Pregnancy and labour take their toll on the female body and there isn’t time to recover as you are thrown into motherhood. Caring for a baby is exhausting and time-consuming so it is easy to find that taking care of yourself slips down your list of priorities.
You might have some abdominal separation – also known as diastasis recti – which occurs when your abdominal muscles (that run either side of your belly button) are separated during pregnancy as the bump grows.
Your back might be screaming for some attention from all the feeding, changing and carrying. You will probably want a little ‘me’ time too as everyone seems to want a little piece of you.
This is when a postnatal massage can be not only a fantastic way to relax and re-energise yourself but also very helpful in the healing process. Don’t forget that giving birth is a major event.
Pregnancy and labour take their toll on the female body and there isn’t time to recover as you are thrown into motherhood. Caring for a baby is exhausting and time consuming so it is easy to find that taking care of yourself slips down your list of priorities.
So what does a postnatal massage involve; when you can you have one; and how does it help to heal you?
With a few exceptions, you can have a postnatal massage pretty much straight after you have given birth, assuming there are no complications. If your birth has been fairly straightforward, then you can book yourself a massage from the first week after birth. If you are at all unsure, please contact us to discuss when to have it.
If you have had a more complicated birth, or had a caesarean-section, then please wait until your six- or eight-week check, depending on when your GP surgery checks on you. If you don’t want to wait until then, I would recommend that you go and see a women’s health physiotherapist who will be able to give you more information on how you are doing.
In your appointment your therapist will talk to you about your birth experience and do a physical assessment to check your posture and see where the aches and pains are too. Many of the complaints new mums have are lower back ache, tightness across the ribs, aching shoulders, tension headaches and tight jaw muscles. Of course, another big complaint is tiredness. Getting up several times a night to feed your baby – whether it is breastfeeding or by the bottle – your sleep is disrupted and this takes its toll on you and your body.
A postnatal massage can help with all of these concerns. By reducing or removing the tension in the shoulders, back and ribcage, we can help to improve your posture but, more importantly, you will feel like you will be able to operate without the constant pain that is holding you back. You should get a better (if not perfect!) night’s sleep which will in turn give you a little more energy and this then helps the healing process too.
Don’t forget there is help out there for new mums. Be kind to yourself: you have done – and are doing – an amazing thing. It is important to remember that diet and water intake are important too so that your body gets the best chance of healing.
Forget gifts for the baby, instead ask friends and relatives to treat you to a postnatal massage. Let’s face it, if mum isn’t functioning the whole ship goes down.
So make sure a massage is your first step in your postnatal recovery. Releasing tension and encouraging relaxation promotes the healing process. Until you reduce tension in the body you can’t move freely and get back to full strength, so it really is an area of recovery not to be ignored.
Be kind to yourself; all mums deserve a massage.
Address: 80 Luton Road, Harpenden, AL5 2UT
Telephone: 07747 78575 (Angela) or 07725 946124 (Nikki)
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When can I have a postnatal massage? I am happy to see you from week 1 if you have had a fairly straightforward birth. If you are unsure, you can wait until your 6/8 week check or contact me to discuss your personal circumstances.
I have had a caesarean birth, are you able to see me? Yes, a caesarean does not normally complicate a massage. With your consent, I would happily work on your c-section scar if you are having issues with it or recommend a local specialist scar therapist.
What is the position of lying during a postnatal massage? Postpartum massage can be carried out in any position, although we would discuss beforehand any issues you might have including sore breasts or back or SI joint and we would then readjust your position to make the massage as comfortable as possible. We can also use our wonderful pregnancy pillow which is incredibly comfortable if you find it difficult to lie on your front.
Facilitate structural realignment of the spine and pelvis and improve posture
Massage releases feel good hormones, regulates stress hormones so can help with stress, anxiety, low mood and postnatal depression
Release areas of tension preventing back pain, neck pain or generalised musculoskeletal pain
Release tension in the ribcage and abdominals to help heal diastasis recti
By reducing tension, massage can enable more positive breastfeeding experience
Reduce the likelihood of postnatal depression
Accelerate the recovery of a c-section scar by encouraging blood flow to the area to promote healing
Massage improves blood circulation, helps remove toxins from the body and promotes healing
I went to see James 4 months after having my second son. My body felt so tired and stiff after giving birth. James was amazing and so professional. He listened to me and concentrated on the areas which needed more attention. I came away feeling much more relaxed and invigorated. If you͛re looking for a massage to release the tension then look no further than James. I can͛t recommend him enough! His studio in Harpenden is so relaxing and the lovely smell of oils and diffusers is so calming.