Infant massage: technique, benefits and contraindications

Infant massage: technique, benefits and contraindications

Infant massage helps babies overcome sleep problems, colic and bowel problems . Let’s find out better.

>   The technique of infant massage

>   The session

>   Benefits and contraindications of infant massage

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Infant massage

The technique of infant massage

When we talk about infant massage , we obviously refer to the massage for babies, a delicate, tactile method to establish a deep contact with the unborn child. According to the opinion of pediatric experts, infant massage can be safely practiced until after the first week of life , while other doctors recommend waiting for the baby to reach the first year of life and for the umbilical cord to be completely detached.

The French gynecologist and obstetrician,  Frédérick Leboyer , considered the forerunner of sweet childbirth, argues that massaging the baby “prolongs the powerful, slow, rhythmic sensation of the contraction of childbirth, causing it to die slowly, avoiding the brutal fracture, origin of suffering”. 

In India , where it is practiced with great frequency, this type of massage is believed to help the child grow stronger. Women use mustard oil in the winter and coconut oil in the summer to massage their little ones. The massage is usually practiced in the morning and in the evening, the mothers sit on the ground, place a towel on their legs on which they place the child.

A Western scientific approach explains the Indian belief in different terms but, basically, identical, in terms of profound meaning: the massage would stimulate the production of hormones  that relax the body ( endorphins , oxytocin , prolactin ) and would regulate the levels of ACTH , the stress hormone . Therefore, after a session of infant massage, the child will be more predisposed to indulge in sleep.


The seat 

In infant massage , the baby is made to lie down on a quilt or bed . The room must be heated , because the child must remain naked, but he cannot feel cold at all, and the lights must be dimmed if possible.

The massage starts from the front, because you have to observe the baby’s face, it is the only way to adjust to the pressure exerted and the effectiveness of the massage.

Hands must be warm before starting and the first light strokes . The most delicate parts are treated with great caution: back and abdomen. Usually the massage is not too long and is repeated daily when the baby is calm.


All types of massages and their benefits


Benefits and contraindications of infant massage

The non-verbal language that is put into action with an infant massage session has implications from a human point of view that are unimaginable. Infant massage releases psycho-emotional well-being in the adult who practices it and in the child who receives it.

In the child the vital functions are stimulated, relaxation is induced , the regular functioning of the intestine is facilitated . Infant massage can help with sleep disturbances and mitigate the discomfort of colic in the newborn. In order not to run into problems for the child, it is necessary to follow the advice just suggested and try to always maintain contact with the child who is receiving it, without varying the pressures in an abrupt or excessively strong way.

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