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The Who, What & When Of Postnatal Massage

February 17th, 2021

Have you ever wondered what postnatal massage is? When can you have your first postnatal massage? And how long you would be considered postnatal in the context of massage?  Well, we hope to start to answer some of these questions for you below.

What is postnatal massage?

Postnatal massage supports mothers in their recovery from the marathon of pregnancy and birth. And it helps her body to adjust to the new demands of caring for herself and her growing baby.

Motherhood is like nothing else, which is why we our postnatal massage approach is carried out with much consideration for what mum has been through and where she is right now on the postnatal timeline.

What we find is the focus of postnatal massage changes depending on mums current needs and where her baby is at developmentally as this places different demands on mum’s physical, mental & emotional wellbeing.

Benefits of Postnatal Massage
Ease Pains & Aches – our unique combination of massage techniques and tools (bring on the remedial hot/cold stones!) together with our knowledge and understanding of the challenge’s mums face day to day, enables us to effectively help and support our clients to gain relief from stiff neck and shoulders, lower back aches, sore hands and wrists, and discomfort or limitations stemming from a healed caesarean-section scar.

Improved Quality of Sleep – massage increases the production of serotonin and melatonin which regulates our sleep rhythms, thus producing positive effects on sleep quality. We are all about the sleep!

Reduced Stress & Anxiety – between doctor’s appointments, eating plans, settling baby and feeding non-stop, the level of stress and anxiety that a new baby can bring to a home should not be underestimated.  Massage reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and at the same time it increases the feel-good hormones that improve mood, immunity, vitality and decrease pain levels.

Time Out/Self Care – the mental load of mothers is real.  Taking time out for you is an absolute must; happy mum, happy baby as the saying goes.  Massage is multitasking at it’s very best. You get relief from pains and aches in your body which reduces stress and fatigue and helps your body to work more optimally, you get to rest and maybe even catch up on some sleep (#winning!), and you get time to yourself. You get to switch off for the duration of your massage (if you allow yourself to!). Imagine a whole hour of no one needing or wanting anything from you at all.

Is there a set amount of time you need to wait after giving birth before starting postnatal massage treatment? 

We generally say when you feel up to it is the best time. You can start as early as 2 weeks after birth.  Keeping in mind you have undergone one of the biggest changes to your world as you knew it.  What we do know is that there is never a “perfect” moment.  There are benefits with every treatment regardless of the time frame it is undertaken in.

As a general guide, if you have had a C-Section, we would recommend after your 6-week check-up, however if you need some relief in your neck and shoulders due to breastfeeding, carrying baby etc we may be able to help a little earlier, just have a chat with us before booking.

Can I bring bub?

The short answer is, at this present moment, YES, of course you can.   This is always subject to change as we navigate what COVID “normal” looks like within the clinic.   As we write this (and update our COVID Policy) we welcome you to bring your baby into the clinic with a helper or on your own if this is the best option for you.

Unfortunately, at this time we do not have our nanny service up and running, although we are working on what this may look like in 2021 under COVID “normal”.  We have missed being able to offer you this service and appreciate your patience as we work out how to bring this back.

We do think taking a small window of time out for you, away from your baby, is also important (and perfectly normal), something worth considering.  Ultimately whether you bring bub to your appointment or not, is completely your choice, we a) respect your decision and b) will support you anyway we can.

How long is a person considered post-natal?

Really once a woman has birthed, they are forever postnatal. It is a bit like adolescence, once you have gone through it you cannot go back.

The length of time you are postnatal depends on the context. In maternal health it is considered to be 6 weeks (hence 6-week check-ups/discharge appointments with Obstetrician/hospital). In our clinic we consider postnatal to be at least 12 months after birth as a woman’s body (mind & spirit) has undergone massive change in this period with the body adjusting to life after 9 months of growing and transporting a baby internally to holding, feeding, and nurturing a baby externally.  Within this 12-month period the demands on your body vary quite a lot and is dictated by the needs of baby.

We tend to find that things will level out after this initial 12 months. But that is not to say that you cannot continue getting treatment with us. We work with a growing number of women who are no longer in that immediate postnatal period but still love our treatments and want to continue taking care of their physical wellbeing as well as taking time out for themselves.

Each treatment is tailored to your needs, body, mind, and spirit.

Is there anything special I need to do before my appointment?

There is nothing you need to do to prepare for your massage from our perspective, other than fill out some paperwork if you are a new client.

Some tips and hints though to help you get the most out of your time would include.

  • Feed bub before you leave or close to it. This will make your breasts more comfortable for the time away from baby. Make sure there is a stock of breast milk / formula ready to go should the person caring for them whilst you are gone / in your massage need it.
  • Stay hydrated before and after your treatment by carrying a bottle of water with you.
  • Aim to arrive a little earlier than your scheduled appointment and that way if you get held up, you won’t necessarily be running late and most importantly won’t feel rushed.
  • Don’t forget your phone.  Even though we would love you to have an uninterrupted session, we understand there is a certain level of comfort knowing that you can be contacted if necessary. Especially if it the first time you have left baby.

PS – We don’t care if your hair hasn’t been washed in weeks, you haven’t shaved your legs, your boobs leak and/or you are completely overwhelmed by this change in your life.  We care about how we can help you navigate the journey from pregnancy to motherhood.

Postnatal massage is a big topic, and we may have only scratched the surface of your list of questions, so please, if there is anything else you were wondering about, drop us a line, we are here to help.

When you are ready to book your postnatal appointment SAVE TIME AND BOOK ONLINE.

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