by Gemma Depolo

Taking care of ourselves as parents – as we dedicate our time to nurturing others – is a vital priority. Whether it be in the transformative time of pregnancy, the delicate months after birth, or throughout the trials of raising children, self­-care is a powerful tool that can help make it all a little easier. Scheduling a massage can be the first step to getting back on track after baby is born. It offers an important opportunity to check in, to reconnect with self, and address the needs of your body.

The emotional and physical rollercoaster of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum acclimation can leave new parents feeling drained, disoriented, and raw. There is so much involved in taking care of a new infant, that our own wellness can often fall by the wayside. Intellectually, we know that we are more capable as parents when we are well­-rested. Getting good sleep in the first few months after birth, however, can prove more than challenging. Being vigilant about scheduling time for self­-care and bodywork is one way to stave off the ill effects of sleep deprivation.

While the intention and the desire to take care of ourselves is often present, the logistics of making it happen can feel hard to overcome. It may seem like a daunting task just to get out of the house, though it nearly always proves to be well worth the effort! What many new mothers may not know is that they are able to receive massage at Luma as soon as they feel ready. Therapeutic postpartum massage has countless benefits. After giving birth, massage helps to increase circulation, decrease swelling, regulate hormones, relieve pain, reduce stress, and support breastfeeding.

By directing physical attention to the aches and pains of pregnancy and childbirth, massage facilitates much needed rest and rejuvenation. A post­natal massage is designed to be supportive and adaptive to the specific needs of mothers and babies. At Luma, new mothers are invited to enjoy the benefits of massage without having to navigate the stress of childcare by having infants with them during the session. Much like in pre­natal massage, the woman can rest on her side with the support of props and pillows. This position allows a mother to avoid the potential discomfort of lying flat on her stomach right after birth, and gives the added benefit of enabling her to hold and comfort the baby.

Oftentimes in the calming space of the massage room, with relaxing music and white noise, an infant will sleep comfortably on a blanket throughout much of the session. If baby happens to wake up during the massage, an accomodating therapist can also assist by swaddling, soothing, and repositioning the baby. And it gets better! When baby is six months or older, a massage can be scheduled during on-site childcare hours, and baby can be tended to by Luma’s childcare staff while mom or dad receives massage.

I’d like to think that if our new little beings, who radically alter our worlds upon arrival, could give us advice, they would remind us to take care of ourselves. Luma is dedicated to providing the space and resources for you to do just that. We believe that when parents make time to replenish the well of energy that we’re all constantly drawing from, it’s always worth the effort.