After childbirth, it is not uncommon for mothers to experience mood disorders. In fact, this happens in as many as 2/3rds of new moms. With it being such a common occurrence, you’d think that more moms would be talking about it. However, it has a negative stigma and often moms feel ashamed and don’t seek help. So what can be done to help and what is the link between postpartum massage & depression?
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum Depression (PPD) can be caused by the dramatic shift in hormones, fatigue and even the experience of labor and birth itself. A less series version of this, is often referred to as the “baby blues” these often start around day 3 post labor and can last for a few weeks. However, in 10-20% of new moms, the emotional turbulence is more severe and can even begin as long as a year post labor. This is what is considered true postpartum depression.
Symptoms of both include insomnia, fatigue, moodiness, change in appetite, anxiety and bouts of crying or weeping. The “baby blues” will often resolve itself after a few weeks with a good support system, rest and even sunshine. If your symptoms start later and include social withdrawal, guilt, hopelessness or suicidal thoughts, you should consult with your doctor. In both of these cases, receiving a nurturing massage can help with postpartum depression
Massage and Postpartum Depression
If you are experiencing any form of depression after childbirth, try to get out of the house in the mornings, get some sunshine and sleep when the baby does. But most importantly, seek support and help if needed. A postpartum massage can be a great tool.
A postpartum massage therapist will be on the lookout for emotional red flags and offer support. They should never diagnose a client, but they can be a great emotional support for new moms. They understand that hormones dramatically change during childbirth and will not dismiss any symptoms that a new mom says she is experiencing.
So how does massage help with postpartum depression? The hormones released during a massage can help to restore balance to the hormonal system. A massage can also help decrease fatigue and even help to rebalance the sleep cycles. And of course, it will help to relieve the physical discomforts that come from childbirth and new motherhood.
Postpartum massage is recommended within 10 days of giving birth (as soon as 5). This will help not only the physical recovery but the emotional as well. From there, it is generally recommended to do another massage 2 weeks later and then go to monthly for the first 6 months. Your therapist may make a different recommendation based on your needs.
Call or text the prenatal massage and postpartum massage experts at Maternal Massage at 385-351-5626 or click here to book an appointment online.