Why is Post Partum Massage Important?
Pregnancy and birth is a magical time for mothers. However, in her joy of welcoming a new member to the family, new mothers tend to forget that they are integral to the whole process of conception and birth and they tend to neglect their own need to rest and recover after childbirth. Maternity hospitals are focused only on prenatal and not on postnatal care. New mothers need to be aware that negligence of physical and emotional wellbeing during the delicate postnatal period can lead to infections, postnatal depression and long term physical side effects.
Cucciku’s Post partum massages are immensely nurturing and relaxing and are designed to help:
1) Internal Cleansing: – Post Pregnancy massage expels ‘lochia’ or dirty blood and trapped winds & Toxins.
2) Decrease swelling: – During pregnancy there is increase of about 50% in fluid volume. After pregnancy body fluids need to find balance. Massage increases blood circulation and lymphatic drainage to facilitate elimination of excess fluids and waste products. Tissue stimulation assists the body to shift water to the right places.
Swelling is also affected by hormones, which go through major changes after delivery. Massage helps hormone regulation, which also decreases swelling.
3) Pain Relief: – Breastfeeding and childcare normally cause arm, shoulder and back pain. Massage is an effective holistic approach that relaxes tense muscles and provides relief from such pain.
Massage stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, into the brain and nervous system.
4) Improve Breastfeeding: – Post natal massage increases breast milk and helps relieve breast pain. Massaging chest muscles opens the shoulders and improves lactation and new born suckling.
5) Slim Down: – Massaging flattens the abdomen and breakdowns stubborn body fat to its pre-pregnancy size and shape and speed up overall recovery.
Massage lifts the womb and prevents it from sagging; it also hastens the shrinkage of the enlarged uterus.
6) Better Sleep:-Most new moms feel exhausted after labour and delivery, complicated with around-the-clock baby care. Massage will ease the fatigue, promote relaxation and assist with sleep. Getting enough sleep is key to postpartum recovery.
7) Relaxation and Stress Reduction:-Massage relaxes muscles, increases circulation and lowers stress hormones, bringing relaxation and stress relief. Massage is also beneficial for treating postpartum depression.
8) Hormone Regulation:-Massage greatly improves postpartum hormone balance. Estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are very high during pregnancy and decrease after delivery. Prolactin and oxytocin hormone levels rise to facilitate breastfeeding. Studies indicate that massage reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
Massage also reduces naturally occurring biochemicals associated with depression and cardiovascular problems , supporting Mom with the challenges of motherhood.
Traditional Mother & Baby Massage Techniques from Cucciku-Post Pregnancy Care on Vimeo.
For how many months is post delivery massage recommended?
We strongly recommend new mothers who have just given birth to undergo our body massages for minimum 3 consecutive months, and if possible, even longer .It takes time for the body to recover and go back to its pre delivery shape and state.
When should massage therapy start after normal delivery/C- Section?
For normal birth we start postnatal massage within the same week mother delivers, normally on the 7th day.
For C-section mothers we provide post natal massage after 14 days. The intake of turmeric juice may be done in the first week of post delivery for three consecutive days. Turmeric is anti-bacterial herb which may also help to reduce the risk of infection of the caesarian cut.
* In the case of severe post delivery bleeding we suggest mothers to consult their doctor prior to commencing of massage therapy and abdominal wrapping.
Confinement /No Confinement during post pregnancy massage?
We at Cucciku firmly believe in the practice of post natal confinement which is followed in Malay, Chinese and Indian Culture.
We recommend new mothers to consider the initial month of massage as a confinement period to help them rest, recover and rejuvenate to post pregnancy body and shape, in the shortest time possible. Proper confinement practices can help to prevent health problems in the years to come.
The general practises we follow and advice:-
- Ice water is forbidden as it is believed to distend the stomach muscles, resulting in bulging belly. Only boiled milk or warm water should be served. Drinking ajwain water is believed to help in cleansing the stomach and aid digestion. Same goes for jeera water it is also believed to aid digestion and help relieve constipation, bloating and gas.
- Intake of cold food is not allowed. Intake of hot foods and herbs are encouraged. These will enhance perspiration. Excessive perspiration is seen as a wonderful way to lose all the water that is retained by the body throughout the pregnancy.
- Cooling fruits such watermelon, papaya, cucumber and windy vegetables such as cabbage and bean sprouts to be avoided while nursing as it can cause colic in babies
- All meals are to be taken in small quantities though they may be taken more frequently. This is also believed to have an effect on stomach firming. Meals should preferably be home cooked including soups and should be consumed frequently to ensure constant supply of breast milk for the baby.
- Liquid or watery and fatty or oily foods are not allowed. Intake of watery food is believed to delay the loss of retained moisture in the body while fatty and oily foods will interfere with the process of losing accumulated fat. Foods should be usually steamed or lightly stir fried with minimal use of oil.
- The new mother has to keep herself warm at all times. She has to put on socks and a sweater and house slippers, especially if she has to walk on a cement floor. Staying in an air-conditioned room is not encouraged.
- The new mother should take bath and wash hair using warm water in the daytime.
- The intake of turmeric juice may be done in the first week for three consecutive days in case of a caesarian delivery. Turmeric is an anti-bacterial herb which may also help to reduce the risk of infection of the caesarian cut.
- Green leafy vegetables, garlic, boiled fenugreek seeds are among the foods believed to help produce good milk.
- Cooling foods are avoided, such as cold drinks, ‘cold’ fruits and vegetables like watermelon, pineapple, papaya, ‘kangkong’, cucumber, cabbage and beansprouts.