Have you ever heard the term “The 4th trimester”? That seems to be best way to describe the postpartum experience. Just like the last 9 months, your body after birth experiences a range of hormonal changes, emotions, and physical changes. There is a lot going on. Feeling discomfort is an expected outcome after delivery, however the discussion seems to stop there.
Pregnancy quickly changes the body. The pelvis widens, the breasts get bigger, and the longer the baby grows, the bigger the belly gets. Postural distortion is inevitable to some degree. Prenatal massage is a perfect way to assist the musculature in maintaining its proper form and function. Most moms see how this can benefit them while pregnant and are eager to begin massage regimens. What happens after the baby arrives?
Changes To The Body Postpartum
Birth requires a symphony of hormones and muscle contractions to work together in order to bring a human into this world. While in the pushing phase of labor, muscles like the quads, hamstrings, calves and even muscles in our arms become fully engaged. Once the europhia of giving birth wears off, mom finds her body quivering and achy with every move. While hydration and rest can help, more is needed to help mom heal AND take care of a new baby.
Benefits of Postpartum Massage
We recommend getting a massage within the first two weeks after having your baby. While its obvious muscle aches and pains can be eased during your postpartum session, there are lots of other things that you can benefit from, such as, hormone balance. It takes a while for the body to reach a state of balance. Birth and the aftermath can come with a concoction of hormones that tend to feel uncontrollable. Headaches, poor sleep quality and even postpartum depression/anxiety tend to be a common result. Establishing or even continuing your massage regimen shortly after your baby is born can help keep those hormones in check and may even prevent postpartum side effects.
Postpartum massage is always performed on the cushions while our clients are laying face down, allowing for some extra comfort on breast tissue that may be tender. The cushions also allow a bit more comfort to Moms who had recent C Sections and may not feel completely comfortable laying on their stomach without them (C-sections may require more time to heal – this is different for everyone).
Depending on where you are in your postpartum journey, each massage is tailored to your specific needs. Whether it is sore shoulders and neck due to cradling and breast feeding your baby or a desire for better sleep, we can create a massage protocol perfect for you.
Postpartum Massage Protocol
While this will vary from person to person, the general postpartum massage protocol that we recommend is as follows:
- First postpartum massage 5-10 days after giving birth
- Second postpartum massage 1-2 weeks later depending on needs
- Third postpartum massage 3-4 weeks later depending on needs
- Fourth postpartum massage 4-6 weeks later depending on needs
- 5th and so on every 4-6 weeks depending on needs.
Talk to your therapist about your needs but the goal is to get you feeling good for 6 weeks at a time. Some people can do this quickly and some may take a little longer. Regular massage every 4-6 weeks is recommended to maintain good health and well being.
Text or call us at 385-351-5626 to schedule your next appointment or talk to a therapist today.