Remedial massage after childbirth

Posted on: 17 May 2016

The later weeks of pregnancy and childbirth can be a very hard time on the birthmother's body, and the first weeks of caring for a newborn can be hard for any carer. Here are some tips on what might be hurting and how remedial massage can help.

Post childbirth pain - back, hips and pelvic floor

The extra weight carried by the mother during the last weeks of pregnancy poses quite a stress to the lower back and hips. To adjust, the mother often adopts a 'waddling' style of walking, but this can exacerbate the issues by placing stresses on different parts of the hip and spine. Additionally, the stresses of a long and difficult labour and/or an emergency caesarian can damage the pelvic floor. Many patients find that remedial massage of these areas can reduce undue knots and strain, and increase blood flow leading to better overall muscle recovery and control. 

Shoulder pain from carrying the baby

While babies seem smaller and light, they can often be surprisingly wiggly and hard to handle. Carrying babies around carefully can result in a lot of strain, and this is often non-symmetrical weight bearing as people tend to carry their babies on their dominant side. Remedial massage can be a great way to release the one side tension. Often massage therapists can recommend carriers or wraps that you can use to carry the baby around with, which can lessen the chance of the issues recurring by spreading the load bearing out more evenly. 

Nursemaid's neck pain

Carers who are feeding their baby, either by breastfeeding or bottle, often favour one side or the other and strain their neck to one side to check that the baby is feeding and that they are still awake. This can place a lot of strain on one side of the neck and shoulder, and the supporting arm on the other side. A good way to avoid this is by switching sides when nursing, so that the baby is nestled in alternate elbows for half of the feed. This tends to naturally occur during breastfeeding. If pain or ongoing tenderness does occur it can be a great idea to get remedial massage, as the pain can be a self-perpetuating issue as pain feeding on one side often leads the carer to favour the other side when feeding. 

Remedial massage can be a great gift for a new mother or a way of caring for yourself.