Massage therapy has proven benefits when we talk about neonatal care.
Not only it is the newborn who needs special care for growth and development but also care needs to be taken of the new mother who is going through drastic changes both physically and emotionally.
Many mothers and their newborns may have experienced some high-risks during pregnancies, and some may have gone through premature birth. There are even chances for infants to be born with some sickness.
Thus there could be varied conditions that both child and mother would be going through and their situations vary. Massage therapies included in their daily routine show great improvements both in child and his/her mother.
Benefits of Massage and Neonatal Care
Infants can benefit from massage therapy similar to how adults gain benefit with gentle hands movements. Just like an adult loves the soothing feeling during massage therapies, your newborn baby will also find that gentle touch of hands on his/her body quite relaxing.
Let us learn about some impressive benefits of massage pampering for both newborn child and new mother.
Massage for Newborns
- Improves their bonding with his/her mother through physical touch.
- Help babies to relax.
- Improves gastrointestinal system of the child.
- Improves their sleep time.
- Give them awareness of their bodies.
- Enhances their growth.
- Develops their brains.
- Relieves discomfort that is because of teething problem.
- Enhances development of muscles.
Massage for New Mothers
- Relieves any anxiety or depression that may be because of difficulties in pregnancy, due to hormonal changes or because of changes in your lifestyle with the addition of new responsibilities. Massage enhances relaxation in new mothers.
- Various pains are associated with pregnancy, delivery, and childcare after birth; massage helps in reducing and relieving those pains.
- Massage gives you regulation of hormones and boosts your mood.
- Relaxation associated with massage therapy releases fatigue and improves sleep.
- Reduces swelling.
- Gentle massage internally heals and helps in speedy recovery.
- Enhances support for healthy breastfeeding.
When to Start Massage?
Massage for infants can be started gently from day 1 of bringing your child to your home.
This light massage can be provided by the mother herself, or you can encourage dad to take this opportunity to strengthen his bond with the child. Any other family member may also give the newborn a gentle massage at home.
Best Time for Massage
Some key points to remember as you are beginning to massage your newborn is that this massage should be given at a time when you are not in a rush to do something or reach somewhere.
This session should be completely relaxing. Make sure that your child is not hungry or is too full.
A hungry child may not stay in a quiet state to enjoy a massage on an empty stomach, and if he is too full, he may spit up. You may consider giving newborn a massage on a daily basis at the same time so that it becomes part of his routine.
You may do it at bedtime, or before bath, or anytime that seems suitable for the massage giver and the baby.
Tips on Massage for Infants
Caring for newborns is something that needs your full attention. Newborns can be born with varied health conditions, and some are born with no complications at all.
Thus it is important to ensure sure that you have a sense of responsibility towards your newborn and give special attention to his individual needs and condition. Massaging an infant’s body should not be something that you should stress about, and it would definitely not be as demanding as massaging an adult.
Just spend around 10-20 minutes for a massage session with your newborn.
For New Mothers
New mothers can start getting a massage when they feel comfortable with it.
However, some care and consultation for doctors could be required especially in case of some maternal complications or caesarean section.
Precautions with Caesarean
Aftermath of Caesarean would be painful and recovery time would be more than normal delivery. For C-sections it is important to consider beginning massage after your wound is completely healed.
Healing may require a time frame of several weeks or more. Any pressure applied before your scar has healed may cause problems. So before your start massage therapy after this major surgery, it is best to consult your doctor to make that you are in a condition for starting massages.
When to avoid massage?
Massage therapy can be risky when you have one of these or any other complications:
- High blood pressure
- Issues with skin like blisters, eczema or any other complication.
Massage is something that would not only be beneficial for babies, but it enhances the health of new mothers physically as well as emotionally. Massage therapies prove magical for women during pregnancy and after birth too.
A regular massage of new mother and baby would make both of them calmer. It would improve their bonding. New mothers experiencing a relaxing massage every day would feel more confident about her physical and emotional health and would be able to take care of her newborn in a better manner.
Newborns and young children who are massaged daily show great improvements in their physical, emotional and neurological development. This one experience for both mother and child on a daily basis could be the most fulfilling experience for the family.
Jill Roberts is an Creator & Editor at Wellness Geeky Blog. She is a mother of two who has a passion for green and sustainable living. She enjoys writing about health issues, massage therapy and everything that can bring health & joy into people’s lives.
Join the Working Mom List
Join the Working Mom collective and get support and tools to help you thrive! Subscribers get access to my library of resources and printables.