Prenatal and Postnatal Massages

Prenatal and postnatal massage procedures by Dr. Laxmi Lakshmanan Part -2

As massage is an integral part of antenatal and postnatal care, we will see in detail about prenatal and postnatal massages.

The pregnant woman needs to be positioned very comfortable, taking care not to put pressure on abdomen and chest. Some massage techniques such as deep tissue massage is not good. Special care must be taken while massaging abdomen. Just gentle application of oil is more than good for abdomen.

For a healthy woman the following oils are advised. Oils are changed according to health conditions and prakriti (constitution).

1. On the body, Oils that are cooling, that which promotes strength and mitigates vata is to be used. Eg.Dhanwantara oil.
2. On the breasts, either sesame oil or coconut oil or castor oil can be used.
3. On head, oils that are cooling and that which induces sleep and calm the body should be used. Eg.Kshirabala oil.


According to ayurveda in the first three months after conception the fetus is a jelly like form devoid of solid matter. Hence it is very feeble and unable to undertake any type of shock or irritation or face sudden changes in environment. So no massage except head massage is advised.


Massage is done in all parts except abdomen. Fomentation should be avoided on abdomen and breasts.

1. For fluid retention in leg and in varicose vein, mild massage is performed in upward direction followed by Nadi sweda or Hot towel fomentation.
2. For blood pressure, arms and legs are massaged in a rope like manner. Also pressing with fingers of the hand helps to improve circulation thereby lowering blood pressure.
3. To prevent sore nipples, cracks on nipples and sagging of breasts, breast is massaged with upward strokes and circular strokes especially nipples are massaged. No fomentation is given.
4. For abdomen only application of oil is advised to prevent stretch marks. No massage or fomentation is given.


Massage during third trimester, in downward direction helps to eliminate vata and hence better chances of normal delivery. It also helps lessen the pains of labor.

1. For the mother after labor, body should be mildly massaged with oil that mitigates vata and gives strength to the body, especially the abdominal region should be massaged well so that there is no complication on account of the sudden contraction of the uterus.
2. Then abdominal region should be tightly wound up with a cloth to help uterus contract and to help her stay in good shape.
3. Oil is applied on breasts especially nipples to prevent sore nipples and cracking of nipples which usually occurs after delivery when breast feeding is begun.
4. Also bath with water boiled with herbs that mitigate vata like leaves of Moringa, Vitex negundo, Tamarind or roots of dasamoola is recommended. This procedure should be followed for 7 days without fail and continued for upto 40 days.

1. This is very important treatment for helping uterus to contract and bringing body back to perfect shape.
2. It helps to strengthen sagging abdominal and weak back muscles.
3. It calms the mind and helps regain depleted strength.

Dr. Laxmi is BAMS from Dr. MGR Medical University, Tamil Nadu and she can be contacted at :

Product of the month – Shatavari ghrita

Ingredients – Shatavari, cow’s ghee.
Dosage – 1 Tsp twice daily with warm milk.
Uses – Shatavari and ghee both are anabolic in nature and helps in building up tissues of the body and helps maintaining healthy pregnancy. It is also used in Infertility, Threatened abortion, leucorrhoea, menopause.

Recipe of the month – Beetroot juice

Ingredients – One small beetroot (skin peeled), one cup of grated coconut, 2 cardamom.

Method of preparation – Extract coconut milk by grinding grated coconut in mixer and filtering it. Then grind beetroot and extract juice. Mix coconut milk and beetroot extract. Add crushed cardamom. The drink is ready to be served. It is delicious and sweet even without adding sugar.

Properties – This recipe is rich in fiber, folate and calcium. It mitigates vata too. So this recipe is good during pregnancy for proper nourishment of fetus, maintaining good Hb levels and for preventing constipation.