Pregnancy massage is great, but the Postnatal period is the most senstive, dangerous, and vulnerable time of the perinatal cycle. These women NEED BODYWORK!
I just worked with a new mother who was birthing at home, but after 4 hours of pushing, was transported to hospital for cesarean. Imagine the discomfort she had from the pelvic pressure of pushing so long, the stress of transport, major abdominal surgery, and of course general postpartum changes. She was teary, with lots of discomfort from the cesarean, along with breastfeeding positioning issues, lack of sleep, and nervousness about being a new mother. Concerns, confusion, and unfinished business are part of emergency c-sections, and with mothering! I had to make a house call, and since I don’t have a portable table, I worked with her with my body cushion (seen below) on her bed. She had to position sidelying due to incisional pain, so did not want to be prone. I had her flip around on the bed, so her head was first at the foot of the bed, and then at the top of the bed, so I could work both sides of her while still standing on one side of the bed, as there was no room to stand on the other side of the bed.
In her case, a few days post-cesarean, I had to be more careful about the risk of potential blood clots. Thankfully baby was quiet for the whole session, so Mom got to have an uninterrupted 1-hour session! The father was also stressed by the home birth gone awry, and needing TLC. He got a massage as well. There are a complexity of changes in this rite of passage for a mother and family, and some precautions. I have a dream that all postpartum women could receive massage, just as they do in Ayurvedic tradition, where mothers and babies are massaged daily for a year after birth!
Nov 11: Bodywork for the New Mother class in Oregon.