I offer group or one to one Baby Massage sessions where you can learn safe and beneficial massage techniques to calm and soothe your baby.
When baby massage is practiced, this ancient art enhances and promotes deep emotional bonds which develop in infancy with parents/carers. This is what lays a lifetime foundation of trust, dependability, faith and love between parent and child. Setting aside some time to incorporate baby massage as part of your baby’s routine will help you build your parent/baby relationship in the early ‘getting to know you’ stage.
Benefits of Baby Massage
Benefits for Baby
– Aids digestion by activation of relaxation responses.
– Can help relieve colic, trapped wind and constipation.
– Stimulates and strengthens your baby’s immune system.
– Helps promote sleep.
– Stimulates circulation.
– Promotes fuller and deeper respiration.
– Encourages muscular coordination.
– Physiological flexion caused by position in womb decreases and flexibility increases.
– Improves skin condition.
– Stimulates the peripheral nervous system.
– Soothes your baby’s body and relieves pain.
– Reduces anxiety & trauma related with the birth and new environment.
– Stimulation of the skin through massage increases the production of endorphins.
– Baby relaxes, gains trust and confidence and closeness to parent.
– Research has shown that babies that are lovingly touched by their parent are ill less often and cry less often.
– Reduces stress behaviours of the baby – skin on skin contact releases oxytocin (love hormone) and endorphins (stress relievers) increasing contentment and closeness
Benefits for Parents
– Increased confidence in holding/handling your baby
– Increased knowledge of your baby’s reactions to touch, which helps to expose your baby’s dislikes & likes and increases communication and toleration.
– Physical and emotional relaxation.
– Promotes lactation in breast feeding mums (through stimulation of hormones).
– Provides a period of mutual pleasure.
– Builds on the wonderful bond between you and your baby.
History of Baby Massage
Massage has been documented as being used in ancient civilisations as far back as 3,000 years ago. Massaging babies dates back to ancient time particularly in countries such as India, Africa, Asia, Nigeria, Uganda and the Caribbean. In these cultures often it was the Grandmother’s role to massage a newly born baby until the Mother had recovered from childbirth. In India the art of baby massage has been passed down from mother to daughter for hundreds of years. Afro-Caribbeans use nut oils due to the plentiful supply of coconuts which they believe is good protection for their babies’ skin. The Maori tribes and the Hawaiians use baby massage after bath time as a daily routine. Other tribal/urban/rural countries carry out their daily duties with their babies supported in slings. The babies are in close contact to their mother’s bodies and are able to experience the rhythm and movement which they had for the nine months whilst in the womb. This movement stimulates emotional and motor development. Touch in all these cultures is considered to be healthy for the baby physically and spiritually.
Baby massage has recently become popular again in Western cultures with more and more people realising the importance of baby massage that was practiced by our ancestors that gradually was lost due to the progress of our society. In upper class Western societies often it was the nanny that cared for the baby and not the Mother. These babies grew up in a rather cold environment. However, babies born into the working class families were better off physically and emotionally as many were looked after by their extended family and there was more bonding.
Although it is very difficult to pin point exactly where the practice of baby massage originates from, it is now widely practiced around the world, and recognised by many as being just as vital as the milk we feed our babies. Baby massage is not a trendy phase or fad, it is an ancient art and philosophy that connects you deeply to your baby. It provides you with an opportunity to understand your baby’s individual and particular non-verbal language, enabling you to respond with love and respectful listening.