F is for Fundal Massage

When you hear ‘massage’ you think about a relaxing day at the spa, this is not that kind of massage!  The fundal massage can be quiet uncomfortable.

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Fundal Massage is when your nurse presses down on your abdomen firmly massaging the uterus, specifically the fundus, or top your uterus.  The reason for this massage is to reduce your risk of postpartum hemorrhage and assist your uterus in shrinking back to its pre-pregnancy size.  The pushing and rubbing of your uterus will cause contractions also referred to as afterpains.  These contractions will not be as painful as what you just went through, but still unpleasant. 

This massage is generally performed every 10-15 minutes for the first hour after birth, and every 30 minutes during the second hour.  After the first two hours this massage usually happens every 4-8 hours until discharge.  Most new moms will get this massage, whether you deliver vaginally or via cesarean.

Thankfully each massage typically lasts no more than a minute.  Following each massage they will check to see if your bleeding has increased or if you passed any clots during the massage.

In severe cases the massage is performed with one hand in the vagina to keep the uterus from inverting and to apply pressure on the ‘wound’ where the placenta detached from the uterine wall.

Did you have a fundal massage?  How uncomfortable was it for you?

Next week I will be blogging on the letter G… G is for Getting Out (of the house).