THE OVERALL BENEFITS OF INFANT MASSAGE
- Stimulate the immune system – massage is known to do this by increasing resistance to diseases.
- Aids relaxation and better, deeper sleep- by reducing the levels of cortisol and increasing the levels of endorphin that play a role in relieving pain of teething and other distressing conditions affecting the infant and parent.
- Improves coordination– massage supports the development of a healthy nervous system. It promotes flexibility of the limbs, and coordination of movement.
- Supports growth- research has shown that massage supports weight gain and overall development of the baby. By encouraging contact and touching , boosts the release of hormones and enzymes that promote growth. It also stimulates circulation, thus increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the different parts of the body.
- Toning the infant’s respiratory, circulatory, and gastrointestinal systems.
- Premature babies gain weight if they are massaged 3 times per day in hospital. It is crucial for their survival. Studies have found that premature infants who had regular massage therapy gained weight faster and were able to leave hospital sooner than those without massage therapy.
- Baby’s early engagement with both parents promotes bonding and secure attachment through nonverbal communication. Loving touch aiding parents’ understanding of baby’s cues through vocalising, intimacy and eye contact. The whole bonding process is strengthened because you cannot massage your baby and be removed from them. By learning to read their baby’s cues and watching them, parents have more positive encounters with their infants.
- Stimulates Digestion- massage done properly can relieve wind, colic, and ease bowel movements.
- Postnatal depression- over time, improving outcomes by physically touching, engaging and connecting with the infant through eye contact during massage.