Massage therapy can help with the muscle strain that happens during delivery, as well as work on compensations patterns that happen in posture. The focus of treatment is on back, neck, hips and hamstrings. Abdominal massage can be started anywhere from 2-4 weeks after vaginal birth and 4-6 weeks after a caesarean birth. If the birth was caesarean working on a scar can begin as soon as the wound is closed. At first gentle techniques are used such as lymphatic drainage to soften the tissue. As the scar matures myofascial techniques are used to decrease the constrictions. Then frictions are used to decrease scar tissue and adhesions. Vitamin E or castor oil can be used on scar to soften it.
After giving birth the core is weakened. Core muscles include: diaphragm, multifidus, pelvic floor and transversus adbominis. Referral to pelvic floor physiotherapist is made for assessment and strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles. Most common types of dysfunction of pelvic floor are: urinary/fecal incontinence, pelvic girdle pain, pelvic organ prolapse, Diastasis Rectus Abdominis and painful intercourse. Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause low back and pelvic girdle pain.
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction massage can focus on compensating areas. The treatment would include working on low back, hip, inner thigh, hip flexors and abdominal muscles.
Contraindications to massage therapy following giving birth are fever, infection, unstable blood pressure and increased risk of blood clotting.