Are Postpartum Massages Suitable After a Cesarean Birth?
A c-section delivery, or cesarean birth, is when a baby is surgically removed through an incision made in a women’s belly and uterus. In some instances, a c-section is medically necessary to secure the health of both the mother and the infant.
In situations where vaginal birth is expected to be unsafe, the pregnant woman’s health care provider may schedule a c-section ahead of time. Emergency c-sections are conducted with immediacy in situations where the baby or mother’s health is at risk during birth. Here are some reasons why a c-section may be necessary:
- In cases of cephalopelvic disproportion (when the baby’s head cannot fit through the mother’s pelvis).
- If placental abruption occurs (when the placenta separates from the walls of the uterus).
- When the baby’s oxygen supply is disrupted due to a prolapsed cord.
Postpartum massages are definitely safe after a c-section, and in fact, they can actually be beneficial to your recovery. It is important to get the go-ahead from your doctor and choose a trained masseuse who can navigate your body in a way that is comfortable for you.
How Soon After A Cesarean, Should Postpartum Massages Commence?
Postpartum massages are holistic treatments that lessen with pain, stress, and swelling. Postpartum massages can also regulate sleep patterns and hormones, and help your body re-acclimatize to its pre-pregnancy state.
While postpartum massages are safe whenever you feel comfortable, most new mothers that have undergone a c-section delivery wait at least 2 weeks for the incision scar to be fully dried up before having any massages.
This resting period is especially important because you’re likely to be sore around your surgical wound, and it must be dried up before you can sustain any massaging around or on your tummy.
Most mothers opt for a face-down or side-lying position. New mothers usually prefer face-down since they weren’t able to lay that way during the pregnancy, but side-lying is most suitable if you experience discomfort due to breast-feeding. There are several different types of massages you can choose from. A uterine massage after a c-section is a good option if you are experiencing cramping.
A lot of new mothers ask, “When can I get a massage after a c-section?” You should consider getting a postpartum massage if you are experiencing any of these symptoms frequently:
- If you are experiencing persistent swelling of joints.
- If your milk-production has slowed. This may due to mastitis, a condition in which the milk duct becomes blocked due to a bacterial infection.
- If you are struggling with maintaining good posture or coordination. This may due to muscles stretching during pregnancy. A back massage after a c-section can lessen these symptoms and re-strengthen your muscles.
Postpartum Massage Contraindications
Some indications you aren’t or may not be ready for a postpartum massage are:
- Your wound has not completely healed.
- You are experiencing soreness and pain around your wound.
- If you are experiencing severe soreness in your breasts.
- If your doctor hasn’t permitted it.
Benefits of Postpartum Massages After a C-section
A postnatal massage after a cesarean birth is popular because of the many benefits it offers. Here are some of the ways a postpartum massage can help you feel rejuvenated after a c-section:
Massages can improve circulation and, in turn, relax your muscles and provide stress relief.
Hormones can fluctuate heavily during pregnancy. Massages can regulate various hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and estrogen. They can also increase prolactin levels, the hormone that facilitates lactation.
They facilitate lymphatic drainage which leads to decreased swelling.
They help you sleep better by increasing delta brain waves.
When targeted on the breasts, massages can reduce pain and breast milk sodium which improves suckling.
They can significantly improve your mental wellness. Making time for self-care is essential for new mothers who may be struggling to adjust to motherhood.
Be sure to check the other guides for more helpful tips:
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