In India, the postnatal confinement period is called Sutika Kala and it generally takes about six weeks. The mother who has just given birth is named Sutika, and the postnatal care provided is labeled Sutika Paricharya.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Sutika Paricharya is considered of great importance for a mother to restore her pre-pregnancy health and condition.
During the confinement period, women observe a variety of practices, such as having a specific diet, doing daily breast massages, taking plenty of rest, avoiding physical exertion, and carrying out a number of Ayurveda treatments, which include daily Abhyanga oil massages.
The Abhyanga Massage taken in the postpartum period is called Sutika Abhyanga, which could be translated as Postnatal Oil Massage. Massage sessions usually start about a week after childbirth, but this could be later in case of delivery complications, such as a C-section.
The Sutika Abhyanga massage is done regularly in the postnatal period using appropriate oils that re-balance the Doshas and aid in revitalization. Common protective and restorative oils applied are Dhanwantharam oil and Vatahara oil, among others.
Sutika Abhyanga is typically done in the morning, followed by a warm water (herbal) bath. Massages given also help ligaments and muscles to firm up again, prevent back pains and perhaps more important, avoid sagging of the lower abdomen and the subsequent health issues which would be the cause of that.