TIMING is everything: Lymphatic Drainage and your integrative health approach for:  Fertility, Pregnancy and Post-partum

September 20, 2023

When to receive lymphatic drainage support:

Body preparation (ie not actively trying to conceive)

  • The timing isn’t as crucial and can be distributed through the menstrual cycle
  • Recommended 2-4 times per month for 3 months

Trying to conceive

  • Recommended 1-2 massages in the follicular stage of the menstrual cycle (between day 1-14)
  • Lymphatic drainage is contraindicated in luteal phase (day 14-menses) in the case that you are pregnant

IUI & IVF support

  • Recommended 1 massage for 2 sequential weeks in the follicular stage.


  • It is important to consult with your doctor before getting a massage and be over 12 weeks into your pregnancy.
  • This type of manual support is more clinically indicated into the 3rd trimester as the pressure becomes increasingly more difficult to drain the lymph and physical symptoms such as swollen ankles, varicose veins and hemorrhoids may appear.

Post Vaginal Delivery

  • You may receive this type of gentle massage anytime after delivery vaginally at the frequency of personal preference

Post C-Section Delivery

  • You may receive this treatment with your doctor’s approval or anytime 6 weeks and on in your c-section birth recovery.

How Lymphatic Drainage can be helpful during pregnancy:

Fluid retention in pregnancy can cause swollen legs, ankles, feet, face, and hands. Edema or fluid retention can cause the skin to feel tight and the joints to feel stiff, as well as putting pressure on nerves contributing to pain and possibly difficulty sleeping. By gently moving the lymphatic fluid using light pressure strokes, this massage can ease swelling, fluid retention and discomfort, improve circulation, support the immune system as well as promote relaxation and calm; each very beneficial in your health during pregnancy. While you are pregnant, the lymphatic drainage therapist will avoid any massage over the abdomen and focus on other areas of need.

How Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is helpful Post Partum & with C-section recovery:

In Brazil, this type of lymphatic drainage massage is integrated into the medical system for all women to enhance their recovery after they deliver their baby and support a smooth transition into their 4th trimester with their little one. You may receive this type of gentle massage anytime after delivery vaginally.
Manual lymphatic drainage massage (LDM) is often recommended by healthcare providers pre- and post-surgery (including cesarean recovery) to help alleviate swelling, pain, scar treatment, and to support surgical recovery. LDM can be performed in preparation for, or after delivering via cesarean. LDM promotes healing by gently moving retained fluid back into the bloodstream.

Most common Q&A for lymphatic treatment:

Should I be worried about the detoxification of the lymph into my breast milk if I am breastfeeding?

  • No, this is not contraindicated and safe to receive while breastfeeding

How long after a misscarriage may I receive a lymphatic drainage massage

  • We always recommend that you talk to a medical practitioner, otherwise after 6 weeks it is considered safe.

When is it not safe to receive lymphatic drainage massage?

  • History of blood clots, taking antibiotics currently or if you are battling a current infection

Can my partner receive lymphatic massage to improve his fertility?

  • Absolutely and we do encourage you to have an assessment with a Naturopathic Doctor on the team where your partner or sperm donor’s sperm assessment can be reviewed. There are a variety of markers that can influence sperm and robust evidence to suggest the influence of environmental toxicity and immune factors that play a role in the vitality of sperm. It takes 88 days for the sperm to mature in an improved environment and it is recommended men receive a lymphatic drainage massage 1-4 times per month depending on the sperm analysis.


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