After you have delivered your baby, you will have more reason than ever to continue with massage therapy. The physical and emotional stress of delivery can be very hard on the body.
As a massage therapist, you may have helped your client with her discomfort throughout her pregnancy; now after the pregnancy you can also help her stress, tension, and muscular discomfort.
Massage is beneficial to new mothers and women after pregnancy. It may be the last thing on her mind, however. New mothers may be hesitant to begin massage therapy after giving birth, but it depends on each client. The obstetrician should always give approval for massage therapy after the baby’s arrival.
A new mother can expect similar benefits to massage to those she received prior to her pregnancy. However, as a massage therapist, you should focus and concentrate on issues related to the recent birth. In most cases, giving birth results in significant muscle strain in the abdomen, back and hips. Carrying a baby in the womb for nine months can significantly affect a woman’s posture throughout the duration of her pregnancy. Massaging the back muscles will help restore the muscle function, ultimately helping regain a more proper posture.
Massage clients are quite aware of the physical benefits of massage, and also the emotional benefits. This too carries through to the post pregnancy clients. During and after pregnancy, women go through a roller coaster of hormonal changes or even imbalances, which can cause emotional stress. These shifts in hormones can cause baby blues, postpartum depression, or fatigue. Massage can help regulate these hormones involved by using oils, such as bergamot, grapefruit, orange and geranium. In turn, emotional stress will be relieved.
Massage therapy can offer many benefits to the new mom. However, there are some instances were therapy is contraindicated. Follow the same guidelines you use when your client is in her third trimester:
- Avoid deep legwork, since it may induce clots.
- As in any other client, if the client has a rash, blisters, boils or open wounds, you should advise her to wait until these conditions have healed.
- Women and new mothers who have had a cesarean section (C-section) may want to consider waiting until after the incision heals completely to resume massage therapy – always have your physicians approval for massage therapy.
- Again as in any other client, avoid massage on any client with any known medical condition, including high blood pressure.
- If during delivery the client developed a hernia, it is advisable to put off massage until she gets cleared from her doctor.