Benefits Of Baby MassagePublished on
From colic to constipation, baby massage offers a gentle, holistic way to soothe your baby. But did you realise how beneficial it can also be for you?
Feel the love
Released during sex, labour and breastfeeding, oxytocin is known as the “love hormone”. It is also sparked by loving touch such as stroking your pooch, or giving and receiving a massage, generating natural anti-stress effects. By regularly massaging your baby, you can slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Amid umpteen sleep deprived and frazzled nappy changes, the moment of calm a massage brings will feel like a blessing. Because it promotes bonding as well as relaxation, baby massage is particularly helpful if you’re suffering from postnatal depression.
Because they are unable to talk, tots communicate through body language. Unfortunately, there’s no handbook to interpret these cues – every baby is different – and it can take some time before you can “read” your baby. Massage can speed up this process, providing time out to gaze uninterrupted at your little angel, listen to their unique sounds and learn their movements. As you grasp the art of non-verbal communication with your little one and become quicker to respond to their needs, your confidence as a parent will soar.
For many, sleep deprivation is the worst aspect of parenthood. It’s difficult to look after yourself, never mind a tiny person, when you’re surviving off only a few hours of sleep per night. The good news is that babies who are massaged regularly display higher levels of melatonin, the hormone produced when daylight fades that helps us slow down and generally makes us dozy. The more we sleep in the darkness, the more melatonin we produce. Babies aren’t born knowing that they should sleep at night – as you’ve probably gathered – so massaging them before bed can help you set down a day/night sleep routine, generating more melatonin and giving you – and your baby - a better shot at some shut eye.
Find your tribe
Find your tribe
Baby massage is usually taught in a class to groups of parents. Unlike other noisy baby and toddler groups, the atmosphere in a massage class tends to be tranquil and unhurried. Expect relaxing music, oils and maybe even dimmed lights. Some classes include a 5-minute relaxation spot for parents too, or time out where you’ll be encouraged to discuss parenting in a supportive, intimate environment. Learning baby massage is also a great opportunity for you to meet baby buddies who are likely to be just as blindsided by parenting as you are. You will be able to encourage and support one another, and who knows, maybe you – and your children – will make friends for life.
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