Pregnancy is an intense physical undertaking at any time in a person’s life, and as professional bodyworkers we feel getting prenatal massages is an important part of making it through the journey to motherhood comfortably. I strongly feel some of the most impactful work I do as a massage therapist is helping pregnant moms feel good in their bodies and allowing them space to relax. A lot of physical changes and strange sensations occur during pregnancy, and massage can help you maintain a sense of familiarity with your rapidly changing physique. But the massage I wish more new parents would make a priority is the massage you get when your newborn is 2 or 3 months old. We can call it the postnatal massage.
It’s always harder to bring home a newborn than anyone could have prepared you for. First letting it grow within you and then trying to decipher different timbres of crying for the next 18 months is one of those things you just have to experience for yourself to know how hard it can be. Relinquishing your body to medicine for the sake of bringing a child into the world is one thing, but that sacrifice transfers from your body to your home when the baby comes. While both parents manage the challenge of retrofitting your house for a newborn, moms are often in a position of trying to figure out their postpartum bodies, which more often than not feel like a completely different one than the one they had just one short year prior. To add insult to this psychic injury, no one talks about these changes in any other way than how quickly you can “snap back” (yuck). Being tender to a baby is easy, but being tender to yourself in the first chapter of your life as a new parent is hard to remember to do. It seems our cultural tendency is to focus on the mother until the baby is born, but after that we shift our attention to this brand new person and their many needs.
But new dads and new moms are still people too, and also have many needs which are important. I don’t know you, but if you are a new (or honestly, any) parent, I know you need a break. Parenting involves a lot of sacrifice, but your sanity does not need to be one of them. Let us hold space for you- even if you wind up napping for most of your spa day, it is time well spent.
(Protip: If you are expecting, call now to book a 90 minute for 2 or 3 months after the due date. That appointment reminder will make you weep with relief.)
– Colleen, Sacred Hour Massage Therapist + Head Staff Writer