Massage is a means of body communication through touching. It leads to an increased sense of security and trust to the receptor. It is a soft touch usually done using refined oils. Baby massage is one of the best ways an infant can communicate to the world. Baby massage can be done on newborn babies, premature babies, as well as big babies who are yet to speak up. It forms a kind of therapy, which makes a child more relaxed and reduces the anxiety level through increased secretion of feel-better hormones. For excellent results, it is suited to do the massage in a warm room, and, if desired, a soft music has also been observed to cause fetus movement.
Benefits of Baby Massage Include:
- Premature and Underweight Babies
It is a form of confirmation to the mothers whose babies are in the special baby care unit. Since the mother and the child are separated, a soft massage and gentle touching stimulates the child’s system and creates a sense of possession for both the mother and the baby. Baby massage in prematurely born children helps to strengthen the bond between the mother and the child. Premature babies who get massage show better response and also better brain development and tend to respond better to treatment.
- It Helps the Child to Gain Weight
Massage enhances production of the vagus nerve that is responsible for various responses in the body. As one of the receptor activities, it connects the brain cells to the digestive track that, in turn, leads to easier digestion and absorption of food. Due to this, the baby gains weight at a faster rate. Children who received body massage shows a 47% higher weight gain than an average child without massage.
- It Gives a More Steady Heartbeat and Reduces Stress Level
Baby massage is a two-way reception, as both the baby and the mother mutually benefit from the massage. In children, it helps to produce stress-depressing hormones and promotes the production of feel-well hormones like endorphins. Baby-birth happiness can cause high excitement, and giving birth to an unhealthy or premature baby can cause postnatal depression. All these can cause stress levels to rise, and the relationship weakens, but massage helps to ease the tension.
- Facilitates Excellent Body Response As the Mother Can Learn the Responsive Behaviors of the Child
As the mother massages the baby, she will notice some changes in facial expressions, and this will serve as an indication from the baby. A fierce body shake may signal resistance, while a smiley face may mean coordination. It is always advisable to observe acceptance signs like smooth movement of legs from the baby.
- Boosts the Immunity by Stimulating the Sensory Nerves
Massage arouses primary systems in the body, namely circulatory, respiratory, nervous, elimination, and immune systems. Stress is a principle cause of ill health and a popular stimulant of several diseases. Stress weakens the body immune system and leads further to poor coordination in the nervous system. Body massage prevents or blocks the release of stress hormones but rather stimulates the production of healthy hormones that catalyze proper functioning of the body system and leads to better health.
- Improves Skin Condition Through Increased Blood Circulation
Massage causes the body tissues to relax. Relaxed capillaries and blood vessels lead to a proper flow of blood. Blood carries essential nutrients that nourish the skin.
- It Helps in Relieving Muscle Pains and Aches
Through massage, the body produces oxytocin, which has a calming and pain relief effect. It also helps in the release of prolactin, which is a milk-producing hormone. If milk is not flowing freely from the mother, it can cause pains in her too. Also, a high milk flow translates to a healthy baby. Touch has also been scientifically proven to reduce pain by up to 20%.
- Massage Also Reduces the Cry Period in a Child
Massage increases dopamine secretion, and it is a hormone capable of regulating mood, temper, anger, aggression, and even the general body senses related to feeling. Crying is a communications device for the baby. It can relay discomfort. Massage reduces this distress by giving assurance through touch. Massage is 20% technical and 80% communication, thus, creating a relay information tool.
- Massage Also Contributes to the Good Health of the Baby
It helps food to flow into the stomach and stimulate the production of digestive hormones like gastrin and insulin. Proper food flow reduces vomiting in infants. It also reduces acid reflux and hiccups due to trapped air in the digestive track. It aids in the flow of mucus from the chest and makes the baby have a clear respiratory track without hissing sounds from the chest.
- Infant Massages Help Bring Up a Well-Balanced Child
A well-balanced child learns to love and be loved. It forms the foundation of the future relationship. Being massaged promotes physiological, social, emotional, body, mind, and spirit connectivity. All subsequent relationships even when the baby is an adult depend on the parent-child bond from birth. The first three years of infancy are important since they form a firm foundation.
- Baby Massage Can Be Broadly Said to Work in a Four-Tier Sequential Action
Interaction—The interaction helps build trust, peace, and confidence and leads to strong bonding between the child and the mother. During the interaction, the mother can read the body signs of the baby and note any area of the body that may be in pain or has a growth or internal swelling that is invisible to the eye.
Stimulation—Touching stimulates the production of hormones that are useful for learning, response, and coordination.
Relief—Most of the stimulation leads to the release of hormones like endorphins, and they offer pain relief related to cramps, constipation, teething, as well as give a good feeling.
Relaxation—When the child is relieved, there is little, if any, production of stress-causing hormones; and he/she feels relaxed and can even sleep better. Right, better sleep rhythms are promoted by serotonin and melatonin hormones whose release is stimulated by massage.