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Monday, September 18, 2017

The Benefits of Baby Massage

Massage can get your little one to sleep better, improve her health, and even help you form that all-important bond.

You know how it goes: You put your baby down, she cries. Pick her up and, presto -- she's serene and smiley again.  If just holding your baby can be so soothing, imagine how she'll benefit from a full-body massage?  In fact, studies have shown that massaging your wee one can reduce crying and fussiness, help her sleep more peacefully, and alleviate common wail-inducers like constipation and colic.  Some say that it even boosts a baby's ability to fight off germs.

"When you give your baby a massage, you're stimulating his central nervous system," says Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine. "That sets off a chain reaction: It makes his brain produce more serotonin, a feel-good chemical, and less cortisol, a hormone that's secreted in response to stress.  As a result, your baby's heart rate and breathing slow down, and he becomes more relaxed.” 

Not only does it have physical benefits, but giving your infant regular massages is good for his emotional well-being too.  Affectionate touch and rhythmic movement are among the most powerful forms of communication between babies and their parents. It will help you learn how to read your baby's signals and respond better to his unique needs, which can give you so much confidence as a new parent.

To me, the main benefit of massage is about connecting, I know that sounds a bit hokey, but it starts when they are small and it goes well beyond the new-born stage.  My 4 ½ year old loves having a massage, as does my 2-year-old.  The massage has changed over the years but it is rooted in all the basics I learned when I first took them to a massage class many moons ago.  Massage time still provides all the benefits it always has.  Time to connect and be with each other.  Time to shut out the rest of the world, put down the cell phone and be in the moment - just you and your baby.

Mellow Baby was started 2 years ago, in Edinburgh Scotland, and I have now returned to my home town of Ottawa with my family and I can’t wait to start sharing my Baby Massage classes with the community.  My first block of classes starts at the end of September and there will be more to follow.  

Please check out my website and Facebook page to find out when new classes open up.  Or better yet, drop me an email;

By Jenni Lloyd J

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