After you have had your baby your hips have opened. The pubic symphysis which is already flexible in combination with the hormone and muscle relaxant oxytocin, your hips become wider and wider.
After the birth it is a really good idea to help your body and have massage to help close the bones back to their normal pre-pregnancy place.
Mums often suffer from pelvic instability which can be uncomfortable and even painful.
Ideally, all new mums would benefit from massage as soon after birth as possible, to help the muscles release the muscle memory of birth, gently healing and helping with spinal realignment.
These are all important factors in helping your body to return to its pre-pregnancy state.
As a massage therapist and clinical hypnotherapist passionate about supporting women, I am hearing more and more from women that they feel that there is a lot of support in the run up to having their baby. Preparing for the birth of their baby like a military precision operation, but very little to help or information for afterwards.
Anyone who knows me, anyone who has had pregnancy massage with me or done any of my hypnobirthing courses know, I chat a lot about creating a post-natal sanctuary. They may have also had the misfortune to have been subjected to one of my ‘we need to improve post-natal care’ rants.
Whilst traveling the world, teaching and learning the thing that struck me the most was how the west, compared to most other cultures, we have lost the social support and the ceremonies around post-natal recovery for new mums.
Ayurvedic medicine encourages the care of women by female relatives for 40 days often having daily massage.
In Mexico women have baby moons of 28 days where they are tended too and nurtured.
In Saudi Arabia the postpartum period is 40 or 41 days based on the sex of the baby.
There are many important ingredients provided in Saudi for post-natal care.
One important one I saw was the ‘being sisters’. This is providing support, empathy, practical help encouragement to talk about the changes they are experiencing, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Expertise and ancient knowledge is passed down from mother to daughter advice on everything from healing foods to exercise.
Here there is a period of confinement, that lasts 40 or 41 days and is a period where the new mum stays at home and receives care, she is bathed has steam baths with herbs and is encouraged to relax.
Increased responsibilities are shared, and new mums are encouraged to sleep whilst family members take care of the baby.
Women tend to have a daily regime that is timed and planned. The girls I met with told me about following a strict system with an exact time and a plan to care for their body after pregnancy and childbirth.
Here in the west we often feel pressured to be back in our skinny jeans to meet and greet hordes of family members and get back to work asap.
It’s no wonder women are so tired and exhausted, suffering with emotions and back ache.
I often have women come to see me for post-natal massage months after the baby has been born, by which time they have, what I call the breast-feeding hunch, or lower back niggles from misaligned hips and so on.
Nearly every woman I speak to says, they wish they had done this sooner, as they feel amazing.
So why don’t we do it sooner?
I think it’s because we hit the ground running in the new role of mother. We are programmed to feel like we must come last and that we just have to get on with it.
But those first few weeks should be blissful, we should feel like goddesses and after birthing a baby into the world we should be spoilt rotten!
Let’s face it, most of us are rubbish at giving ourselves permission to rest, I just hope that after reading this blog you’ll feel you can give yourself permission and book in for a massage.
Don’t worry about babysitting either, if you can’t get one
I am more than happy to have both you and baby on my massage couch.
Obviously, I’m a big fan of massage, apart from it being my job, I’m actually a bit of a massage junkie.
I am trained to look at the structure of your body, to look at where things might be misaligned and to work on bringing the body back to where it needs to be. In the post-natal period massage can be really beneficial.
Soon after birth massage can help your uterus and bladder get back into place. It increases blood flow and therefore quickens healing.
Massage helps to rebalance hormones and boost your immune system. It tones muscles and helps move lochia.
In birthing everything is opening, physically, emotionally and spiritually after you have had your baby massage helps with closing that which has been opened, helping you feel less raw and vulnerable, and bring about feelings of safety calm, nurturing and comforting.
I offer several styles of massage and at the consultation I will recommend which ones are best for you and your body based on what you are telling me and what Your body is telling me too.