Many cultures have used massage as a part of baby care for a long period. Researches have revealed that through body massage, we are able to understand and respond to a baby’s body language and therefore baby massage is a crucial part of a baby’s life.
Body massage is the process of rubbing and stroking the muscles of the baby and extremities in a unique way. Baby massage services are available in many hospitals and clinics but the best choice of a baby massage is one conducted by a parent or a guardian. However, baby massage services can be provided by medical specialists if they are confined in the hospital.
Baby massages have benefits for both the baby in equal measure. Babies develop the sense of touch as their first form of communication. As such, baby massage helps mothers understand the needs of the baby and also in multiplying the bond between mother and baby. Researches indicate that massage therapy are essential in triggering psychological changes which in turn plays a key role in hastening growth and development in babies.
The benefits of baby massage can be categorized into benefits for the baby and benefits for the mother. The benefits of baby massage attributed to the baby may include a smoother transition from the womb to the outside world. Moreover, baby massage plays a crucial role in helping the baby relax in addition to boosting their immune system. Baby massage also helps to decrease the production of the stress hormones and make the baby sleep sounder and longer.
The benefits of baby massage to a mother include improving mother-baby communication in addition to helping her understand and respond to the baby’s non verbal communication It also helps to promote competence and build confidence in parents I the way they handle their babies.
According to researchers, babies who are held, carried, breast fed and massaged tend to grow faster and develop less aggressive and violent adults. They also depict a higher level of compassion and cooperation. Baby massage also have been proved to significantly improve the condition of mothers who have had postpartum depression.
Baby massage is more effective if done in the morning , after bath or before bedtime. More importantly, be sure to carry out baby massage in a routine schedule and avoid doing it in a hurry. Ensure that the room is warm and the lighting in the room is not very bright to so that the baby does not squint.
It is important to use oils such a grape seed or sweet almond when massaging the baby. Put the baby in a thick towel as this will allow for movements when doing the massage.
Despite there being some negatives effects of baby massage, many studies point to the benefits of baby massage.