Postnatal or postpartum massage is a powerful tool to help restore the body to its pre-pregnant state and is designed to address the stress of caring for a newborn. This is such a sacred and transitional time in a women’s life. It can also be a very difficult time in a women’s life as well. Most women need to heal and receive support from the tremendous changes that pregnancy, labor, and postpartum can bring. We are committed to providing holistic care that supports women physically and emotionally.
When Postpartum Massage Is Recommended
It is recommended that a new mom can safely receive a postpartum massage six weeks following delivery. Postpartum massage can be effective anytime, whether it be six weeks or several years following delivery.
Specific Massage Techniques Will Be Used To Concentrate On:
- weight bearing joints (pelvis hips)
- activation of abdominal wall muscles
- soreness from overused birthing muscles
- the general fatigue following delivery and caring for a newborn
- structural imbalances that occur from nursing and caring for a baby
- stress relief through therapeutic & nurturing touch
- hormone regulation (decreasing cortisol a stress hormone)
- improving sleep
- increase milk production through relaxation and increasing circulation
- decrease postpartum depression
Postpartum Massage Research
A study currently underway at the Touch Research Institute concerns the effects of touch on pregnant women. [Massage]… is also said to help with such pregnancy-related conditions as sciatica and constipation. “We’re trying to find the best ways to reduce pregnancy anxiety” says study director Tiffany Field, Ph.D., “which we know contributes to premature delivery and prenatal problems.” TRI has found… massage releases a substance similar to serotonin, a neurotransmitter related to pain relief.
In a groundbreaking 1986 study, the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, Tiffany Field, Ph.D., showed that premature infants who were massaged three times a day for 15 minutes gained 47 percent more weight than other preemies and were released from the hospital six days earlier. It wasn’t just that the massaged kids felt more secure for being coddled. In later research, Field showed that massage (as opposed to light touch) stimulates the brain’s vagus nerve, causing the secretion of food-absorption hormones, including insulin. Nerve stimulation probably explains other benefits as well.