Infant Massage

by admin on April 8, 2015

infant massage baby girl

The Power of Touch

Guest Posting by Miryam

Receiving a massage is such a luxurious feeling. If you’ve ever received massages on a regular basis, you know the healthful benefits and relaxation they bring.  Imagine the benefits to being able to bring this soothing experience to your baby whenever you want.  Parents who massage their babies regularly report that their babies sleep better and have an easier time with elimination, and parents who practice infant massage find that it actually benefits them by helping them understand their babies’ cues and needs better and  find massage sessions uplifting and relaxing.

Evidence based studies show that regularly practicing infant massage between a parent and baby helps the whole family through:

. Improved Sleep Patterns- Infants massaged right before bed show improved sleep. In one study, babies massaged before bed showed more favorable wake-rest cycles by 8 weeks and produced more melatonin, a sleep regulator, during the night by the age of 12 weeks.

. Reduced Stress Levels- Massaged babies have shown to have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone

. Improved Family Interaction- Fathers who used massage techniques with their infants experienced increased self-esteem as a parents. The babies greeted their fathers with more eye contact, smiling, vocalizing and reaching responses.

. Less Depressed Mothers- Learning the practice of infant massage by mothers may be an effective treatment for facilitating mother-infant interaction in mothers with postnatal depression.

. Increased Weight Gain for Premature Infants- Premature infants that were massaged regularly had higher daily weight gain, increased motor activity, and better Brazelton neonatal behavioral assessment scores.

Infant massage works by activating the natural relaxation responses in babies and parents through healthy touch. Gentle, loving touch activates hormones like oxytocin that promote relaxation and bonding. The result is parents who feel more in tune with their babies and babies who are less stressed and more open to opportunities for bonding and early self-regulation. We also use hands on techniques to help with baby’s digestion and elimination. Learning to massage your baby will empower you to use hands on skills that will help your baby rest, digest, and organize herself starting at an early age.

What to expect in an infant massage class.

Classes are small and move slowly.  This allows you to learn the strokes of infant massage at your baby’s pace, practice at home, receive lots of personalized attention, and get extra help when needed – all to make sure you and your baby are comfortable with your new skill.

Week 1: We introduce you and your baby to infant massage, learning a few strokes and how to get started.

Week 2:  This week, we’ll talk about baby’s digestive system and how to use massage to help things along.

Week 3: Infant reflexes and relaxation are discussed and more massage strokes are added.

Week 4: Review of a full body massage and tips for successfully continuing infant massage into the toddler years.

About the Instructor

Miryam is a Certified Educator of Infant Massage, actively accredited by Infant Massage USA.  She has been teaching infant massage in the DC Metro Area since 2012 and has worked with at least 70 families and practiced infant massage with her own children since birth and owns Bringing Home Baby, a baby carrier retailer located in Silver Spring, MD.

Miryam will be teaching a series of infant massage classes on Sundays at Bethesda Breastfeeding starting in May. Please Contact Us to sign up before classes fill up!

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