Infant Massage | Celebrate Birth
Massage is a wonderful way to bond with your baby, and it has many documented benefits. It is done through gentle, rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body with your hands. It’s also worth noting that there are NO negative side-effects from massage. It not only activates every single system in the body, it also produces marked physiological and emotional changes in both the giver and the receiver, so when giving your baby massage, you will both be reaping the benefits!
Infant massage involves mindfully engaging with your baby to communicate, bond, and support them through the sense of touch. Here are a few of the ways infant massage benefits your little one:
1. Improves sleep.
Research has found that massaging your baby regularly, like part of a nighttime routine, will help get their circadian rhythms on track. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. Like how we are awake during the day with the sun and sleep at night when it’s dark. Other aspects the circadian rhythm affects are the rise and fall of your baby’s appetite and body temperature.
2. Stimulates growth hormone for weight gain in underweight babies.
Massage stimulates a nerve called the vagus nerve. When stimulated it improves digestion and bowel movements. In a study done by Diego et al., they showed that after 5-10 days of massage, the weight increase of infants who were massaged was more than infants who did not receive massage.
3. Relieves the pain and discomfort.
Whether it is growing pains, teething pains, or body aches, massage can help relieve the discomfort by releasing endorphins in the part of the body that is causing the pain.
4. Improves overall mood.
Massage lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels and raises serotonin and dopamine levels which can combat anxiety and depression. The soothing strokes stimulate the production of oxytocin, the hormone that gives you a warm, loving feeling.
You can learn the basic techniques of soothing, comforting, and relaxing your baby with Meredith, our Licensed Massage Therapist (MA80329) at The Nest’s monthly Infant Massage class. You can register for the free group class on their website, or contact Meredith directly at 863-603-3730 to schedule a private, personalized session.