Using Massage To Treat Postpartum Depression

Welcoming a new baby into the world can be a time of joy, but it also brings a lot of changes in a mother’s body, both hormonal and physical. After 9 months of diverting the body’s energy to growing a baby, mothers can experience pain, swelling, fatigue and much more.
Approximately 10-15% of mothers experience a condition known as post-partum depression (PPD) which is a severe form of depression that occurs after the birth of a child. Symptoms of PPD include feeling sad, hopeless, guilty, and a lack of a desire to bond with their baby. Increased awareness about this serious condition has led to more research and improved treatments. When combined with other treatments such as psychotherapy, antidepressants or estrogen therapy, researchers have discovered that massage can treat symptoms of PPD.
Mothers can receive massages as soon as they feel comfortable after giving birth. After giving of their own bodies, and then adjusting to life with a newborn, it’s hard to find time to practice healthy self-care skills. Setting up a solid block of time for self-care can make a huge difference in the body’s physical and emotional repair from child birth.
The benefits of massage for everyone are undeniable. Massage provides relaxation, stress reduction and pain relief. Many women who received massages while experiencing symptoms of PPD reported that massage reduced their cortisol, which is the body’s stress hormone, by over 30%. They also reported a decrease in back and leg pain, a decrease in anxiety, and a decrease in feelings of depression. Massage can also improve hormone regulation, reduce swelling, improve sleep, and improve breastfeeding.
Practicing infant massage with your new baby can help to provide a safe and dedicated space for creating a bond with each other.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, it’s important to reach out for help from trained professionals. Let us help you on your journey out of postpartum depression with massages targeted to speed the body’s recovery, reduce cortisol levels, and decrease anxious and depressed feelings. We’ll be happy to set up a plan of care that will fit you and your needs!

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