Here at Massage Williamsburg, many of our clients are expectant mothers seeking relief from the extra strain of pregnancy on their backs, necks, and hips. Many of our therapists are certified in prenatal massage, and some of us are even labor support doulas! If you enjoyed having a massage pre-natally, you may be really missing getting bodywork since you gave birth. If you are breastfeeding, you may wonder if it’s ok to get a massage as a nursing mother. In many popular pregnancy and mothering forums, it’s common to find questions wondering about the release of toxins during massage and whether that will enter the breastmilk or otherwise cause problems for the nursing relationship.
Luckily, there is no evidence to suggest that breastfeeding is in any way disrupted (or that breastmilk is in any way contaminated) by therapeutic massage and bodywork. In fact, you may find that your neck, back, and shoulders are often rounded or contorted as you figure out the best way to hold your baby while nursing, in addition to the muscle soreness you might experience from lifting and carrying your child; getting those tight muscles worked on will definitely help you to relax! And as you know, anything that helps you relax will help with supply issues and assist the let-down reflex.
If you are concerned that it may be uncomfortable to lie on your stomach during your massage, your therapist can help you find a more agreeable position or set you up with pillows or other props to help you feel more comfortable. As massage therapists we're always promoting preventative measures - in order to avoid back and shoulder pain, Marla Beider (Rachel's sister) suggests breastfeeding using a Boppy Pillow. "It promotes better posture during breastfeeding and closer bonding time with the baby".
If you’d like to find further resources for breastfeeding issues, you can contact La Leche League International about support meetings; check out the forums on Kelly Mom; or find an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to speak with in person.