What happens if you massage your uterus?
Uterine massage is a medical technique which has been used in childbirth since ancient times. It is also used to ease many of the issues that arise during pregnancy, such as back and leg pain, as well as postpartum depression and uterine prolapse. This technique can also be used to induce labor and stop or prevent postpartum hemorrhage, or heavy bleeding after birth.
But what is uterine massage, and what can it do for you? In this article, we'll discuss the benefits, risks, and steps associated with a uterine massage.
What is Uterine Massage?
Uterine massage is a technique that involves the manual manipulation of a woman’s uterus. It is performed by a healthcare professional who uses gentle strokes to encourage the uterus to contract and pull away from the abdominal wall. This technique can help to reduce postpartum hemorrhage and promote the uterus’s return to its original size. It can also help reduce other side effects of childbirth, such as back pain and cramps.
Benefits of Uterine Massage
Uterine massage has a number of benefits, including:
- Reduced Anxiety: Massage therapy can help to reduce anxiety during the postpartum period. Studies have shown that massage may help to reduce feelings of stress, improve sleep and reduce muscle tension.
- Reduced Back and Leg Pain: Massage therapy can help to alleviate some of the aches and pains associated with delivery and the postpartum period. Massage can also help to reduce swelling caused by prolonged standing or other forms of exertion during childbirth.
- Improved Circulation: Massage therapy has been shown to improve circulation in the uterus, which can speed up recovery after pregnancy. Improved circulation can also help to reduce swelling and improve overall health.
- Increased Oxytocin Levels: Oxytocin is a hormone that is released during massage, which can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and even decrease labor pain. Oxytocin is also thought to promote bonding between mother and baby.
- Reduced Stress: Massage therapy can help to reduce stress during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Research has shown that massage can help to reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.
Risks of Uterine Massage
Uterine massage carries some risks, and it is important to talk to your doctor or midwife before attempting this therapy. Too much pressure can cause the uterus to become overly tense and can lead to excessive bleeding. Uterine massage should only be done during the postpartum period and should not be attempted if there is any suspicion of an active infection.
How to Perform Uterine Massage
Below are the steps to performing a safe and effective uterine massage:
- Urinate before starting the massage. A full bladder will press against the uterus, making it relax and bleed more extensively. Additionally, it will be easier to concentrate on the massage if your bladder is empty.
- Lie down in a comfortable position on your back. Relax your abdomen and focus on deep, long breaths.
- Gently rub or knead your abdomen in a circular pattern for 3-5 minutes. You may notice a hardening and contracting of the uterus, which is a sign that the massage is working.
- If you experience any discomfort or pain during the massage, stop immediately and contact your doctor or midwife.
When to Seek Help
If you experience any of the following symptoms after performing a uterine massage, contact your doctor or midwife immediately:
- Heavy or prolonged bleeding
- Severe cramping or sharp pain in the pelvic area
- Pain during intercourse
- Increased size of the uterus
Uterine massage is a safe and effective technique that can be used to reduce postpartum hemorrhage, improve circulation, and reduce pain and cramps associated with childbirth. Before attempting a uterine massage, it is important to talk to your doctor or midwife to discuss any potential risks or complications. The steps outlined above will help you to safely and effectively perform a uterine massage.