I’m a Child & Family Health Nurse and I’ve been teaching parents baby massage for over 14 years.
As a midwife, I knew it was important but didn’t really understand why. Now that I know why I think every parent should be taught this marvellous skill. I think it's 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 that’s 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 ‘at risk’ 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 it’s hard to hurt something that you’ve formed an intimate bonding experience with. The child protection cases on my caseload numbered 10%. It was huge and overwhelming.
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 aren’t. It helps the immature digestive system by reducing colic and wind and treating constipation and reflux. It really helps babies sleep better and is a great wind down technique as part of the nighttime routine.
When you massage your baby, you really look into their eyes. We know that direct eye contact builds connections in the baby’s brain and connects the synapses that cement emotional intelligence. So never underestimate the power of baby massage. It’s so much more than just a series of strokes with some lovely oil.
Want to learn more about baby massage?
You'll want to get your 3 sample chapters from my ebook - "Baby Massage: The Magic of Touch."
Go to this link and tell me where to send them? https://i8cs6tc8.pages.infusionsoft.net
Watch the trailer for my baby massage ebook and video
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