Strengthening Mother-child Connect through Infant Massage
7 minute read, Written By: Momly
Infant massage is an important component of postpartum care. Massage for babies has a lot of proven benefits like immunity building, helping in blood circulation, and developing a nurturing bond between mothers and babies.
What are the significant aspects of infant massage? What is the science behind it? are some of the questions every new mother ponders. In terms of infant wellness, massaging has unleashed some of the great benefits and this postpartum care activity spans across time and generations.
Momly explores the ABC of infant massage and gives a comprehensive insight on this topic for our community of moms.
Healing Power of Infant Massage: The History and Significance
The ritual of Infant Massage dates back to ancient civilizations. This postpartum baby care essential is followed by different countries and is a significant tradition in nurturing infants. Skin-to-skin touch using baby essential bath oils has been used as a healing power since time immemorial. Just like how post-pregnancy women are treated with a postpartum body massage to heal the pregnancy body, infants too need this in their daily routine in the initial period to improve body stability and strengthen their system. This ritual is passed from generation to generation and has a wider reach even in Western countries. Traditional medicine, such as Ayurveda, recognizes infant massage as a therapy for improving their overall well-being. While the meaning and the connotation the infant massage carries differ and the purpose switches from culture to culture, the idea of infant massage is a holistic method and is an essential part of the postpartum period. The bottom-up approach to infant massage starts with you as a mother being mentally involved and of course, selecting the best oils for massage therapy.
Selecting Therapeutic Oils for Infant Massage
Massage oils for babies need to be gentle and safe as the tender skin of babies is very prone to rashes and allergies due to their sensitivity. Paraben-free and hypoallergenic massage oils are safe for infant massage. The below massage oils are some of the best oils chosen by our community moms.
- Himalaya Massage oil: Himalaya baby massage oil improves the skin tone of your baby and gives the required nourishment to your baby’s skin. Himalaya is an authentic brand specializing in baby products. As it is a natural brand and steers clear from any parabens and chemicals, you can rest assured to use it for your baby. Your baby’s skin quality sees exponential growth with Himalaya baby massage oil.
- Mama Earth Baby Massage Oil: Mama Earth has become a go-to brand for all baby care and maternal products. When it comes to babies, you get cautious and want to stay away from any chemicals. Mama Earth baby massage oil is infused with natural ingredients like olive oil, almond, sesame, and jojoba which helps skin quality and immunity. It doesn’t leave a layer or white cast but has a non-staining trait that makes your baby’s skin smooth and supple.
- Virgin Coconut oil: Coconut has played a vital role for generations. If you ask your grandmother about baby massaging, she will take you on a nostalgic lane and the crux of the story will be coconut oil. Coconut oil is purely natural and healthy oil. It can be used for all age groups, especially on your baby’s skin which is delicate and gentle to the touch. Even doctors claim coconut oil is best for massaging. The tip from Momly Moms is “Apply coconut oil on your baby’s skin, leave it for a few minutes, and give a fresh bath”. It not only rejuvenates your baby’s skin but also promises better sleep
The above are some of the best oils for infant massage. Lightly warm the oil before applying it to the baby’s skin for best results.
Fostering a Climate of Love and emotional bond
The postpartum period is a highly tense period for new moms. Your body goes through a lot during childbirth and some women tend to become emotionally drained during the postpartum period leading to postpartum anxiety and depression. PPD can be extremely difficult, and it causes you to become emotionally distant from your child. Moms lose the connection and are disinterested in their babies.
Helping mothers massage their babies creates a bond between the two, causing the above PPD symptoms to diminish and fade. Nurturing their babies by gently massaging their delicate skin heals them faster than any mental or emotional wellness therapy. Infant massage promotes maternal love and aids in the bonding of mothers and their children. It boosts feel-good hormones and allows them to explore their motherhood nature, fostering a climate of love and harmony.
3-Layered Benefits of Massage for Babies
- Physical – Infant massage improves digestion, blood circulation, and muscle development in kids. It enhances their physical health by strengthening their body and promoting their skin health.
- Cognitive – Massage has been shown to improve their creative and cognitive thinking, as well as their sensory skills.
- Emotional health – Massage works for physical as well as mental well-being by reducing stress and tension in babies and ensuring good sleep
Infant Massage: Dos and Don’ts
- Wash your hands and ensure that your nails are trimmed before the massage
- Do not massage immediately after nursing the baby. 45 minutes to 1 hour after feeding is the ideal waiting period for a massage
- Baby’s head is the soft spot and takes time to obtain stability. Avoid massaging in that region
- Always check with your pediatrician before starting the massage for your babies.
- Be gentle in the process and watch out for your baby’s cues during massaging.
Massaging your baby is an enjoyable experience and a rewarding routine for both the caregiver and the baby. Join a childbirth class during your pregnancy to learn more about massaging and the techniques of massage therapy for infants. Talk to a qualified infant massage expert to learn about the journey of massaging.
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