If you’ve recently delivered a baby, no doubt your top priority is the health, comfort and wellbeing of your new little one. Just make sure you also pay attention to your own body’s comfort and needs. A great way to do just that is to indulge in postpartum massage.
Multiple studies show that postpartum massage can benefit new mothers in multiple ways. Here are five of them:
- Pain relief: Let’s face it – recovering from nine months of carrying and hours of labor and delivery can do a real number on your body. Residual body aches from pregnancy, along with breastfeeding and holding infants can intensify arm, shoulder and back pain. Expertly performed postpartum massage can help relaxes muscles and relieves pain without medication.
- Decreased swelling: After childbirth,it can take some time for a new mother’s body fluids to return to a normal, pre-pregnancy balance. That’s because pregnancy can boost body fluids by upward of 50 percent in volume. Massage helps to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage, speeding up the elimination of excess fluids and waste products, while tissue stimulation assists your body to shift water to the right places.
- Hormone regulation: During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are through the roof. If you’re breastfeeding, your natural prolactin and oxytocin levels will rise. And, the stress of it all can drive up levels of cortisol. Studies show that massage can help reduce levels of troublesome hormones, returning hormonal balance and staving off postpartum mood swings.
- Anxiety and depression reduction: Speaking of mood swings – Nearly two-thirds of new moms experience temporary postpartum blues related to hormonal changes, along with new responsibilities and adjustment frustrations. Even more troublesome is clinical postpartum depression, a more serious and longer-lasting condition that affects some 10 to 15 percent of mothers. Fortunately, postpartum massage has proven highly effective at reducing anxiety and improving symptoms of depression in the months following childbirth.
- Improved breastfeeding: Many new mothers have trouble getting the hang of breastfeeding. Massage therapy can help to relax the body, boost circulation and increase milk production by raising levels of prolactin, a lactation hormone. Relaxation in the chest muscles also is beneficial because it opens the shoulders and improves lactation. Plus, recent research indicates that breast massage helps to relieve breast pain, decrease breast milk sodium and improve newborn suckling.
If you’re a new mom busily tending to your baby’s comfort and wellbeing, do the same for yourself. Call your nearest Elements of Therapy location in Mandarin or at the Beaches to schedule a postpartum massage today.