What is infant massage?
Infant massage provides a nurturing touch to enrich the bonding and communication between parents and their baby. Infant massage has been used in other cultures for centuries and with current research highlighting the numerous benefits is becoming increasingly popular in western society.
It is important to note that infant massage classes as a rule are designed for babies in good health. This means that if your baby has health concerns it is important that you seek medical approval before you commence your classes.
What are the benefits?
Infant massage stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and as a result the baby produces more serotonin (the happy hormone). The CNS stimulation also decreases the release of cortisol (the stress hormone). The combination of these two elements cause the baby’s heart rate and breathing slow down, thus becoming more relaxed. Current research also suggests that growth hormone is stimulated, this hormone helps with weight gain.
Don’t underestimate the role of affectionate touch and rhythmic movement as a form of communication for you and your baby.
Infant massage also helps you as parents read your baby’s signals and respond better to their needs. This helps give you more tools in your belt to help meet the needs of your baby and just as importantly help you feel more in control.
Where can I learn how to do this?
It is important that you learn how to massage your baby from someone who is qualified to teach infant massage. Your baby’s system is easy to overstimulate so it is important to learn what to do and what NOT to do. This includes everything from which oils to use, to creating a safe massage space, to massage techniques.
At Beyond we teach infant massage classes, giving you all the skills you need to massage your baby at home. They classes are run over two sessions each session lasting an hour.