What Is Baby Massage?
Baby massage is a touch that parents can do with their infants, interacting using gentle stroke and caresses. There are 65 strokes in the full massage routine and all of them have a benefit, whether it be linked to soothing teething trouble, strengthening and toning muscles or developmental encouragement i.e. rolling/crawling/opening of the hands/brain development. It has many benefits for both parent and baby and is a wonderful way to connect and feel close to your baby. Some parents use baby massage specifically to soothe a common ailment, the main ones being colic, reflux, wind and constipation. Baby massage has been proven to aid these issues.
How Does Baby Massage Work?
Massage helps by releasing the air bubbles that causes the discomfort of trapped wind. It warms and relaxes the abdomen. By having skin to skin with your baby you are both releasing happy hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin which calms your baby. It also helps to mature the digestive system by toning the gastrointestinal tract.
How Can Baby Massage Help You And Your Baby?
A 10 minute massage, 2 to 3 times per week helps to make a mother/baby bond even stronger. Not only does it benefit your baby but it benefits parents as well, by helping you to understand your babys cues, helps you to connect with your baby, promotes skin to skin, teaches positive touch, promotes lactation by releasing happy hormones, it can alleviate postnatal depression and is great for young parents who may not be as confident.
A Typical Baby Massage Course
In some cases baby massage cannot go ahead, please read below before attending you appointment:
- Baby should not have eaten 30-40 minutes prior to the massage
- Baby should not be massaged if they have had any immunizations unto 24 hours before their appointment.
- Baby should not be massaged if they are unwell - i.e. high temperature.
A baby massage session specifically for colic, constipation and wind at the Westoe Practice will take up to 45 minutes, during this time you will have a consultation and a review of symptoms. An oil patch test will be done on your baby. Only natural oils are used but a test must still be done. Your baby will then be undressed down to the nappy and the tummy massage will take place. During the session you will learn the tummy routine so you can perform this at home.
Please be aware that this is baby led, if your baby gives cues to stop, the massage will end, however you will still have information to take home with you.
Sessions to learn the full body routine are available, please contact the Practice for details.