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Have you been hearing about baby massage? It may be something you should be looking into. The benefits of baby massage are great. Not only does it give the mother or care giver time in which to bond with their baby, but it also aids in the baby’s development of muscle and in relaxation. In the West, people have only really become aware of the benefits of baby massage during the last thirty years.
In other parts of the world, such as places like Asia and Africa, baby massage has been used for centuries. The therapeutic benefits and effects of baby massage have been passed on from one generation to the next.
In the West these days, baby massage is available in hospitals and in clinics under the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK.
To a baby, another person’s touch is talk. By massaging their baby, parents and caregivers can gain more confidence in handling them. by watching and interpreting their baby’s reaction to touch, they can better relate to the baby.
Parents can find out what their baby likes and dislikes. This helps a parent understand his or her baby better. Further, this helps to develop a positive relationship between baby and parents.
Massage is also known to strengthen babies’ muscles and joints, and to help relieve the symptoms of some of the ailments common in the early years of life. According to studies carried out across various cultures, babies who have more body contact (being carried, breastfed, massaged, and gently handled) develop into adults who show empathy, compassion, and cooperation with others.
Baby massage’s benefits to the Parent:
When massaging your baby, be aware of your baby’s reaction to your touch, and particularly to the pressure you apply. Babies are unable to tell you if you are massaging them too hard! In learning to read your baby’s body language, and by interpreting her reaction, you acquire key parenting skills.
In fact, studies have shown that mothers who had lots of early physical contact with their children could find their 3 – 8 year old child’s pajamas from a pile of pajamas that were identical!
* Baby massage provides the mother and child with the opportunity for increased eye contact
* Baby massage causes increased prolactin levels (the mothering hormone) in breast milk
* It helps you to “fall in love” with your baby
* In cases of abuse and neglect, the use of baby massage can improve the situation.
* Massage greatly reduces the levels of stress hormones
* Parents benefit from giving massages to their children
* Studies have shown that those who use massage regularly benefit from reduced stress levels
* For working parents, giving your baby a massage as soon as you get home from work provides valuable quality time with your little one — and helps you to relax and “reconnect” with them.
Give baby massage a try — you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Mary Miller is a writer for several well-known web sites, on family and home and home and kids topics.