which can lead to better outcomes during the birth.
The main benefits of prenatal massage are:
The best position to receive a pregnancy massage is side-lying so that no excess pressure is placed on the uterine ligaments/belly or back.
After birth, a newborn mother can feel exhausted and very sore. Massage is an age-old tradition for helping new mothers feel nourished and contributes to their healing and recovery from birth. In many cultures, the new mother would be massaged daily.
During postpartum, nurturing touch can help soothe muscle tension and also help the mother to release endorphins and oxytocin.
High levels of oxytocin assists with bonding with the baby, increasing milk supply/let-down and being more sensitive to the non-verbal cues the baby is sharing. This helps the caregiver be more in-tune to the baby’s needs whilst also helping everyone to feel calmer and more connected.
The new mother will be doing a lot of ‘baby gazing’ (whether she is breastfeeding or not) so her shoulders and neck can get quite sore. Massage is fantastic for relieving this tension.
Massage can help the new mother to relax, reduce anxiety and generally improve her moods. This can help lower the chances of postpartum depression.
If it’s not possible to receive full body massages, the mother may like to include self-massage in her self-care plan. Taking a minute to rub some nice oils into the body will boost oxytocin and help the mother feel calmer and more grounded. Or perhaps a family member or partner can give the mother some foot rubs or shoulder rubs. Anything to help the mother take a moment to relax and be nurtured will be super helpful.
If the new mother can feel nourished she’ll have more energy for all the nurturing her baby needs.
I love this feedback from Caitlin… “Kirrah’s postpartum massages helped me to relax and improve my transition from pregnancy to postpartum. It is very powerful to be cared for and receive nurturing touch while caring 24/7 for a newborn. I consider postnatal massage to be an essential part of self-care protocol as it helps you ease into motherhood with grace”.
Kirrah offers pregnancy and postpartum massage from her studio in Nimbin and at the Lismore Birth House. Make a booking
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