While you’re pregnant, a prenatal massage can offer lots of benefits to both you and your baby. It helps to relieve tension and pain as well as relaxing you mentally. And the boost in circulation caused by massage helps to get more nutrients to your baby to help them grow. And the benefits of massage don’t have to stop once your baby is born. Baby and infant massage has a lot of benefits for both parent and child.
The benefits of baby massage
Massaging your baby has both physical and emotional benefits for both of you. Gentle massage can help to aid your baby’s digestion, just like when you rub and pat their back after a bottle of milk. This can help to prevent problems like gas and constipation, and is particularly beneficial if your baby suffers from colic.
The boost in circulation also supports digestion and other bodily functions, and can help your baby’s growth by improving nutrient delivery in their body. And as they grow, which they’re doing every day, massage can help to ease any discomfort and growing pains as well as being generally relaxing like it is for adults, which can help your baby sleep better.
Massaging your baby is great for developing that maternal or paternal bond between the two of you. The touch of your skin stimulates the release of oxytocin in both of you, helping to strengthen your bond and love on a chemical level.
How to massage your baby
Touch is important for your baby from birth, but it is better to wait a few weeks before you start performing massage techniques. Six weeks is a good place to start. You can massage your baby every day, perhaps once they first wake up in the morning or when you’re trying to get them to sleep at night or naptime.
All it requires are gentle touches with your fingers or thumbs in different motions, like circular or stroking motions. This can be beneficial on your child’s back, stomach, legs, arms, hands, and feet. Always be conscious of your baby’s reactions and stop the massage or use less pressure if they seem uncomfortable.
Choose a warm, comfortable location for the massage. You may want to lie them down in bed or on the changing table, for example. Talking to your baby while you massage them can also be beneficial as a way to relax them and increase your bond. You can use oils in your massage if you choose to, just make sure that they are suitable for your baby’s skin.