Benefits of Bodywork for Postpartum and Breastfeeding

by | Aug 21, 2023 | News

Benefits of Bodywork for Postpartum and Breastfeeding

The Power of Massage, Pelvic Alignment, and Internal Pelvic Release

Bringing a new life into the world is a miraculous journey that transforms a woman both physically and emotionally. The postpartum and breastfeeding period is a sacred time of healing and nurturing, requiring special care and attention. Holistic health practices, such as massage, pelvic alignment, and internal pelvic release work, offer invaluable benefits during this transformative phase. These practices not only aid in physical recovery but also support emotional wellbeing, allowing mothers to embrace motherhood with vitality and balance.

The Magic of Touch: The Benefits of Postpartum Massage

Massage, a time-honored healing and therapeutic modality, holds a special place in the realm of postpartum recovery. The touch of skilled hands can work wonders in relieving muscle tension, improving circulation, reducing swelling and promoting overall relaxation as well as supporting the breastfeeding journey.

Here are just some of ways postpartum massage can benefit new mothers:

  1. Stress Relief and Relaxation: The demands of caring for a newborn can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety. Postpartum massage triggers the release of oxytocin, often referred to as the ‘love hormone’, promoting relaxation and reducing stress as well as supporting breastmilk production.
  2. Pain Management: Labour, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting a newborn are all physically demanding, leaving mothers with sore muscles, ligaments and soft tissue, particularly in the back, shoulders, and hips. Massage helps alleviate pain by increasing blood flow to these areas while releasing tension, also supporting milk letdown.
  3. Hormonal Balance: Hormonal fluctuations are common during the postpartum period. Massage can support the regulation of hormone levels, contributing to emotional stability and reducing the risk of postpartum depression.
  4. Improved Sleep: Sleep deprivation is synonymous with motherhood. Massage encourages better sleep by easing tension and promoting relaxation, allowing mothers to get the rest they need when they can.
  5. Bonding with Baby: Skilled postpartum massage therapists will support mothers to keep newborn babies by their side while receiving massage, allowing for side-lying breastfeeding and promoting bonding between mother and child. When mum is relaxed, baby is relaxed, and the skin-to-skin contact releases oxytocin, enhancing the emotional connection and breastmilk supply.

Aligning for Balance: The Importance of Pelvic Alignment

During pregnancy and birth, a woman’s body undergoes remarkable changes to accommodate her baby. After childbirth, restoring pelvic alignment is crucial for overall wellbeing and recovery. Misalignment can lead to discomfort, pain, prolapse, and can slow the body’s ability to heal properly.

Here’s why pelvic alignment matters:

  1. Relief from Discomfort: The extra weight of pregnancy, shifting weight distribution, and increased mobility and flexibility caused by relaxin can contribute to pelvic misalignment. Receiving postpartum pelvic alignment and practicing alignment techniques at home can help to relieve discomfort and promote optimal mobility.
  2. Core Strength Restoration: Proper pelvic alignment supports the muscles that make up the core, aiding in their healing and strengthening. Restoring core strength can help with every day activities including carrying the baby, and may reduce lower back pain.
  3. Prevention of Long-Term Issues: Ignoring pelvic misalignment can lead to long-term issues such as chronic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and compromised posture. Addressing alignment issues early can prevent these issues from arising.
  4. Enhanced Healing: Pelvic alignment encourages healthy blood circulation and the efficient flow of lymphatic fluid, which plays a crucial role in the body’s healing process.
  5. Emotional Wellbeing: Physical discomfort can impact emotional wellbeing. Proper pelvic alignment can boost vitality, energy and confidence, contributing to a more positive outlook during the postpartum time.

Embracing the Inner Self: Internal Pelvic Release Work

Both pregnancy and birth can result in injury, trauma, scarring or held tension in the pelvis, which can manifest as pain, numbness, weakness or pelvic organ prolapse. Internal pelvic release work can help to relieve tension in the pelvic ligaments and soft tissue, and restore balance to the pelvic structure, easing these common but treatable postpartum discomforts.

Internal pelvic release work offers profound benefits for postpartum and breastfeeding mothers:

  1. Pelvic Floor Strengthening: The pelvic floor muscles can be weakened after pregnancy and birth, leading to issues such as incontinence and prolapse. Internal pelvic release work relieves tension and imbalance in the pelvis which helps strengthen these muscles by restoring their tone and functionality.
  2. Enhanced Blood Flow: Internal pelvic release work stimulates blood circulation in the pelvic region, aiding in tissue repair and reducing swelling and inflammation.
  3. Release of Tension: Holding tension in the pelvic area is common, especially after childbirth. The intra-vaginal bodywork techniques involved in internal pelvic release work on this deep-seated tension, allowing for emotional and physical release.
  4. Connection to Feminine Energy: Internal pelvic release work encourages mothers to restore their mind-body connection, reconnect with their feminine energy and embrace the changes and amazing work their bodies have undergone. This connection can foster a deeper understanding of oneself and the transformative power of motherhood.
  5. Support for Breastfeeding: Internal pelvic release work can indirectly aid in the breastfeeding journey through the ripple effect of restoring balance to the body above and below the pelvis, while relieving tension in the fascia which can positively improve posture and comfort throughout the body.

Harmonising Mind, Body, and Soul in Postpartum: A Holistic Approach

Embracing bodywork during postpartum supports the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and soul. The benefits of massage, pelvic alignment, and internal pelvic release work extend beyond the physical realm, nurturing a mother’s emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth too. By incorporating these practices into the healing journey, mothers can experience a more balanced and nurtured transition into motherhood that honours their body’s resilience and wisdom.

Each mother’s journey is unique, and personalised postpartum care ensures that the chosen practices align with individual needs and circumstances.

 

 

As a doula, prenatal bodyworker and birth educator, my role is to support birthing families in making informed and empowered decisions about their birth and beyond. As part of this process, I want to share the latest evidence-based information and statistics on a wide range of topics. And the benefits of bodywork for postpartum is just one of them. If you’d like support with postpartum recovery and wellbeing in Cairns and Far North Queensland, you can book a Postpartum Massage, Internal Pelvic Release Work, Pelvic Alignment, Birth Debrief or Massage Package with me. 

Join my inner circle

I’ll update you with any new articles, updates, resources, or special offers as they happen