As we age, our dependence on touch for survival diminishes, but it remains a critical player in our health. Caring touch increases immune system function, decreases high blood pressure, and relieves anxiety. It helps increase hormones like oxytocin and neurotransmitters that make us feel happy, which during pregnancy and postpartum increases a woman’s ability to bond with her infant.
It’s so potent, and so simple to offer! If pregnant women get even just 20 minutes of massage once or twice a week from a partner, friend or massage therapist, her stress hormone levels will be lower than those who did not have that touch. While pregnant moms feel more relaxed, the baby-in-utero also benefits-- his or her brain development is impacted by the quality of his or her mother’s hormonal balance.
Considering 1 of 8 women feel depression during post-birth, massage is an important support tool that is severely under-utilized.
During the postnatal time, mothers (and fathers) need to be cared for just like babies do—with nourishing food, rest, and someone tending to basic needs. Massage is a great way to nurture and give parents at least a brief time to sense their own needs, and to be acknowledged for the intense experience they just went through, and the difficult job that they are now doing. This time of honoring can be a critical part of healing and recovery, while relaxing bodywork can help stressed mothers renew, replenish, and re-member themselves. A skilled MotherTouch bodyworker can help “close the bones” energetically and physically, relieve hip and sacral pain, reduce breast pain from nursing, help improve milk-flow, and release tension from “nursing neck”.
Leslie Stager RN, LMT has been a massage therapist/nurse for 35 years, and has been training massage therapists in pregnancy massage since 1992. Along with general relaxation massage, Leslie specializes in bodywork for women’s cycles: Pregnancy and Postnatal massage, Fertility bodywork, Mayan Abdominal Massage for womb healing, Cesarean Recovery and Scar Release, Holistic Pelvic Care for Postnatal Rehabilitation. Leslie was a doula, labor & delivery nurse, childbirth educator for over a decade.
Check out her online videos: Nurturing Touch for Birth and Touch Techniques for Birth
Or ask for a free Touch Techniques for Birth DVD when you get your first massage with Leslie!