Many women take great care of themselves during pregnancy but once the baby is here self care is a thing of the past. This is a great shame. Nurturing yourself as a mother is just as important as you recover from birth and adjust to the demands of motherhood. I get a lot of great feedback from mums who come for regular treatments, saying it helps provide the strength and patience to deal with the never ending demands of family life.
A common question I get asked is “when can I have a massage after birth?” Many women think they need to wait the designated 6 weeks before they can have a treatment, or have concerns about aromatherapy or massage while breastfeeding.
Incidentally, why the designated six week recovery phase? Traditionally this was a period known as “churching”. This was a medieval religious ceremony that accepted mothers back into the church after a period of exclusion for 40 days, during which time they were regarded as unclean. It is also considered that a woman’s body has returned to its pre pregnant anatomical state by this time. However, we all know that recovery can take much longer than this.
Massage can take place as soon after birth as the mother is comfortable. The decision on when to have a treatment often depends on:
- The type of birth experienced
- Postnatal recovery
- Breastfeeding experience
- Support available
- Familiarity with the practitioner
Aromatherapy massage treatments during the early postnatal period will take all these factors into account; positioning and massage techniques vary accordingly. Whilst it’s often more relaxing to leave baby at home mums are always welcome to bring their babies to their appointment. The benefits of aromatherapy massage during the postnatal period can include:
- Promote recovery from birth: whatever the birth experienced your body has been through a huge event, similar to running a marathon!
- Hormonal balance and emotional support
- Relief from muscular aches and pains, often associated with birth and/or breastfeeding posture
- Circulatory balance and reduction of fluid retention
- Breastfeeding issues such as over or under supply
- Support for fatigue and poor sleep
If a massage is too much in the early postpartum days aromatherapy remedies can also be very useful in easing these discomforts.
You know the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup; take care of yourself first”.
Nurture and nourish yourself as a mother, refilling your cup so you’re better equipped physically and mentally to care for your family.