The Benefits of Baby Massage

What if there was an enjoyable way to spend time with your baby, which has also been shown to help babies sleep better, improve their development, gain weight, cry less and feel less stressed? 

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if at the same time you could be improving your own mental health, increasing your confidence as a parent and your interaction with your new child?

Baby Massage provides all of these benefits!

In many cultures baby massage is part of normal parenting, passed down through the generations as part of the daily care that is given to a new born infant.  Here in the western world it is now being re-discovered as a way to promote loving, nurturing contact.  

Baby massage is something we do with our little ones, not to them. 

It is an interaction, a way of expressing love, care and respect for our baby and their body. 

Touch is one of the first forms of communication babies learn, and it is vital for both physical and psychological development. 

Every parent can learn how to massage their baby!

 

Benefits For Babies

  • Develops a feeling of being loved, respected and secure
  • Teaches what positive loving touch is
  • Improves quality of sleep1
  • Can help to reduce crying, “fussiness” and stress1
  • Develops body awareness and coordination
  • Promotes weight gain, alertness and development2
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Can help alleviate trapped wind, colic, constipation and other “tummy troubles”
  • Can help with the pain of teething
  • Helps loosen mucus in the chest or sinuses
  • Strengthens and tones growing muscles
  • Continues benefits of skin to skin contact that may become less common as baby grows, particularly as breastfeeding lessens or stops

Benefits For Parents

  • Helps you connect and enjoy a positive interaction with your baby
  • Increased confidence in yourself as a parent
  • Promotes positive loving touch
  • Provides an opportunity for focusing 1:1 without distractions, outside the routine of feeding, changing and sleeping
  • You become more familiar with your baby’s body, and can enjoy noticing how it is developing
  • You become better at picking up on baby’s cues and being able to respond as needed
  • Provides practical tools for soothing common ailments
  • Promotes lactation in breastfeeding mums by stimulating hormones
  • Provides additional opportunities for skin to skin contact for non breast feeding parents (mums and dads!)
  • You are able to relax with your baby and enjoy sharing the experience together
  • Particularly useful for those suffering from post natal depression3 or lacking confidence in their abilities as parents

Learn Baby Massage with us!

Learning Baby Massage can be easy, friendly and relaxing.

All our classes our baby-led, so there is no need to worry about how your baby will be during the class.  We expect babies to need cuddles, feeds and nappy changes! This happens naturally as needed during the class.

The massage techniques are taught over a series of sessions so that you gradually learn a routine for massaging your baby from head to toe.  We repeat strokes plenty of times so that it is easy to learn and build up your confidence.

The aim of the class is for you and baby to feel relaxed, and for you to learn skills you can use at home.  We give you a bottle of organic oil to take away and practice with and a booklet showing all the strokes you need to know.

There are several different ways to learn with us: you can join a group class and meet other parents, learn on a 1:1 basis, or we can organise sessions for you and your friends to learn together.   More details on the different options can be found on our Baby Massage main page, or you are welcome to get in touch to ask any questions you may have.

 

 

 “Being touched and caressed, being massaged,

is food for the infant.  Food as necessary as

minerals, vitamins and proteins.”

Dr Frederik Leboyer

 

1 Medical and educational researchers from the University of Warwick looked at nine studies of massage of nearly 600 infants.  They found significant results that infants who were massaged cried less, slept better and had lower levels of stress hormones compared to infants who did not receive massage.

2 The report “Massage of preterm newborns to improve growth and development” published in Paediatric Nursing showed that pre-term babies who received three short massage treatments a day gained on average 47% more weight per day, were more awake and active a greater percentage of time, showed improvements in behaviour and motor skills and were hospitalised less than the non-massaged babies.  This superior growth and development was still evident when tested eight months later, and was thought to result from improved parent-infant interaction, facilitated by the massage.

Several other studies have found similar results.

3 Imperial College London report  “Massage and mother baby interaction with depressed mothers” showed that mothers who attended five baby massage classes had significantly less depression and very significantly better interaction with their babies than a similar control group who had attended a support group.

 

 

 

 

 

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