Post Natal Massage – a bespoke blend will be prescribed to help heal your body after the physical and emotional demands of labour. During your treatment your aches and pains will be soothed away with a full body massage – post natal massage and aromatherapy helps the body heal more quickly by relaxing tight muscles, encouraging lymphatic drainage, toning stretched tissues and improving skin health. Aromatherapy can heal the body and the mind (see further down for Aromatherapy for Post Natal Depression)
When can you have a Post Natal Massage?
You can safely have a post natal massage as soon as you like after delivering your baby and your baby can even lie next to you if you like. Even on the massage table I encourage side-lying in the early days after delivering your baby (especially when the uterus is still shrinking back to its’ original size), post caesarian section or if you are breast feeding. Don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself, your body has created and delivered a baby!
Post natal massage is very effective in the early days but also if you are carrying around a much bigger baby, everywhere with you, your back and shoulders will feel particularly tight and sore.
Aromatherapy for Post Natal Care
• Haemorroids. Geranium is a styptic so causes contraction of the blood vessels and helps stop the flow of blood – for use diluted in a sitz bath. Drink lots of water!
• Episiotomy /tearing. Healing and antiseptic Lavender hydrolat/diluted essential oil or astringent (drying) Cypress hydrolat/diluted essential oil. Ask for more details for home use. Lying on your side can help alleviate pressure.
• Breasts may be sore and nipples can crack. Avoid essential oils on the nipples (unless under guidance from a professional aromatherapist) or use a calming Calendula infused sweet almond oil instead.
• Engorgement. Every woman who has breast fed remembers the feeling of waking up with rock hard, aching breasts. The best cure is to feed your baby and therapeutic breast massage will prevent this leading to mastitis – massage your breasts towards the nipple using long smooth strokes, even over the lumps but avoid squeezing. You could use a blend of Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Coconut oil or ask your aromatherapist for advice on essential oils to use.
• Constipation. Drink lots of water to avoid constipation and straining. Massing your tummy clockwise with a blend of Mandarin, Sweet Marjoram and Lavender combined with acupressure point St 36 should bring relief. If you have just delivered your baby you may not have an aromatherapy blend to hand! So try leaning forward and taking long slow deep breaths when defecating for the first time.
• Stretch marks. Frankincense is one of my favourite oils as it is a cicatrisant (scar healer), it promotes cell regeneration, especially when blended in a mix of Avocado, Apricot and Jojoba Oils. I am happy to make up a home blend for you.
• C-section scar. It is important to follow your GP’s advice regarding your c-section scar. Oils will help the healing process and learning scar massage techniques will help reduce the build up of scar tissue. Negative emotions can sometimes be linked to your scar, if you weren’t expecting to have a caesarian, so treating it with love and kindness can help with recovery.
Urinary urgency is common post partum, however, this should resolve itself, if there is any pain passing urine see your GP. Every mummy should have a 6-8 week post partum check up with the GP and ensure your cervical smear test is up to date. I advise you to see a breast feeding consultant if you are having difficulty breast feeding.
Aromatherapy for Post Natal Depression
Essential oils can encourage mindfulness and all important “me time”, as well as help with emotional tension and hormonal imbalances as your body adjusts to not being pregnant any more. Diffusing uplifting and calming Bergamot, anti-depressant and hormonal balancing Rose or calming Frankincense will help you take a deep breath. Try sitting in comfortable position, put on some calming music, breathe long slow deep breaths, acknowledge any aches and pains and be grateful to your body for creating your small miracle.
New babies are time consuming and there is a lot to learn, even for second time mummmies as every baby is different! Baby blues tend to peak a few days after the birth as your body undergoes huge hormonal changes. Emotions will be running high with love for your new baby, you will feel tired especially after a long labour, which may or may not have gone as planned and you will not be getting much sleep! Above all talk to a loved one or close friend if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. If you feel unable to cope you should also speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.
Please feel free to join my Aroma Community baby massage or post natal yoga classes as babies are welcome! Women need the support of other women at this time.