Do you enjoy physical touch? Did you find massage beneficial for relieving aches and pains during pregnancy? Are you craving some self-care and healing now that your baby has arrived? If you answered yes to any of these questions, a postpartum massage might be just what you’re looking for. A postpartum massage is a full body massage that occurs within the first 12 weeks after you give birth to your baby. Keep reading to learn how postpartum massage can benefit you, and what to expect.

Benefits of postpartum massage

While postpartum massages usually include many of the same elements of regular massages, receiving one within the first 12 weeks postpartum can benefit your mood and speed up healing. Women who get a massage after giving birth will likely notice numerous benefits to their body and mood that are associated with massage in general.

If you have had a cesarean delivery, talk to both your doctor and massage therapist to be sure it is safe. Some massage therapists will not work on people who have had surgery in the last 6 weeks.

If you’ve had blood clots in your pregnancy or previously, your doctor will likely have already recommended you avoid massage. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor when it is safe to resume massage.

Some general benefits of massage include:

  • pain relief
  • stress reduction
  • relaxation
  • increased circulation

While these are good enough reasons for anyone to want a massage, new mothers in particular may consider massage. Massage offers specific benefits for your health during the fourth trimester.

Benefits of massage for the postpartum mom include:

  • Reduced swelling. Many mothers find that their body swells during labor. Massaging can help to redistribute water within the body and encourage the draining and circulation of excess fluids.
  • Improved milk production. For moms seeking an increase in their breast milk supply, massage can be a great way to increase circulation and the necessary hormones to make this happen, as evidenced in this 2020 study.
  • Reduced anxiety and depression. Many new parents experience the “baby blues” or even postpartum depression. Getting a massage can help to decrease stress contributing to these anxious and depressed feelings.
  • Better sleep. Everyone knows new parents need as much sleep as they can get! Massage can help parents relax and get their body ready for deep, restorative sleep.

Uterine massage

After birth, your nurses or midwife most likely performed fundal massage. Fundal massage is a uterine massage technique used by medical professionals to help the uterus contract back down to its usual size.

It is thought that light abdominal massage may continue to be beneficial for up to 2 or 3 weeks after birth, until lochia is clear. But proceed with caution: Uterine massage can be harmful if too much pressure is applied. Be sure to talk to your doctor or medical provider before attempting abdominal massage at home or with a massage therapist.

Abdominal massage is not recommended for 6 weeks after a cesarean delivery.

How to prepare for postpartum massage

Ideally you’ll arrange for someone else to be in charge of your newborn, so you don’t have to worry whether they’re awake or asleep during your massage. While it’s nice to have your little one close by, baby cries are not the most relaxing sound!

Many different massage approaches are appropriate for a postpartum mom. A postpartum massage might include acupressure, and foot reflexology. It can also include a Swedish massage, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) a massage technique used to help reduce swelling or Jamu massage, a traditional Southeast Asian postpartum massage designed to relax and heal the postpartum body. Hot stone massage can also help increase circulation.

Some women prefer a lighter style of massage during the postpartum period while others enjoy deeper techniques, myofascial release or craniosacral therapy.

Whatever type of massage style you choose, make sure to ask about your provider’s experience with prenatal and postpartum massage. They should be willing to work with you to find positions during the massage that are comfortable. At Evolve we have specialized pillows to keep pregnant women comfortable pre-birth, but they can also be used to modify your massage position after delivery.


You can start postpartum massage as soon as you feel ready. A 2016 study found that a back massage one day after delivery significantly reduced anxiety in new mothers.

If you had a C-section or complicated delivery, always check with your doctor before getting your first postpartum massage. Certain massage techniques may not be appropriate for your specific recovery. It is important to communicate information about your birth process with your massage therapist prior to your first postpartum massage so they are able to tailor their techniques to your particular needs.

There is no exact timeline for how frequently you should get postpartum massages. Many new moms enjoy massages every week or two during the first few months after they give birth, but others will only receive one or two massages. At Evolve, our RMT Nancy Na will work with you to create a treatment plan that works for you. Being a mom herself she understands recovery can vary and it can be unique for every new mom.


We’ve long known that human touch can be powerful, and postpartum massage uses the advantages associated with touch to help women heal following labor.

There are countless benefits of getting a massage after you give birth. They include reducing postpartum stress and anxiety, increasing milk production, and even reducing swelling.

Before beginning your massage therapy routine, be sure to check with your doctor or midwife to ensure your body is healed enough to begin. Also, note that the advice in this article doesn’t replace personalized medical advice from a professional.

However you decide to include massage in your postpartum healing routine, the benefits will surely help you settle into your new life with your baby.

If you are a new mom or about to be, email us at  to learn more and to book a postpartum massage with Nancy Na, RMT.