We all know the delivery process is challenging and can leave mothers mentally and physically drained while learning to deal with all the changes and adjustments required to become a new mother.
Many breastfeeding mothers might consider a massage as a solution to reduce their stress. Yet, they might decide against it because they think it might affect their babies’ health or theirs.
Can you get a deep tissue massage while breastfeeding? You can get a massage while breastfeeding. There is a deep tissue massage designed for nursing mothers. It is known as the postpartum massage. It is a full-body massage that mothers get a few weeks after childbirth.
This kind of massage helps the mother’s body and mind relax and hastens healing after birth.
The postpartum period is defined as the length of time it takes the uterus to return to its nonpregnant size, generally six weeks. So, while you care for your baby, don’t be scared to care for yourself.
Can a Deep Tissue Massage Affect your Breast Milk?
Some nursing mothers are still concerned about massages and how they can affect breastfeeding.
They are worried that toxins released during the massage can affect the baby’s milk or that the massage can affect the milk supply. Some even worry that the massage can alter the taste of breast milk.
Many online articles have published the toxins released during a massage refer to lactic acid that any healthy body naturally clears up. It would rarely affect the taste and quality of breast milk. Some studies have shown that massages can improve breast milk supply, and there are specific breast massages to enhance milk flow.
How Soon After Birth Can Nursing Mothers Get A Massage?
A gentle massage is appropriate as early as a few weeks after delivery.
It will ease discomforts associated with the postpartum stage. Women who have had a standard delivery can start the postnatal massage as soon as they return from the hospital. Usually, this is within the first five days after delivery.
A good massage therapist will adjust their routine and techniques to meet your postpartum needs. However, you may opt for a postpartum massage when you feel comfortable.
Ideally, it is best to wait until fully recovered after the delivery. However, it is always good to consult your healthcare provider before any procedure that you believe will affect your health. Concerned mothers can check in with their doctors.
before scheduling a massage, you should avoid a postnatal massage if you have had:
- Cesarean section that hasn’t healed
- Skin conditions such as blisters, boils, eczema, and rashes
- Hernia and high blood pressure
Whether you’ve had a cesarean section or vaginal delivery, you will often need six to eight weeks to complete recovery. A postpartum massage after a c-section can be performed after the wound has sufficiently healed, generally after one to two weeks.
Ideally, 40 continuous days of postpartum massages will bring maximum benefits. However, many women, mainly working mothers, often cut it short due to time constraints. It is better to get a go-ahead from the doctor before beginning the massage in such a case.
What Will Happen When I get a Deep Tissue Massage?
No type of massage is contraindicated for breastfeeding, and no special precautions are necessary before your deep tissue massage.
Therefore, if you get a deep tissue massage, you should only be relaxed and in a zen mood! As we mentioned earlier, lactic acid is released with muscle stimulation, but it’s nothing to worry about since it’s the same process with massage as with exercise.
It’s often recommended to stay hydrated to flush toxins away before and after a massage. According to American Pregnancy, relaxing the chest muscles during a massage opens the shoulders and improves lactation. However, even studies have shown that massage increases prolactin levels, the lactation hormone.
Therefore, you might consider bringing breast pads to your massage if you start leaking milk during the session.
In addition, studies reveal that massages decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Certain essential oils may improve mood balance as the massage also reduces naturally occurring biochemicals associated with depression, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Also, breast massages help relieve breast pain, decrease breast milk sodium, and improve newborn feeding.
All these are advantages from massages that help the mother adjust to the challenges of motherhood. Massage therapy after delivery is effective when you seek help from a professional masseuse. Some of the techniques these therapists might consider giving after delivery are as follows.
What to Expect When Getting a Massage While Nursing?
A good massage therapist will modify their routine and techniques to suit a nursing mother. However, a gentle massage is the most appropriate after delivery and can reduce the discomforts of the postpartum stage. During this time, massage therapists should still regard positioning and adjusting bodywork.
Any position is safe after delivery but may be adjusted for your comfort or specific treatment as long as the mother can settle into the most comfortable place. For example, some moms prefer being able to lie face-down again after lying on their sides for almost nine months.
If the client chooses a prone position, a soft, round cushion placed on the table below the shoulders and above the breasts can help ease the pressure off the breasts. However, the client is often perfectly comfortable in a fully prone position by the end of the second week of the postpartum period.
Others may hate being face-down because of breast discomfort. But some may feel uncomfortable with engorged breasts or the distraction of leaking milk. If that is the case, a trick employed by the masseur is to place a regular pillow under the mother’s belly when she’s face down, which helps give them a little room.
Alternately, the masseur will put a towel or two down on the table for them, and then they could also place it on their breasts when they turned over to absorb the milk leaks. However, some massage tables have cut-outs for breasts or unique cushions that help with milk slips.
Most massage centers would prefer primarily side-lying to ease pressure on your tender breasts and still-swollen uterus since the side-lying position can be comfortable and effective in treating specific body parts. In addition, the masseuse can focus on the shoulders, legs, and pelvis if the side-lying or seated position is cozy.
This position is usually perfect for those who have had a cesarean section. Although, some moms may select facing down on their tummy as they have limited this position during pregnancy for quite a long time.
If you’re a breastfeeding mother concerned about massages after delivery, you should know it is absolutely safe. Mothers can enjoy a massage without worrying about their baby’s health. All nursing mothers should also know that massages have the following benefits:
- Massage reduces stress, helping promote a healthy breastfeeding relationship.
- Postpartum massage can speed up physical recovery from the challenges of pregnancy.
- Relieves body pain, particularly in the lower back, hips, and abdomen, and relaxes these sore muscles.
- Postnatal massage can reduce swelling after delivery.
- Massage therapy eases fatigue, provides relaxation, and helps you sleep better.
- Gentle massage therapy could remove the hardened lumps and free up blocked ducts in the breast, thereby lowering the risk of mastitis.
- Improves post-delivery recovery by reducing postpartum blues related to hormonal changes and improving the overall mood.
- Massage improves postpartum hormone balance as prolactin and oxytocin hormone levels rise to facilitate breastfeeding.
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