Postnatal massage therapy is an effective and all-inclusive approach to help adjust to motherhood. Massages are known to provide stress relief, pain relief, and stress reduction among other health benefits. Just after a mother delivers, her abdomen is flaccid and the skin is loose. Some stretch marks slow down the skin from returning to the pre-pregnant firmness.
In the days following the delivery, the new mom has an increased output of urine, heavy sweating, and hot flashes because the body is trying to remove the excess interstitial fluids. There will be a weight reduction of almost 15 pounds after delivery. Giving abdominal massage as soon as the placenta is removed, may cause tolerable pain. Nevertheless, it is extremely helpful as it helps the uterine muscles to contract making the uterus compact and eventually go back to its former size. Uterine massage also helps prevent excessive uterine bleeding by compressing the blood vessels within.
The mother can perform the massage herself. It involves small, circular kneading strokes done on the lower abdomen in a clockwise direction. This treatment should contract and harden the uterus if applied every four hours for about 3 weeks. For a mom who had a C-section, it should be done in such a way that no direct pressure is applied on the unhealed scar.
The days and weeks after birth may come with a lot of exhaustion. There may be sleepless nights, discomfort and muscle pains may suck the strength from a new mother. It is important to take a rest to help in full recovery. General, light massage might help fight some of the fatigue by giving relief from muscle aches.
New moms may have migraine headaches as a result of the cerebral spinal fluid leak. They can last for hours, days or longer.
It is wise to wait for the headaches to subside before carrying on with massage. A therapist should concentrate on the cranial muscles, neck and upper back. A wonderful technique to apply would be the craniosacral therapy.
Labor positions may lead to tiredness in the feet and legs. It might take a couple of days or weeks to get all fluid held within to be removed. When giving the massage, it is good to keep in mind that prolonged labor could cause varicosities to continue.
Avoid displacing clots by massaging the mom’s legs gently with an open hand. Also, stay clear of vibratory strokes and deep friction.