Baby massage is an age-old routine, generally practiced by grandmothers on newborn babies, to be further carried on by the mothers. A common sight in parts of India, Africa, West Indies, and Pakistan, baby massage is quickly catching up in the West, with good reasons. The touch is one of the first senses that develop in a baby while it is still in the womb. As such, leaving the comforting place of a mother’s womb and entering into the real world can be quite a traumatic experience for the baby. Therefore, most babies suffer from some form of trauma during the birth. Furthermore, premature babies or babies born by caesarean section require more touch to bond with the mother. This touch benefits largely by improving the emotional development of the baby. For this purpose, newborns are provided with soft and gentle massaging to induce better sleep and feeding habits and to reduce health problems. While a baby massage nourishes and develops your baby’s skin and other senses, it provides you a wonderful opportunity to help your baby feel safe and secure. Besides, there are some wonderful advantages of massaging your baby, which are illustrated in the lines below. Take a look!
Benefits of Baby Massage
Researches indicate that baby massages reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, thereby contributing to improved sleep and relaxation in babies. By stimulating the release of hormones, like endorphins, baby massage is highly beneficial for relieving the pain of teething, colic, and other distressing conditions.
The concept of deepening the bond of a baby with its mother is emphasized with the love hormone, Oxytocin, which is released during the massage. This hormone, when released in both the giver’s and receiver’s body, enhances loving and nurturing feelings within both, the baby and mother. Mothers experience increased production of Oxytocin during labor and breastfeeding. However, researches indicate that even close physical contact and touch helps in stimulating the production of this hormone of love.
Apart from strengthening the bond between a mother and her baby, a massage is highly significant for the overall development of the baby and supporting weight gain. Through contact and touching, massaging stimulates the release of hormones and enzymes, vital for promoting growth. Furthermore, it boosts blood circulation, which, in turn, increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body.
By massaging your baby on a regular basis, you are strengthening your baby’s immune system and increasing its resistance to diseases and other health problems. Studies have shown positive results of massaging premature babies, with low birth weight, in protecting them against infections that such babies are more susceptible to.
The very first form of communication with any individual is through touch, particularly with newborns. Thus, it is natural and obvious to relate the touch with enhancing the ability of understanding the baby’s special needs and responding accordingly. By massaging your baby, you are likely to increase your confidence and sensitivity to your baby’s unique signals and various forms of communication used by the baby towards you. Babies that receive better responses to their needs end up growing into healthier and secure adults.
Giving your baby a relaxing and soothing massage plays a vital role in stimulating the growth and healthy development of its mind, body, and spirit. All the systems of the baby are nourished and stimulated during the massage which aid in the absorption of nutrients and eliminating what is not required by the body. To add on, babies, who receive regular massaging during their infanthood, gain healthy weight and develop better digestive systems, compared to babies who do not receive any or get less massage.
A baby massage is largely associated with reducing irritability and tantrums, giving you a calm baby. A calm baby leads to a calm parent. Also, this loving care provides the baby with more flexible joints and muscles and improved coordination of muscular movement. The effects of postnatal depression are reduced in the mother, which, in turn, assist the mother to have a better and positive interaction with her baby. Complaints of constipation, colic, diarrhea, coughs, colds, and infections are lowered to great extents.
The loving art of baby massage is good for both babies and parents. Bank on the advantages of baby massage to develop a strong bond with your little one!