New moms, how’s it going? How has your postpartum journey been so far? Considering you are currently looking up massages, we can see you are certainly rocking your postnatal period! For a new mother, there is nothing you deserve and should care more than a proper self-care. As much as your newborn needs all the pampering and attention, so do you.
If you’ve been reading the baby books or listening to the new mommy club meetings, you might have come across the term “postnatal massage” or “post-delivery massage“. This is a massage that is done after you have given birth to help ease your body and mind.
There are several different kinds of post-natal massages, a few of which includes the Jamu postnatal massage, TCM post-natal massage, Swedish massage, and Ayurvedic Post Natal massage. To help you make up your mind on which one to go for, we explain each of them down below so read up!
Originating in Southeast Asia, the Jamu massage is one of the most famous post-birth massages in most Asian countries. It usually involves a full body oil massage with “Jamu” products (concoctions of herbal and natural ingredients with special healing properties) and a head massage to relieve headaches and to rid the body of ‘wind’. This massage targets the whole body where excess fluid is retained with less pressure placed on sensitive areas.
After the whole massage is done, a binder, also known as bengkung, will be wrapped tightly from the ribs to the hip using a comfy and breathable cloth. This helps tone your abdominal skin that was stretched out during your pregnancy. It also helps to straighten your spine, thereby improving your body posture. Jamu massage includes lactation or breast massage which aims to clear blocked ducts and promote better lactation. This type of massage normally includes the use of wrapped hot stones, although this particular element has been taken out by many massage therapists. By the end of it all, you will be left with jamu paste on several parts of your body like stomach and forehead.
The TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, Massage works alongside other TCM to restore and rejuvenate a mother’s health. This type of massage focuses on restoring blood flow, made stagnant by pregnancy and birth, and cultivating and balancing Qi in order to deter illness and bad energy in the future.
The masseuse will determine the right treatment for the mother and then proceeds with implementation of “Tui Na” (directly translates to pinch and pull) and herbal medicine. The mother will be able to relax in a soothing herbal bath soak first, followed by the acupressure or acupoint massage. This massage repositions the uterus, gets rid of water retention, and dispels wind. The masseuse works along the meridian lines (i.e. energy points) to increase energy flow and speed up the mother’s recovery. It may also include a breast massage to boost the flow of breast milk. When this is complete, the belly is banded with a herbal wrap to tone the stomach area. Often, the mother will also be offered dietary advice!
Practised worldwide, the Swedish massage is a great postnatal care treatment option as it includes effleurage (creating circular strokes using palm) and petrissage (kneading, a.k.a the application of deep pressure to compress underlying muscles). These techniques help to tone muscles and reduce straining. Stimulatory strokes are also included which promote blood circulation and muscle contraction.
Want to know a fun fact? The Swedish massage technique is initially created to be similar to the movements of gymnastics! It is meant to stimulate blood circulation, strengthen muscles, and create a better balance between muscles and bones. It’s no surprise that this massage has become one of the most popular types of massage across European countries!
Ayurveda or Ayurvedic massage is a part of the treatment deriving from traditional Indian medicine system which focuses on mind and body balance through yoga, diet, and lifestyle choices. The biggest difference between Ayurvedic massage and the rest on this list is that the use of hot oil is a crucial element of it. This is believed to work better in reducing the risk of gas, digestive issues, constipation, and insomnia. The type of oils applied also determines the effect the treatment will have on the mother. For instance, sesame oil relieves stress and regulates blood pressure while coconut oil is used to reduce stretch marks and hydrate the body.
The session starts with a full-body oil massage which stimulates circulation and relieves pain and tension on bones and muscles while speeding up cell regeneration. A hot water bath infused with neem leaves is prepared which will help to soothe aching muscles. Afterwards, the mother’s belly is bounded with a cloth or sari to reposition the uterus and get rid of gas.
So, did we help give you some ideas on which one to go for? While these massages are distinguishable in terms of methods or the tools used, the benefits are pretty similar to one another. It’s simply a matter a preference! You can choose to get any of these postnatal massages at home or even all four to determine the best postnatal massage for you.