Ten benefits of baby massage

June 9, 2016

With baby massage, the parenting journey becomes even more rewarding.

 

In countries like India, China and throughout South-east Asia, baby massage has been around in some form for centuries. In the Western world, however, we have only recently come to appreciate this ancient and precious gift between parent and child.  

 

Traditionally, babies were welcomed into a village network and now, in our fast-paced modern world, we are starting to again see the value in many other traditional ways of parenting. One of these is baby massage. More and more studies show the benefits of infant massage and it is even getting the attention of many medical professionals, from midwives to paediatric physicians and psychologists.

 

But few studies are needed for parents who have completed a course. Just as they no longer feel the need for a book to tell them what their baby wants and needs, they no longer need a scientific study to help them see the benefits of infant massage. They have seen and experienced first hand, and their lives have been enriched for their efforts.

 

Finding the right instructor for you and your baby is so important when you are looking for an infant massage course. We don’t believe in offering a cookie cutter experience you can get anywhere. Baby massage classes are a time for you to enjoy being with your child, so we make every class as special and personable as possible.

 

Here’s what you can expect when you learn baby massage through Lotus Baby & Mamma Massage, and the benefits you and your baby will reap.

 

1. Better communication

 

Babies are born masters of body language and are very perceptive at reading you. As we grow and learn language, most of us tend to lose our ability to really read a person in full – to take in the whole story through tone and body language. Babies, on the other hand, are very in tune and will respond in kind to your mood and stress levels.

 

Together, we discuss your baby’s cues and how to ‘listen’ to them with your eyes and quiet observation. We discuss the importance of crying and the fact that it is completely okay for your baby to cry at times, as they are using what they have to communicate.  We also discuss how these tiny little people are just that – little people to communicate with as we do things ‘with’ our baby, not ‘to’ our baby.  

 

No baby will follow a textbook ruling. But there are some key cues and cries to recognise, so that you can start to read your own little person. By engaging in regular massage with your bub, you are not distracted by outside factors and you very quickly begin to pick up the tiny nuances that is your baby’s language.

 

2. A deeper bond with your baby

 

While infant massage is not a therapy as such, it does help to improve sleep, relax and calm babies and can ease symptoms of wind and colic. Parents report an improved understanding of their baby and reduced anxiety, which leads to the most important benefit of all: a deeper bond between you and your baby. Both parents and babies learn to relax, which can make the transition through ‘phases’ and ‘wonder weeks’ easier.

 

 

 

3. Support for premature and unwell babies

 

If your baby was born premature or unwell, they may have been subject to long periods alone and their first touch may have been examinations that have aroused fear or pain. In this situation, we gradually ease your baby into massage. This ensures your baby feels safe and understands that you are there to keep them safe and that not all touch is scary or painful.

 

This precious gift offers you a chance to connect with your baby free from procedures and worries. It is an opportunity to be lost in precious moments that you both deserve. Studies have shown that touch and massage on ill or premature babies does enhance their wellbeing.

 

4. A course just for mums and dads

 

Our course runs over five weeks and is designed for parents, which means we understand the importance of flexibility. If there is a genuine reason you cannot attend class, I will try to find a way to do a make up class, so you can catch you up on what you have missed. 

 

Each week you have time to learn and practice baby massage without being overwhelmed by too much knowledge in every session. Importantly, this gradual introduction to massage gives your baby time to become comfortable with it and learn to love it. As the weeks roll by we also discuss a variety of important topics that we feel set parents up for a calmer and more confident walk into parenting.

 

By week five we do a full body massage and it is beautiful to watch the babies recognise and love their massage as their parents ooze a calm and confidence that they may not have felt at the beginning of our program.  

 

We encourage dads to be involved as well as mums, because in a society where there is an abundance of mother support, dad can sometimes feel a bit out of the loop. Dads need that special connection and love having the opportunity to connect with their baby at this deeper level.

 

5. Permission to nurture yourself

 

It is important for parents to nurture and value themselves just as much as they do their baby. You can only give and give and give for so long before you run out of steam. If you don't invest in your own nurture bank, there is no way you can be the best parent or person that you could be. In our group, we create a welcoming and open environment where we discuss and reflect on important parenting issues like this.

 

6. Stress relief

 

It is a harsh reality of modern parenting that most of us are stressed out!  The incidence of perinatal depression is now alarmingly high. By strengthening the bond between mother and baby, infant massage has been shown to support parents suffering perinatal depression, as touch therapy raises the happy hormones and reduces the stress hormones.

 

Our classes are a time away from any other demands or distractions of your life. They give you an opportunity to enjoy spending time with your baby. Like other mindfulness exercises such as meditation, baby massage is a beneficial tool for both of you to use when stress becomes overwhelming.

 

7. An introduction to mindful parenting

 

Being in the moment can be a tricky thing when we have a baby to care for on top of everything else life throws at us. Throughout the full five weeks, we take you through a variety of very simple and quick mindfulness techniques that will help you to find your calm in the trying moments.

 

These are techniques that you can also pass onto your children through demonstration, so they can lead more mindful lives from a young age.

 

8. A skill for life

 

We teach you how to adapt and carry massage through your child’s life. We strongly believe that learning to massage your baby is not just for their first year, but that it is something you can share right up to the teenage years and beyond. For those initial months when your baby begins to be on the move and through the toddler years, we suggest nursery rhymes and games that make massage fun and interactive as they grow. We also provide handouts with the different tactics you can use at each stage.

 

Beyond the baby and toddler stage, we discuss how massage can help with adolescence. Through massage, we offer you a bridge to keep those lines of communication open in the tricky years where they tend to pull away. You will go home with notes to store away safely and remind you periodically that massage is a gift you and your child get to share for life. 

 

9. Strength in numbers

 

You aren’t in this alone. As part of your package, you will be invited into our closed Facebook group of other like-minded parents who have done our program. Here you can share your experiences with massage, as well as your joys and concerns. We also encourage members to ask one another for reminders, opinions and advice.

 

We want you to always have some shoulders to lean on that can share your concerns and frustrations. Knowing you aren’t the only one experiencing or feeling tough days and emotions can provide a tower of strength. And as most our parents are Brisbane based, you have an opportunity to reach out and take friendships out of class, offline and into parks and play areas.

 

10. Take-home goodies

 

As part of our program, we provide you with your first bottle of massage oil as well as beautiful cards with step by-step reminders of what we have covered each week.

 

Your baby also has the opportunity to join our Lotus Baby artwork, where every little Lotus Baby is invited to add his feet to our canvas and be immortalised in our exclusive little group. We want to remember every baby for their unique and colourful little personality, and their input into our class. You can take a set of your bub’s footprints home with you as well. 

 

Reserving your spot

 

Massage is what parents initially pay for and come to learn when they join our program. It does not take parents long to realise that the tangible component of learning to massage your baby is simply the tip of the iceberg in the package you take home at the end of the course.

 

If you have been thinking about taking a baby massage course, please contact us for more information. Email sharon@lotusbabyandmammamassage.com for details about upcoming course dates and to get the answers to any extra questions you may have. We hope to meet you and your little one soon!

 

 

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