Post partum women can be vulnerable. Due to exhaustion from sleep deprivation, they are in a constant state of being switched on, to keep their little one alive and happy. Find out how to get support in the Stoke Newington and Newington Green area.
Having had a baby myself 20 months ago, I remember every little sound would wake me up (and still does!!), so a proper rest just doesn’t happen. And then the pressure society gives you to be ‘up and running’ in no time.
Society doesn’t realise how much of an impact pregnancy and birth has on a woman’s body. I know I had very different expectations of myself after birth and pushed myself a few times too far in the first three weeks and ended up having shakes and shivers and being septic.
I swear it was due to being too active too early. My body just said “No, you rest.”
Being switched on also means being in a constant fight or flight mode, meaning adrenaline rushing through you. This is great as it keeps you going when you could do with more sleep, but also, it can be exhausting as you need to ‘rest and digest’. This is where massage can help you. I can list all the benefits, lower blood pressure, lower adrenaline levels etc. But for me receiving a massage post partum is greater than that sum.
The other day I received a phone call from a woman who had just given birth via C-section, or ‘belly birth’ (the new term midwives and hypnobirthing trainers are trying to implement in every day language.)
The woman in question asked me if I do postnatal massage. I said yes, I do. She said her mother had been calling her every day from India, to urge her to seek a massage therapist, because she should receive a massage EVERY DAY, to help her body to recover. EVERY DAY! Can you imagine living in a culture that finds it normal to have a massage every day after you’ve given birth?
I think it would be a lot of people’s idea of an ideal world, to receive a massage every day, but especially post partum, in this crazy stormy period of a woman’s life, it would be rather amazing.
For women who had a C-section, we could work on the actual scar after 6 weeks, when it has properly healed. I’ve have clients who have kids that are now in their teens and they still have low back issues, due to scar tissue adhesions from C-sections (they did not know this was related). I asked them if I could work on their scar to see where it would take us. They admitted that they did not like the scar nor would they touch their own scar.
Doing scar tissue release was like Moses opening the Red Sea: an incredible release of emotions and referral pain relief came out. You can imagine if the scar gets worked on earlier, the post partum mum gets to grips with the emotions that accompany that scar sooner, plus the actual appearance of the scar can massively improve.
Receiving a nurturing touch in a period where you are constantly nurturing another being to keep it alive can be a very emotional experience. A dear friend once told me she was so amazed that during the massage, she felt so happy no one wanted something of her body, if that makes sense. No doctors, or health visitors examining you, no breast-feeding, or partner who might hope to get a piece of action. It was her body being honoured and cared for, and a true reconnecting experience.
I remember at the end of a day, caring for my baby, I would ask my partner: ‘Can you just hold me?’ I was craving being held, as I was holding space all day for my baby.
During a massage, that is exactly what I offer. I will treat you with care and a nurturing touch, ironing out stiff shoulders from breastfeeding and anything else you need in the moment.
All I want is for the new mum, to be still, to enjoy the sensations of massage and to recharge her batteries, so that she can be her best self again, to raise our future.