In the last week’s blog, I shared how my family played a very important role in my postnatal healing. This week I want to talk about another traditional way of postnatal healing. Taking rest, eating right, and giving yourself the time to heal mentally and physically is essential but trust me when I say this, postnatal massages make everything better.
Postnatal Massages Are The Best
I can swear how magical postnatal massages are. Get it for the first 40 days or at least 20 days. It will do wonders for your mental peace, your back, and your body.
A Note From My Postnatal Massage Therapist
My postnatal massage therapist helped me a lot during the first 40 days. Following is a note from her on my postnatal massage care journey. I hope it helps all new mommies out there and inspires them to take good care of themselves.
“Pregnancy, birth and recovery bring a lot of change. Her first massage was prenatal and she was far along and experiencing a lot: restricted breathing, back and leg pain, sore shoulders, neck and head pain,surprisingly tight muscles, postural stress and edema(swelling) in her joints,limbs and extremities.To adjust for baby, her body had taken on that forward head, overarched back posture necessary to accommodate the baby and still have some center of gravity.
Fortunately she knew the key to successful pregnancy support: consistent massage therapy appointments.
What Did My Postnatal Massage Therapist Focused On?
During her first prenatal massage I stretched her tight muscles and soothed the overworked ones while combining deep tissue, Swedish , myofascial stretch and positional release techniques.
The goal: to open up her breathing and chest, provide proper side lying sleeping support and offset the weight of her belly and breasts. This gave her a break from the pulling and weight of these body parts. I stretched and soothed her tight neck and shoulders and massaged her head , relieving pain and dropping elevated cortisol and increasing soothing hormones like oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine–all helpful for relaxation and peaceful sleep. Her body was going through a lot and nurturing, soothing and pressure relief was key.
After delivery, we started our daily sessions. It was time for lavender and oil and soft music while we gently worked to support her body’s restoration to its original alignment. This takes time . After birth the uterus begins to shrink, the breasts become enlarged, sleep is rare and there is a lot of rounding and stress on the neck and shoulders. Hormones are trying to balance and joints are still swollen and blood vessels are still under stress. Gently with massage, both deep and light, help the body adjust to these shifts, deal with the return of blood volume to normal levels and stretched to ease her alignment back in place. Massage of the tissue and muscle around the breasts helped aid in balanced milk production and helped with breast feeding. Taking “me” time, a chance to lay down and be cared for to be stretched, pampered and cared genuinely about is so important when sleep deprived and navigating unchartered waters. Each day she got stronger, livelier, able to move more quickly and with ease. She walks around the house , then the street. She amazed me with her spirit wit and warmth. She restored her body, not to its pre-pregnancy state but moving spiritedly on to the new person she was becoming in mommy hood.” – Cynthia Rutledge
Postnatal Care Advice to First-Time Moms
Walk–Even if your tired or do any movements you can in your house-circulation is key to feeling well and getting balance and energy back.
To sleep place a firmpillow between your ribs and hips when side lying. Put a wedge under your tummy an a pillow under your legs. It takes the pressure off your back.
Use a pillow under your upper back and lay your upper back on it so the chest is elevated and open. It will help restore your breathing, and ease the stress of your neck and back.
Its okay to get kinesiology taping or keep wearing a binder to help take the stress off your back while your tummy shrinks.
Stretch your arms and chest. Stretch your hips and legs and have your scar tissue worked on–hurts like crazy but prevents permanent distortion in your back. Do neck, shoulder and arm stretches to off load pressure.
Get stretched. Have your psoas muscle released–your spine will spring up and feel light.
Pamper yourself with reflexology and long calf and leg massage. There is a lot of change going on in your legs and feet.” – Cynthia Rutledge
My massage therapist Cynthia Rutledge, is an Licensed Massage Therapist with special certifications in pre and peri-natal massage, integrated massage, stretching, reflexology and has 20 years experience in intuitive bodywork.
I understand postnatal care can be expensive, so if you are pregnant and are reading this. Please start keeping a fund for postnatal care. Every penny you spend on postnatal care will be an investment you do in yourself.
Parenting is not a project. It’s not as if project over and you are done. It’s a lifetime commitment. 6 weeks of self care will take you a long way and postnatal massage can make it even fun. Relax on that table, enjoy your massage, let music heal your mind and my dear mommies keep breathing…
Mum Mum Ma
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Categories: Baby care