The Great Benefits of Baby Massage
Have you been heard about baby massage? Infant massage, also referred to as baby massage, has been practiced for centuries in other parts of world but has now gained popularity in the West.
Baby massage is the process of rubbing and stroking baby’s muscles and extremities in a way specifically designed for them. Baby massage is now available in most hospitals and clinics in the UK but the obvious choice to massage the baby is the mother, father, grandparent, or guardian. Although medical care specialists like nurses can also perform baby massage if they are confined in the hospital.
Baby massage provides many benefits both for the mother and baby alike. Since touch is the first language of babies, a mother gains improved awareness of the baby’s needs while greatly multiplying the bond between mother and baby. Researchers report that touch therapy triggers physiological changes that help infants and children grow and develop faster.
Some of the benefits of baby massage include but are not limited to:
- A smoother transition from the womb to the outside world.
- Helps baby learn to relax.
- Improves the baby’s immune system.
- Decreases the baby’s production of stress hormones.
- Makes baby sleep sounder and longer.
- Helps regulate baby’s digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems.
- Helps relieve and prevent discomfort from gas and colic, congestion, and teething.
For parents, some of the benefits of baby massage are:
- Great improvement of mother-baby communication.
- Helps parents understand and respond correctly to the baby’s nonverbal cues.
- Promotes competence and confidence in caring for and holding the baby.
- Increases the ability of the parents to help the baby relax in times of stress.
Studies done on different cultures reveal that babies who are held, massaged, carried and breast fed grow and develop into less aggressive and violent adults with a greater degree of compassion and cooperation. The same studies also show that mothers who suffer from postpartum depression show improvement after giving their baby a massage on a regular basis.
The best time to give your baby a massage is in the morning, after a bath, or just before bedtime. Be sure to do it on a regular schedule and never do it in a hurry. Make sure the room is warm and does not have bright lighting so the baby does not squint or move away from the light sou
Researchers say that babies prefer to be massaged with oil such as grape seed or sweet almond oil. Be sure to put your baby on a thick towel to give him freedom of movement while getting a massage.
Use caution when performing baby massage to avoid injury to your baby; massage strokes should be delicate and soft to the touch and done in slow, deliberate motions.
There have been no reported adverse side effects of baby massage rather many studies have reported on its great benefits even for premature babies and babies born with risk factors like drug dependence or cerebral palsy.
The benefits of baby massage are overwhelmingly positive and it is increasingly gaining recognition as a legitimate health care treatment for infants and young children.