What Is A Postpartum Massage And Is It Safe For Women?

Massage therapy in the postpartum period proves highly beneficial for realigning and readapting your body and life after giving birth. A skilled massage therapist concentrates on aligning the joints and stretching muscles, encompassing the abdominal and pectoral areas, lower back, and glute muscles. Professional postpartum massage provides new mothers with essential relief from body fatigue.

What Is A Postpartum Massage And Is It Safe For Women
What Is A Postpartum Massage And Is It Safe For Women

What Is Postpartum Massage?

Postpartum massage is a form of massage therapy designed to support the body’s recovery after childbirth. This massage aids in the relaxation of aching muscles, promotes lymphatic drainage, and may assist in processing the emotional aspects of childbirth.

Why You Might Need A Postpartum Massage?

Following childbirth, a woman may go through a postpartum phase commonly referred to as the “baby blues.” This period might encompass experiences such as depression, postpartum psychosis, stretch marks, and vascular problems:

  • Baby Blues: New mothers might encounter the “baby blues,” characterized by symptoms like mood swings, heightened anxiety and sadness, diminished appetite, and sleep difficulties.
  • Postpartum Depression: This represents a severe form of depression that impacts some women following childbirth. Symptoms encompass mood swings, withdrawal from friends and family, loss of appetite, and challenges in bonding with the baby.
  • Stretch Marks and Discomfort: Following childbirth, women frequently observe stretch marks on their stomachs and may encounter pain throughout the body, including lingering muscle aches.
  • Vascular Issues: Pregnancy induces heightened pressure on the leg veins, leading some women to develop varicose veins (twisted and enlarged veins).

Any of these conditions can impact a woman’s ability to heal both emotionally and physically after childbirth. However, many of these challenges can be mitigated with postpartum massage. Physical therapists employ diverse treatments and activities to facilitate a swift recovery and promote healing.

Postpartum Massage Methods

Postpartum Massage Methods
Postpartum Massage Methods

Various massage approaches are suitable for postpartum mothers. A postpartum massage may incorporate techniques like acupressure and foot reflexology. It can also involve a Swedish massage or Jamu massage, a traditional Southeast Asian postpartum massage intended to promote relaxation and healing in the postpartum body.

Preferences vary among women during the postpartum period, with some favoring a lighter massage style, while others appreciate deeper techniques such as myofascial release or craniosacral therapy.

Apart from physical touch, numerous postpartum massages incorporate essential oils, which can be included in lotions or massage oils or diffused into the air. Before using essential oils, it’s important to consult with your medical provider to ensure their safety.

Regardless of the chosen massage style, inquire about your provider’s experience with prenatal and postpartum massage. They should be willing to collaborate with you to identify comfortable positions during the massage.

Types Of Postnatal Massages

Swedish Massage: Swedish massages prove beneficial for new mothers, offering long stroking and kneading techniques that tone muscles and alleviate strain. The stimulating strokes in this postnatal massage enhance blood circulation and muscle contraction, aiding in the removal of toxins from the body.

TCM Postnatal Massage: TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, postnatal massage combines acupoint techniques and herbal applications to enhance blood flow and alleviate muscle tension post-pregnancy. This massage includes a herbal bath, massage, belly banding, and dietary advice. Repositioning of the uterus and spine is also part of the massage.

Ayurvedic Postnatal Massage: Rooted in ancient Indian practices, Ayurvedic postnatal massage integrates elements of yoga, dietary considerations, lifestyle choices, and massage therapy. This comprehensive full-body massage includes belly wrapping, contributing to skin hydration and stimulating blood circulation. These effects promote cell regeneration, provide pain relief, and alleviate tension.

Benefits Of The Postpartum Massage

Benefits Of The Postpartum Massage
Benefits Of The Postpartum Massage

Postpartum massage offers various benefits, including:

  • Muscle Relaxation: Postpartum massage induces muscle relaxation, enhances circulation, and reduces stress hormones, providing both physical and emotional relief. Women may choose a light-touch massage or opt for a deeper massage that targets muscles and soft tissues more comprehensively for enhanced healing.
  • Pain Relief: Experiencing achy muscles is common after childbirth. Postpartum massage can effectively alleviate pain, particularly in areas prone to soreness such as the arms, shoulders, and back. Additionally, massaging the chest area can open up the shoulders and provide relief from breast pain.
  • Hormone Regulation: Pregnancy leads to a substantial increase in hormones like estrogen, which subsequently decreases after delivery. Postpartum massage contributes to hormone balance, positively impacting both hormones and mood. By naturally addressing chemicals linked to depression, including dopamine and serotonin, massage can play a role in achieving hormonal equilibrium.
  • Reduced Swelling: Pregnancy often results in a roughly 50% increase in body fluids. Following childbirth, postpartum massage becomes instrumental in enhancing circulation and lymphatic drainage. This aids the effective processing of excess fluids, promoting the restoration of balance in the body.
  • Enhanced Sleep: Feeling fatigued is a common experience after giving birth, particularly when caring for a newborn. Massage proves beneficial in alleviating fatigue, promoting relaxation, and enhancing the quality of sleep.
  • Improved Breastfeeding: Postpartum massage has demonstrated the ability to boost prolactin, a lactation hormone, leading to increased milk production.

When Can You Get A Postpartum Massage After Delivery?

You can choose to undergo a postpartum massage when you feel comfortable. Whether you’ve had a cesarean section or a vaginal delivery, it typically takes around six to eight weeks for complete recovery. Ideally, it’s advisable to wait until you are fully recovered after delivery before getting a massage. However, it is recommended to consult your healthcare provider before scheduling one.

When Should You Avoid Postnatal Massage?

It is advisable to avoid postnatal massage if you have or have had:

  • Cesarean section; wait until the incision is healed
  • Skin conditions such as blisters, boils, eczema, and rashes
  • Hernia and high blood pressure

Ensure that you consult with your doctor before getting a massage. This step helps determine the appropriate type of massage and the optimal time to receive it.


Is postpartum massage different from regular massage?

This recovery massage post-labor differs slightly from a standard massage. Instead of employing deep, targeted pressure points, your postpartum massage therapist will utilize very light pressure and broad strokes. Unlike concentrating on a few sore muscles, your postpartum massage therapist will conduct a full-body massage.

How is postpartum massage done?

The massage, whether self-administered by the new mother or performed by a practitioner, involves clockwise strokes on the abdomen using small, circular kneading motions. This treatment aims to induce the hardening and contraction of the uterus, and the massage should be applied every four hours until the discharge appears pale, typically continuing for about 2-3 weeks.

Is it safe to get a postpartum massage?

Massage has been employed as a therapeutic method for promoting relaxation, pain relief, and stress reduction for a considerable time. Postpartum massage encompasses these same benefits, offering new mothers an expedited recovery and improved overall health after childbirth.

The Bottom Line

Postpartum massage induces relaxation in both the mind and body, alleviating pain and soreness. It is crucial to choose postpartum massage under expert guidance once fully recovered for a safe experience. Adhering to all necessary precautions, selecting the appropriate massage oil, and employing the right massage technique contribute to fully harnessing the benefits of the massage

This article is for informative reference and to explain the nuances, types, and benefits of Postpartum Massage. Note that L Spa does not provide this body therapy, and the information provided is for educational purposes only. To learn more about our available treatments and services, please visit the L Spa Da Nang website.

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