ROLE OF INFANT MASSAGE
Touch is the first sense to develop in utero and it is such a beautiful and loving way to communicate.
Touch, through baby massage, benefits both the baby and the massager.
Significantly, infant massage can provide an opportunity for the parent/carer to play a special and very important role in their baby’s life.
Why massage your child?
It creates a special nurturing time for you and your baby to share together. It increases your skills and confidence as well as heightens your understanding of your baby’s cues and needs. It enables you to notice if something is not quite right so that you can take action.
Infant massage strengthens bonding and attachment, which is particularly helpful when this has been interrupted due to a premature birth, medical issues, fostering or adoption.
Current research has shown that loving touch, including that provided through massage:
improves the quality of sleep by soothing the nervous system,
tones the digestive system and, through the use of particular strokes, can aid in relieving wind, constipation and colic,
boosts the immune system,
helps to calm and settle the baby,
increases the baby’s body awareness,
enables the baby to learn protective behaviours,
the baby learns how to relax their body, in response to stress and muscular tension,
nurtures a baby’s emotional and psychological growth,
stimulates their physical and mental growth, and
enhances breathing and movement.
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“The bonds of trust and love, the lessons of compassion, warmth, openness and respect that are inherent in the massage routine will be carried by your child into adulthood.” Vimala McClure
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“I am responsible for massaging my son. It means I make sure I come home on time so that I can have a shower with my son, give him his massage when he is nice and relaxed and then I get him ready for bed. We have a great time together.”
“As the non breastfeeding mum massaging my daughter means I have a special role to play in her care and development.”
“I care for my grandson five days a week. I learnt how to massage him so that I could develop a strong bond with him.”