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Postpartum Abdominal Massage: The Perfect Gift

Postpartum, the "fourth trimester", is a time of great change in a new mom's life. Give her the gift that renews her. Help your mama bear get back her roar.

Sudden weight change, sleep deprivation, dramatic hormone changes, constipation, fatigue, let down, sutures, wounds, scars, anxiety, irritability, sore nipples, bleeding--there's a lot to pay attention to while also having a boat load of new responsibility. When women feel unprepared or are struggling to cope with all

the changes to their physical health after they’ve had a baby, they are more likely to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed—which is the very opposite of how you want her to feel as a new mom. She deserves to be feeling the same warm-fuzzies that everyone else if feeling.



New moms have had so much change happen inside their bellies. Most hold some tension in their bellies without even realizing it, and some hold a lot of tension. Tension, held over time, can affect organ function or cause pelvic floor disorders like pelvic pain or urinary leaking. In some surveys two thirds of women describe their births as traumatic. These experiences are often stored in the belly and the pelvis, the sites of the transformative experiences. Unwinding these tissues allows the unwinding of the experiences and fosters healing. It's not unusual for someone to experience an emotional release during an abdominal massage.

Often neglected in most practitioners’ treatments, the internal organs play a vital role in the functioning of our bodies. The abdomen holds 100 million neurons and half of our lymph nodes. It's the site of our immune system and the site of production of many hormones and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and insulin. If your “second brain” isn’t functioning optimally, neither are you. Abdominal massage relieves tension, hydrates tissues, improves bowel peristalsis, mitigates constipation, and helps organs work more efficiently.

Benefits of Postpartum Massage
• Relieves soreness and muscle tension from labor
• Provides deep relaxation
‚Äč• Reduces weakness and fatigue
• Helps internal organs to resume proper placement
• Re-establishes pelvis structural integrity
• Helps to restore the uterus to it's original state
• Relieves neck, shoulder, hand, and wrist pain from caring for a newborn
• Eases lower back and pelvic pain
• Supports healthy lactation
• Aids in the reduction of excess body fluids
• Increases blood circulation and stimulates the lymph system
• Reduces stress and anxiety
• Facilitates healing after a Cesarean birth
• Offers a natural way to sooth and nurture mothers as they adjust to shifting hormones and motherhood
• Reduces the occurrence of postpartum depression
• Enhances the attachment and bonding experience between mother and baby

The American Pregnancy Association website affirms

Massage is well known for relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief and other health benefits. Unique postpartum benefits include hormone regulation, reduced swelling, better sleep and improved breastfeeding. More advanced therapy helps restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition, speeds healing and assists with C-section recovery.


Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) is Traditional Chinese Medical abdominal massage. It is a gentle massage that brings vitality to one's organs. It begins superficial or light and progresses deeper as the tissues soften. It is often combined with guided Qi-gong meditations. Many patients say that they feel as though they just had a full-body massage after having an abdominal massage--that's how relaxing it can be.

 Scar Tissue Massage softens scar tissue, reduces swelling, and promotes healing. Lymph drainage is a technique that encourages lymph flow of the entire body in order to move metabolic waste from the scar through the body so that it can be eliminated. Lymph drainage should always follow scar tissue massage. For those with C-Section scars, this is important in preventing and treating adhesions, scar tissue overgrowth (hypertrophy), and development of keloids (bumps/knots in the tissue).

What are people saying?

Working with Melissa, I have gained confidence in my body and my ability to have a smooth second birth. I feel like she understands things about my body and can access problem areas in a way that no one else has ever been able to. I am so grateful for the time she spends with me – for her therapeutic touch and for the exercises and education she provides.  

Racheal K., researcher


After an abdominal massage, I'm so relaxed I feel like I just had a whole-body massage! Melissa starts out massaging lightly then gets deeper. There are tender spots that ease up after a time as she works around them. Actually, I'm amazed how deep she can get! After four treatments I was sleeping better and, to be honest, I use these treatments to keep sane.

Tina B., doula

Of all the bodywork I've had over the years, the belly massage has been the most helpful for me. My belly never had attention from other massage therapists. A year after the birth of my son I was developing digestive issues and thought I'd give it a try. After a course of treatment and some changes in supplements and diet, things turned around for me. Now I go in once every month or two for a tune-up. Thank you!

Mei L., mom


 When can a postpartum woman start abdominal massage treatments?

If she's given birth vaginally, she can come in a couple weeks after delivery, when she feels up to it. Women who have had C-sections should wait until the scar is healed.

Give the new mom in your life a boost. Give her the gift of some loving attention to the belly that worked so hard. Give her the gift of recovery, restoration, rejuvenation. Let her know just how important she is to you.

Was her baby born ten, fifteen, twenty or more years ago? She's still postpartum! She can still benefit from abdominal massage and scar tissue management.


Please accompany your new mom in order to watch her baby, if at all possible, so that she can focus on her treatment, relax, and reap the full benefits.