Infant Massage has been practiced for ages in cultures throughout the world. It is a wonderful, loving way you can nurture your child from birth, continuing as they grow. It deepens the bond between parents (or caregiver) and child and gives fathers an opportunity to provide nourishment that they may not have otherwise. It has immediate and lasting results, benefiting moms and dads as well as the baby.
Massage can be a powerful vehicle for emotional nourishment, as well as a natural way to support physical issues. It helps strengthen and regulate the baby’s primary systems (respiratory, circulatory, nervous, musculature, gastrointestinal), reduces gas and colic and eases other digestive issues. Massage releases endorphins for pain management, it calms, relaxes, soothes and helps them sleep. It actually increases growth (particularly in pre-term infants) and improves body awareness – all of this while helping them to feel safe and loved!
And the gift goes both ways, as parents benefit greatly as well. Giving massage to your baby can deepen the bond between you by enhancing communication and emotional ties. It gives you a better understanding about your baby’s cues of responsiveness. It can give you confidence in holding the baby and providing healing, loving touch and simply provide quality interaction time.
And, it can help you relax too, so you can be present and really listen to your baby.
There have been many studies conducted on the effects of massage on newborns, particularly pre-term infants. In addition to the benefits listed above, mothers who have loving physical contact with their baby watch less TV, talk on the phone less and develop a greater sense of communication with their child.
Massage for your child is easy to learn. Classes are available for mothers, fathers, caregivers, and babies newborn to 1 year.
This is something wonderful that both parents, even grandparents can provide. It is a natural, holistic, simple way to care for your new baby that can do a world of good for all of you.
Karen Zuckerman www.karenzuckerman.com is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) with the International Loving Touch Foundation. You can get further information from www.lovingtouch.com.
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