Infant Massage:

 

“Being touched and caressed, being massaged, is food for the infant - food as necessary as minerals, vitamins, and proteins.”  -  Dr. Frederick Laboyer

 

Touch is a very powerful element in human bonding. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and prolonged eye contact are also important elements of bonding. Infant massage encompasses and supports all these vital aspects of bonding.

 

Delayed bonding may occur due to situations such as premature birth, recovery from caesarean, medical complications, adoption, lack of physical and emotional support and postnatal depression. In these cases, infant massage can help families recreate the elements of bonding, which may help a parent and baby fall in love with each other.

 

Massage gives fathers a chance to connect and interact with their child on a deeper level than the usual day-to-day contact might provide. It’s also a great activity for working parents to do with their child as they re-establish a bond at the end of a day away. Developing these traits can be beneficial for a lifetime.”

 

     -  “Massage works because it changes your whole physiology.”  Dr. Tiffany Field - Touch Research Institute

 

 

Benefits of Infant Massage for Baby:

 

  • Infant-Parent attachment or “bonding”

  • Relaxation

  • Helps baby feel loved

  • Promotes better sleep

  • Facilitates body awareness

  • Boosts immune system

  • Sensory stimulation

  • Improves skin condition

  • Improves blood circulation

  • Helps digestion

  • Balances respiration

  • Relief for teething pains

  • Help waste elimination

  • Helps build parents’ and baby’s self-esteem

  • Helps you learn about your baby - its needs and desires

  • Relaxes parents

  • Pleasurable experience

  • Stimulates production of oxytocin (Oxytocin is a hormone which can be produced by both male and female persons during massage. It is useful as a pain reliever and has a calming effect on the person.)

Benefits of Infant Massage for Parents:

 

  • Caregivers report feeling more comfortable and confident in their ability to care for baby.

  • Parents learn to understand and respond to baby’s cues.

  • Parents learn techniques to comfort, calm and soothe their babies.

  • Provides an additional avenue for close and nurturing contact.

  • Infant Massage is one of the most natural and pleasant methods of providing this important early nurturing and an amazing tool for helping parents become closer to their babies.

Infant Massage provides these benefits in 4 distinct ways:

 

Stimulation:

Stimulates all the systems of the body including the:

  • Nervous system

  • Circulatory system

  • Respiratory System

  • Elimination System

  • Immune System

  • Massage stimulates the release of oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone (is released in both parent and child), prolactin (promoting milk production in the mother) and other endorphins.

  • Reduces muscle stiffness and normalizes muscle tone

Relaxation:

  • Helps relieve tension built up from all the stimulation in the baby’s environment

  • Helps babies handle sensory stimulation and respond in a relaxed manner

  • Helps babies sleep better

  • Helps regulate sleep/wake cycle

Relief:

  • Touch combined with vocalization helps reduce pain levels up to 80%

  • Helps tone digestive tract

  • Helps alleviate gas and promote elimination

  • Releases hormones for food absorption.

  • Releases endorphins, natural pain killers, to ease emotional distress

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Bonding & Attachment:

 

  • Infant massage draws on all the elements of bonding and attachment

  • Eye-to-eye contact, skin-to-skin, body scent, vocalization, taste, responsiveness

  • Hormones stimulated by infant massage promote bonding and attachment between parent and baby

 

      “Bonding is a unique relationship between two people. It is specific and endures through time.”  

                                                                                       -   Dr.Marshall  Klaus, M.D.

 

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