Fundal massage, also known as uterine massage, involves rubbing the fundal to stimulate the uterus’ contraction after birth or abortion. The health experts use the fundal technique to reduce bleeding and cramping of the uterus.
Studies found uterine massage to be a quite effective method of reducing blood loss after delivery. So today we’ll discuss fundal massaging in detail, so you would know all the essential facts about it.
What Is Fundal Massage?
Fundal massage is a technique used after childbirth or abortion, to reduce bleeding and the uterus’s cramping. It involves repetitive massage of the abdomen, mostly done after every ten minutes depending on bleeding rate.
The World Health Organisation highly recommends fundal massage to prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
Why Fundal Massage Is Performed?
After birth, fundal massage is done to stimulate the uterus’ contraction, return to a non-pregnant size, and prevent postpartum hemorrhage. According to WHO, postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality, accounting for about 35% of all maternal deaths.
Risk Factors to Cause Postpartum Haemorrhage
Postpartum hemorrhage can occur before or after delivery. This condition is associated with several risk factors. The rate of excessive bleeding differs. Think about these for a moment. Some women might face a lot of risk than others. Black women have a greater risk of death from postpartum hemorrhage than white women.
The factors associated with Postpartum Haemorrhage include:
- Placenta previa: This condition occurs when the placenta covers or gets near the cervical opening.
- Placental abruption: Placental abruption is the early detachment of the placenta from the uterus.
- Over distended Uterus: This is the excessive enlargement of the uterus due to a large baby or excess amniotic fluid, especially a baby who weighs more, about 8.8 pounds.
- Gestational hypertension: This condition is a result of high blood pressure in pregnancy.
- If you are from a Hispanic or Asian ethnic background.
- Too many previous births.
- Use of medications to stop contractions as a result of preterm labor.
- Blood clotting disorders.
- Medication to induce labor.
- Genital tract injuries.
- The use of forceps.
- General Anaesthesia.
- Prolonged or long labor.
- Old age.
Now that we know the risk factors, let’s check out how a uterine massage after birth can reduce postpartum hemorrhage.
How Does a Fundal Massage Reduce Postpartum Haemorrhage?
Bleeding after delivery occurs when the uterus fails to contract, and this can be fatal. If these conditions occur, a fundal massage technique is done to reduce excessive bleeding. Fundal massage reduces postpartum hemorrhage by stimulating the uterine contraction through the stimulation of local prostaglandin release.
Excessive bleeding is reduced by handling the placenta’s delivery using a drug called oxytocin to help in the uterus’ contraction. The exercise helps to get rid of clots and fluids from birth into a recovered state.
What Does Fundal Massage Feel Like?
Uterine massage after delivery does not feel like a regular body massage in a luxurious spa. This type of massage is done by an experienced health expert (midwife, nurse, or physician). The health expert massages the lower abdomen with one hand inside the vagina to support the uterus and the other on the belly—this helps stimulate the uterine contractions.
In the process of getting a fundal massage, you may feel uncomfortable (something like a forced contraction). If you focus on everything going around, you will feel a lot of pain, so try to distract yourself and don’t think about the feelings. The good thing is that you can do it on your own if you’re correctly taught.
How to Prevent Postpartum Haemorrhage?
Childbirth involves blood loss. Apart from conducting a postpartum uterus massage, the following ways can help prevent postpartum hemorrhage:
- Consulting a healthcare provider about the risks associated with pregnancy complications before giving birth can prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
- Have emergency early care if it’s needed at the time of delivery and after birth.
- Right prenatal supplements and nutrition
- Having a postpartum care kit.
- Not to rush the delivery of the placenta.
- To know the mom that is making sure that you have recent blood work for the pregnancy. Ensure that the mother’s blood clots in the right manner after detaching the placenta.
- Postpartum hemorrhage can also be prevented naturally where the mother and the baby interact skin to skin and breastfeed the baby. These triggers the production of oxytocin, which helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
So as you see, Uterus massage after delivery really helps in reducing postpartum hemorrhage. This dangerous condition can make a woman lose a lot of blood and even die. Remember that you may have more fundal massages if you’re experiencing heavy bleeding.
Several risk factors can lead to postpartum hemorrhage, but conducting a fundal massage after birth or using prescribed medications can reduce this condition.