THE MANY BENEFITS OF BABY MASSAGE
“Touch is as important to infants and children as eating and sleeping” Dr Tiffany Field, Touch Research Institute
We all know that skin to skin time between a baby and his or her primary carer givers as soon as possible after birth is an essential time to support baby’s development.
So much research and data exists to support this which has led to organisations such as the World Health Organisation recommending skin to skin time as soon as possible after birth.
Sometimes, situations are out with our control. My own experience with our first daughter was that I didn’t get to do skin to skin time directly after her birth. However, as soon as I was able to, I gave her as much touch as possible and in the hospital I was encouraged to give her “kangaroo care” by holding her close to me to give her that positive skin-to-skin contact.
iEven though she had a feeding tube in her nose and a cannula in her hand I was fortunate to still be able to do this.
Did you know that a baby’s cortisol (or stress hormone ) is measurably lower after only 20 minutes of skin-to-skin contact?
Keeping cortisol levels low is extremely beneficial for babies, both in the short and long term. In the short term, when cortisol is reduced, gastrointestinal problems lessen, reduced cortisol levels also means our baby’s body can better preserve healthy fat that helps to maintain birth weight and keeps their body temperature warm. And reduced cortisol levels helps your baby to sleep deeper and for longer.
Baby massage is a natural next step for you to do with your baby to keep up these benefits. It is never too early or late to start massaging your babies and the skills you learn in our classes you can keep practicing with them for life.
We touch our babies all the time, we cuddle them, bath them, change them, stroke them, kiss them and hold them. It is as instinctive for us to touch our babies as it is to breath. Baby massage is a fantastic tool we can add to our toolkit to keep up as much nurturing touch as possible. We can start practicing baby massage with our babies from birth and it is never too late to learn.
Here are some of the benefits of practising infant massage with your baby, but this list is not exhaustive. There are truly SO MANY BENEFITS, IT IS AMAZING!
We always encourage parents who come to our classes to complete one of our baby massage classes first, before any other class, we say learn baby massage!
Baby Massage can support:
When you are massaging your baby you are taking the time to perform a loving experience with your baby where they get your undivided attention, eye contact, soothing voice and smell.
As their primary caregiver your baby loves you. This time together can be a magical and special time for both parents (and we encourage both parents or primary caregivers to massage baby). When you are massaging your baby you will both produce the love hormone oxytocin which helps to bond you even closer together. It is impossible to massage your baby and not feel this love!
Relaxation & Sleep
Baby Massage can help to increase the production of the hormone melatonin, an essential hormone to help your baby sleep. Massage also reduces cortisol, the less cortisol your baby has in their body the easier it is for them to get to sleep and stay asleep.
In our baby massage classes we teach you when best to massage your baby to promote sleep and relaxation.
Baby Massage helps to stimulate all of your baby’s vital systems.
– Massage supports circulation as it opens blood vessels. drains waste and improves the function of all organs.
– Massage supports your baby’s brain development! It encourages the myelin sheath to grow around the nerve which encourages connections between the neurons.
– Massage helps with all important digestion
Baby Massage can help to reduce and relieve colic, constipation and wind. In our classes we teach you many strokes that can help to relieve discomfort for your baby and benefit them in so many ways.
We also teach you ways to hold your baby and different ways to do tummy time which can also relieve wind and gas and are supportive and fun for your baby.
Baby massage can also help to ease muscular tension & teething pains.
We encourage you to class and learn this fantastic ancient skill with your baby.
Our classes are as much for you as they are for your babies too. We look after you. We give you plenty of time to chat to your fellow new parents in a supportive and relaxed environment. We make you cups of tea and coffee and plenty of chocolate biscuits! (dairy and gluten free options are also offered!
Currently we offer our 5 week blocks of Baby Massage classes in the following venues on the following days and we would love to welcome you and your baby to class:
LifeCare Centre, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
South Queensferry Community Centre, South Queensferry
North Merchiston Club, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh
The Dave King Partnership Centre (formerly East Calder Partnership Centre), East Calder
Krafty Kidz, Pitreavie Business Centre, Dunfermline
If you would like us to run a class nearer you please do let us know!
Love from Lesley & Team FATOWL