Baby massage is a wonderful thing to learn and implement daily for many reasons. The first and most importantly is that is helps create and strengthen the bond between mother, and so essentially, father and baby. This is because when we are touched and massaged in a loving way, touch receptors in our skin are stimulated. This sends messages to the brain which then releases oxytocin, the love hormone. (This is why you always feel good and relaxed after a massage). Spending focused quiet time whilst giving your baby massage talking to them, smiling at them and having close attentive eye contact means that the bond between you both is strengthened every day. Baby massage also enables daddy to have that precious time with baby in the early weeks rather than just changing the nappy, clothes or bottle feeding.
Baby massage also helps relax you and has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of post-natal depression and help you get through it.
Alongside the benefits to both mummy and daddy, baby massage has numerous benefits to baby. This is because massage helps with their growth and development, especially with premature babies. It has been found that regular daily massage increased premature baby weight by 5 grams a day improving their overall health far more quickly than without massage. When carried out in a hospital setting it meant that the babies were able to be discharged more quickly and go home.
Daily massage with your baby will help with brain development and encourage new neural pathways to be made. It also helps the baby become aware of its body as a baby doesn’t know it has hands and feet to begin with. (It’s not until they are around 18 months old that they have full body and spatial awareness). Baby massage also aids development of the digestive system easing colic and constipation as a baby’s body has to learn to digest food. There can also be a positive impact on sleep as massage turns on the rest and digest nervous system allowing sleep to come more easily. (This is why when you have a massage you feel very sleepy during and might even fall asleep!). Baby massage also helps boost the immune system making it easier for your baby to get over colds more quickly. As your baby’s immune system is brand new it’s important that they do get exposed to coughs and colds etc so they can fight them off. However you don’t want your baby to have one all the time!
This is a few of the big things that daily baby massage can help with. It’s also a really enjoyable experience for you both, and quick and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
Learning baby massage with me:
I teach you at home one on one or with you and up to 3 friends and babies. Each class lasts an hour and the baby massage course lasts 4 weeks.
For more information please see my website www.harleystreetnaturopath.co.uk or email me firstname.lastname@example.org