Postpartum Massage Therapy - Maternity Massage Therapy with Elizabeth Belfry, RMT, CIMT

By: Maternity Massage Therapy  09-12-2011
Keywords: Massage Therapy, Postpartum Period, Postpartum Massage Therapy,

Postpartum Massage Therapy

The postpartum period is a time of many physical and emotional readjustments. After childbirth, the woman’s body undergoes many structural and physiological changes in order to heal from the strains of labour, as well as to return to its pre-pregnancy state. The woman adapts to life with a new baby that demands 24 hour care, often leaving little time to look after herself.

Though it often may seem difficult to fit into a busy schedule, postpartum massage therapy is one of the MOST beneficial things a new mom do for herself, often allowing her a speedier recovery from childbirth and a quicker and more thorough return of her body to its’ pre-pregnant state. A mom who takes regular care of herself through massage is also better able to care for her baby, because she is in a better state of health— both physically and mentally. When the mother feels good herself, it is easier to meet the needs of her newborn. Massage therapy is beneficial throughout both the immediate and long-term postpartum periods.

Postpartum massage can:

•    Provide a time for mom to feel nurtured & supported

•    Facilitate & speed restoration of the body to its pre-pregnancy state

•    Encourage involution (shrinking of the uterus) & prevent hemorrhaging

•    Alleviate muscle strain/fatigue of labour & childbirth

•    Cleanse residual metabolic wastes from labour exertions

•    Help eliminate excess fluids held within body tissues

•    Help to normalize the abdominal skin & connective tissues and help stimulate abdominal muscle tone

•    Improve circulation & relieve congestion in organs cramped & displaced during pregnancy

•    Rebalance & realign pelvic & spinal structures

•    Restore normal walking patterns

•    Reduce muscle & joint imbalances caused by common aspects of baby care (lifting, twisting, & bending, as well as holding & nursing baby)

After a cesarean birth, massage can also:

•    Help reestablish peristalsis (digestive tract functioning) & ease gas pains

•    Encourage proper scar tissue alignment (any time after scar has healed)

•    Reduce fascial shortening that can produce long term postural & functional imbalances

Frequency/Length of Visits

Postpartum massage therapy can begin as soon as the mom is recovered from the delivery process, which is usually within 2—9 days. The immediate postpartum period (first 6 weeks after birth) is the most taxing on a new moms’ body and is when massage therapy is most beneficial. Once a week visits during that time, even if they are brief, can be extremely helpful as mom adjusts to her new life with baby. Afterwards, treatments can progress to be every 2—6 weeks. This seems to be the best frequency to encourage a healthy start to motherhood.

As for length of treatments, sixty minutes is ideal but any amount of time will do— frequent short visits seem to be more beneficial than less frequent longer visits.

Please feel free to bring your baby with you to the clinic if you are not yet ready or able to be apart. You can bring a caregiver with you, or baby can join you on the table—if he/she needs to feed, we can still continue with the massage.

Keywords: Massage Therapy, Postpartum Massage Therapy, Postpartum Period,

Other products and services from Maternity Massage Therapy


Labour Preparation & Support Massage Lessons

I tend to include suggestions for prepping for childbirth as homecare within pregnancy massage visits but it is very beneficial to have mom bring her birthing partner in with her to an appointment for more thorough instruction. Childbirth is a significant experience that you will remember for the rest of your life—it can be both exhilarating and exhausting; the best way to approach it is to be prepared.


Infant Massage Lessons - Maternity Massage Therapy with Elizabeth Belfry, RMT, CIMT

A warm preferably carpeted area with enough room on the floor for adults and baby to be in a circle—space should be comfortable and free of stimuli as it can be distracting for the baby (few sounds/smells, soft lighting, warm room temperature as baby will be undressed, etc.


Frequently Asked Questions - Maternity Massage Therapy with Elizabeth Belfry, RMT, CIMT

Yes—as long as your maternity physician/healthcare provider has given you consent for receiving massage therapy because a multiple gestation is considered a high risk pregnancy. If there were complications with the birth that left your health compromised you need to have consent from your physician/healthcare provider before receiving massage.


Home Visits - Maternity Massage Therapy with Elizabeth Belfry, RMT, CIMT

If at some point throughout or after your pregnancy you are unable to come to the clinic due to health reasons* (such as prescribed bed rest) or difficulties scheduling child care we can arrange massage therapy treatments in your home. Postpartum treatments can be scheduled while baby is napping or baby can join you on the table—if he/she needs to feed, we can still continue with the massage.