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The Benefits Of Baby Massages

The Benefits Of Baby Massages

Why do baby massages really matter?

Iím a Child and Family Health Nurse from Australia and Iíve been teaching parents baby massage for over 14 years. As a midwife I knew it was important but didnít really understand why. Now that I know why, I think every parent should be taught this marvelous skill. I think its integral to building a relationship and really understanding your baby.

Baby massage is touch at its most basic. It originated in India, we think, many years ago. It has a very spiritual aspect to it and through practice we can learn to really understand our baby. It is mindful and in the moment. Something that our fast paced, technology driven lives, really are not.

I think thatís what initially hooked me, the in-the-moment stuff! It also seemed a bit mysterious and there was something really powerful about it.

As a Health Visitor, working in a Sure Start area in Salford Manchester, this perception I had was so different to my work reality. We were taught baby massage to work, one on one with fathers in Ďat riskí families to try and reduce child protection issues. The idea was that if the father massages the baby, he forms a relationship with his baby, which then hopefully helps to protect it. The theory was that itís hard to hurt something that youíve formed an intimate bonding experience with. The child protection cases on my caseload numbered 10%. It was huge and overwhelming.

What I witnessed was: learning by both parents of how to read and understand their babies and linking into their cues. It was a light bulb moment. I found that commenting on the reciprocal pleasure father and baby were experiencing really helped the fathers blossom. In England, fathers from a lot of low socio-economic areas are often absent from the parenting role, for a variety of reasons. These fathers blossomed and looked forward to my visits at their home.

Babies benefit from touch in many ways. As well as enhancing the infant-parent relationship and bonding, it also has a beneficial effect on the immune system and circulation. Premature babies that are massaged are found to grow more than babies that arenít. It helps the immature digestive system by reducing colic and wind and treating constipation and reflux.

When you massage your baby you really look into their eyes. We know that direct eye contact builds connections in the babyís brain and connects the synapses that cement emotional intelligence. So never underestimate the power of baby massage. Itís so much more than just a series of strokes with some lovely oil.

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in ATH’s Massage & Bodywork community.

 

Read more: Babies, Caregiving, Family, Pregnancy, , , , , , , , , ,

Written by Karen Faulkner, Contributor to Family & Parenting on AllThingsHealing.com

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Dr. Neala Peake, selected from AllThingsHealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large. We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a forum for each category, and an extensive "Find Practitioners" listing. Our Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join us!

28 comments

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6:15AM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

Very Informative blog must say...Baby body massage surely does wonder not only to the baby also to the parents. Since massage not only builds good immunity level to the kid, it further enhance skin of the parents with the oil massage. I also feel that with body massage given to the baby it creates a good bonding with the parents & also it further strengthen their bones, which is brittle at the time they are born.

5:06PM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Ah, baby cakes... and they smell...divine!

6:15AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

interesting

6:14AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

I started with massages when my baby boy was 3 months. I could notice he really enjoyed it...Then we moved, and I haven't been able to massage him very often. He is 11 months now and some weeks ago we went on holidays and when we came back he had dry skin, so I only massaged his legs: it was like he remembered. He didn't move and look into my eyes like saying "mum, I really love this". He hasn't forgot!!!

2:21PM PDT on Mar 22, 2013

Can you say "over attachment"?

11:56PM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

Massage is good for all of us.

4:18PM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

TY

8:39PM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

A lovely way to bond with your baby!

2:35AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Surely the best thing about this is the bonding between parent and child? :-)

11:53PM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

Thanks for the article a very good idea

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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