We have said this time and time again… self care is NOT selfish. Why is it so hard, as moms, for us to treat ourselves even partially as kind as we do others? Taking care of ourselves, both mentally and physically, affects every member in our family. Here’s the good news, you don’t HAVE to push through the craziness, because… massage.
Massage was historically considered a luxury. However, it is increasingly being recognized and recommended alongside medical care for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Massage doesn’t just “feel good” but is also an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. And who needs all that more than a mom throughout ALL stages of motherhood?
Massage During Pregnancy
Alright, this is kind of a no brainer… you are making a baby! Have you actually thought about how amazing it is? Not just that you are literally making a baby, but the changes your body makes in order to do so. Nobody said it would be easy though!! From looser joints, change of center of gravity, weight gain, posture changes and more, pregnancy isn’t really fun (although it is beautiful).
Beyond all the regular massage benefits, prenatal massage has also been shown to lower prenatal complication, increase oxytocin production, lower blood pressure and respiratory rate and even decrease labor time by up to 3 hours.
Maternity massage can be done throughout your entire pregnancy, although we recommend seeing someone that specializes in prenatal massage.
This is probably one of the most overlooked things that a mom could (and SHOULD) do. When talking about postpartum massage, I always compare it to marathon running. When a runner crosses the finish line, there are almost always sports massage therapists there to work on them. Well, guess what, you just ran a 9 month marathon followed by a crazy hard 10-24+ hour sprint. Now don’t get me wrong, childbirth is beautiful. I’m simply saying, it’s also freaking hard on your body. Every muscle is clenched over and over, your hips are basically the wishbone after Thanksgiving dinner, and your hormones are in the middle of a panic attack.
And it doesn’t end there. Suddenly you have this adorable little monster that requires you to hold it and stare down at it all day and night. Here comes the neck and shoulder pain…and lets not forget about breastfeeding!
Postpartum massage can begin as soon as 5 days post labor and we recommend a steady treatment program that lasts about 6 months. The goal is to help you through those first few months while also extending time that you feel great.
Motherhood & Massage
I don’t know how much I have to explain here. I guarantee that every mom needs a break sometimes. If you have found yourself hiding in the closet from your child, schedule a massage. Broken down into tears in the grocery store because your toddler is throwing a fit? Schedule a massage. Wanted to take a sledgehammer to a pre-teens video games? Schedule a massage. I could go on and on straight up through your retirement and even beyond. Because motherhood is a lifelong challenge. Full of rewards but absolutely full of stress.
How can massage help?
While one hour away isn’t going to solve your problems or make motherhood suddenly much easier, an hour massage will ABSOLUTELY get you in a better place to deal with all of it. Physically, mentally and emotionally, massage is a powerful tool to have in your corner. Beyond the physical benefits, it can help foster a feeling of connection, comfort and caring. Especially once you find the right therapist.
Moms spend a lot of time in basically a fight or flight status where stress is high and our bodies are strung tight. As moms, we need to learn to take care of ourselves. Being kind to yourself is one of the easiest ways to be kind to others, including those little monsters we call our children. If we don’t want to explode over a toddler discovering the joy of baby powder, we have to get rid of the stress from our bodies. And one of the best ways to do that is through massage. Massage isn’t just a luxury used to relax anymore. It is not selfish, or an unnecessary luxury. Think of it instead as mom maintenance.
Take care of yourselves, mommas. Schedule a massage.