The primal language of life is Touch.
The Art of Massage is an ancient tradition of • Using a gentle showerhead to massage the
health care that is Compassionate, Empowering, breasts can also prevent and treat a blocked
A Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can: duct.
• rebalance mom’s body by relieving tension, • Alternating massage with expression
Mother Massage tightness and swelling from prolonged
nursing, lifting, carrying, slings…etc;
significantly reduces the incidence and
severity of engorgement.
• Receiving massage can help mothers relax and • Massage relieves engorgement soreness by
better enjoy breastfeeding. The care and attention a • reduce fatigue, tension, headaches, and
postpartum blues by promoting emotional increasing drainage of lymph nodes and milk
mom receives from massage can guide her to ducts, and promoting blood circulation.
openly give more of herself. and mental well-being through physical
release and relaxation;
• An RMT can demonstrate and teach the
• Massage increases the release of oxytocin (the technique of self massage and hydrotherapy
• guide a mother through preventative
pleasure and bonding hormone) in the brain which techniques (when to use heat & ice).
stretching, strengthening exercises and
supports relaxation and bonding and may decrease
postural support and awareness.
• Infant massage can be part of a daily or
• Massaging the breasts can stimulate letdown weekly routine for mom or dad. It promotes
and expression of milk. relaxation and sleep in baby and can be their
• Breast massage just before breastfeeding
increases the fat content of the milk, • Mom can massage her baby’s back and feet
• On the upper back is an acupressure point used to therefore promoting healthy infant weight while she is breastfeeding.
promote lactation and letdown. The nerves that gain.
serve the breast originate in the upper spine, • Skin to skin contact helps the growth and
between the shoulder blades. This area is often development of the baby and enhances the
• If you are prone to uncomfortable plugged
where women carry a lot of muscular tension. bonding relationship between baby and
ducts, while feeding baby, gently massage
Massaging the upper back relaxes the shoulders mom.
the breast downward or towards the nipple.
and promotes milk let-down. This helps to drain the breast, clear plugged
ducts and prevent mastitis.
• The mom, or a support person, can massage her
inner ankle acupressure point at the beginning of a
breastfeed to facilitate letdown.
Breastfeeding mothers and infants have
been massaged for millennia; in fact, there
are few places in the world where mothers
It is priceless for mothers to learn
how to massage themselves and
and infants do not receive massage after
their children. for the
Customs around the world:
~ In Japan, women and couples learn breast Resources for parents:
massage in some hospitals and even receive a Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving
certificate for it. Parents by Vimala McClure
~ In Java, the new mother’s body is massaged all www.lalecheleaguecanada.ca
over with a rice-flour paste and a root that makes the www.lalecheleague.org/bfinfo.html
skin tingle. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by LLL
~ In Malaysia, a specially trained masseur comes
every day to knead the new mother’s abdomen.
~ An Arapesh man in New Guinea will massage created by:
his wife’s body after she’s given birth. Jennifer Barthels, RMT
~ In Nigeria, women have their breasts vigorously Mandy Goodwin CPM
massaged by female relatives in the weeks before Roxanne Carter, Birth & PP Doula
and after giving birth.
~ Tribes of India, Africa, Asia, Oceania, North and This information pamphlet may be
South America have long histories of women reproduced in its entirety with permission
Take a closer look …
massaging their babies. of the authors, and is not intended to
~ The Maori of New Zealand bathe and rub their replace medical advice.
baby’s body, wrapping it in soft leaves or cloths and
then un-wrapping it again for another massage.
~ People of India & Hawaii believe that a baby’s
face can be made more beautiful through massage. at the Benefits of Massage for the
~ Aboriginals of Brazil massage a mother after Breastfeeding Mom and Baby
birth to fill her body with oxytocin (pleasure) and
prepare her to continue giving love and life to her
~~ printed on 100%
recycled paper ~~