If you have ever had a massage treatment you can relate to the elated feeling of well-being and complete relaxation afterwards. In Asian countries such as India, Massage is an ancient art and it’s health benefits are widely known amongst the traditional cultures. Today in Ireland, Infant Massage awareness is increasing with Irish health providers and maternity hospitals encouraging parents to participate in classes. Baby massage Ireland is the Irish chapter of the International Association of Infant massage and was set up in 2001.
Infant Massage offers complete ‘time-out’ from the worries and pressures of everyday life for parents and baby. It’s a truly special way to give your baby a sense of well-being and security and helps to develop positive self-esteem from a young age.
1. Promotes deep bonding and communication
2. Offers relief from gas, colic, constipation and teething
3. Strengthens the immune system
4. Regulates and stimulates the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems
5. Helps promote better and longer sleep
6. Helps you and your baby learn to relax
7. Helps premature babies gain weight
8. Feel good hormones are released during massage (Oxytocin & Prolactin)
9. Helps baby’s co-ordination
10. It’s a fun activity- meet new mums and learn a life skill!
Infant massage can be beneficial for mothers who have experienced difficult births and perhaps experienced delayed bonding. It promotes closeness and gives confidence to parents. I can remember my first born and whilst I was over the moon with happiness, I was also worried about about lots of things that a new parent is faced with. However I remember fondly our time massaging, the giggles, the pure joy and how it did helped me relax and boost my confidence as a new mum. The little body language of a baby tells you a lot.
Touch is one of the most important senses for a baby. It begins from birth and it’s how a baby interprets the world around them. When a baby is brought into the world doctors and midwives encourage skin-to-skin contact, which not only helps with bonding but also prepares a mother’s body for her baby.
We all have neuro-muscular transmitters in our skin which send messages from nerve sensors in the skin to the brain. A baby receives messages of being loved and care for during a massage, this in turn fosters important emotional brain development which takes place rapidly within the first three years of age.
In my baby massage classes, they are very much baby-led. If baby is not in he mood for a massage he/she gets a hug instead! Cues are encouraged to let baby know a massage is about to begin, by swishing oil beside baby’s ear and asking them “Would they like a massage?”.
It’s really all about encouraging an enjoyable, fun experience with baby. To enhance this wonderful experience, it’s important to help your baby to be receptive to it at the time.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post.