“Me” time is in short supply when you are a new mom, right at a time when you need it the most. Yes, your tiny miracle is the most beautiful living being you have ever seen, but sometimes, you need a break from motherhood. Don’t let guilt prevent you from taking care of your body and mind. You are coping with the cumulative effects of several stressors at a time when your physiology is taking great strain.
New mothers are often coping with the effects of C-sections, painkillers, breast swelling, surgical site infections, and even prolapse. Your exhaustion is not limited to sleep loss. Your body has just undergone a drastic shift, and your wellbeing needs a little attention. A spa day will give you the soothing care you need.
Massage and the Postnatal Body
Labour and delivery are exhausting, but postpartum massage will do more than just revitalize you. Advanced therapies can speed up healing to help your body to return to its pre-pregnancy condition. Pre or perinatal therapists can help new moms to overcome some of the effects of postpartum depression. They typically target the whole body, encouraging the uterus to cleanse and restore itself to its pre-natal condition. By boosting circulation, deep tissue massage can reduce swelling and help the body to eliminate excess fluid. Some forms of massage can improve milk flow and trigger oxytocin flux in new mothers who are struggling to breastfeed or breastpump.
Coldwater pools can stimulate your circulation if you can cope with the temperature. If a chilling bath doesn’t tempt you, medium pressure massage can also achieve the same results. It’s perfect for newbie moms who are desperate for a touch of luxury. Body wraps and hot stone massages will help your skin to lose its post-hospital greyness. If your circulation problems are focused on your legs, your lymphatic system might need support. Gentle leg pressure massage can help and may go a long way towards preventing varicose veins.
Pregnancy tends to stretch the core muscles and cause weakness. If you are not ready for a full workout yet, a spa saltwater or hydrotherapy pool can encourage gentler motion. Deep tissue massage gives you a passive workout that targets stiff and painful areas beneath the deep muscle layers, releasing cellular debris simultaneously. All that rejuvenated circulation will improve oxygen flow throughout the body, aiding healing.
Specialist postnatal massage is generally given to new mothers daily for 40 days after birth, often including baby in the treatment. This form of spa treatment focuses on soothing sore spots caused by muscle tension from childbirth. The upper back, hips, and abdomen usually need plenty of care, and a therapist who specialises in postnatal treatments will know exactly how and where to place their focus.
The Power of Endorphins
Many spa and massage therapies stimulate endorphins and oxytocin release, which is needed for bonding, pain relief, and milk production. High endorphin levels will also make you feel more alert after those long, sleepless nights. These feel-good hormones attach to opiate receptor neurons — the body’s own painkillers, so spa days are just the thing for new mothers who are coping with post-surgery pain.
Your Skin and Pregnancy
Pigmentation and stretch marks are part of the pregnancy experience. Several spa treatments will support your postnatal beauty needs:
- Laser therapy, needling, and microdermabrasion are the three treatments of choice for stretchmarks.
- Laser peels, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion will help with hyperpigmentation, but if you’re looking for a less drastic spa treatment, glutathione or a body scrub massage will target those pesky dark spots.
- Is your complexion looking dull? A face massage with essential oils will bring back that early pregnancy glow. Better yet, those oils will soothe your frazzled nerves.
- Dry Thai massage will bring your flexibility back and encourage cellular regeneration.
The Importance of Me Time
Motherhood saddles you with exhaustion, pain, and a veritable hormonal rollercoaster when you need your emotional health the most. No wonder new moms suffer from several common emotional problems related to adjustment and attachment. While nothing can replace professional obstetric and therapeutic support, me-time is the key to every recovery, so it’s a core parenting resource.
Don’t let guilt build a wall between yourself and self-care. The time you dedicate to your treatment of choice is an opportunity for introspection and processing, helping you to discover the “you” that has just entered a new era. Above all, your spa therapy choices should be governed by one thing: your own preferences. Think of it as a chance to gather up the fuel you need for another day of motherhood.
Author Bio: This article was written by Conor O’Flynn of O’Flynn Medical who are a leading supplier of breast pumps to the Irish market. Conor has found that women who have post-natal massages recover faster, both physically and mentally, after giving birth.