3 min read

What Are The Benefits Of Infant Massage?

Infant massage is a process of gently rubbing the muscles of infants or babies in a manner designed specifically for them. Baby massage can be performed by a certified and professionally trained infant massage therapist or the parents, grandparents, or guardian of the baby who have been taught to properly to do it.

Infant massage can provide several health benefits. Let us have a look at how massaging your baby can help your bundle of joy in several ways.

So, What Are The Benefits Of Infant Massage?

Massage to Support Baby’s Growth and Development

Massaging, when done properly, may help to support the proper growth and development of your baby. Research studies have shown that infant massage is beneficial even for preterm infants including those admitted in the NICU.

It can, in some cases, shorten their length of stay in the NICU, improve weight gain, and support the feeding tolerance of the babies. These studies have also shown that infant massage may promote neurodevelopment thereby improving the functions of the brain and nervous system. [1]

Infant Massage to Improve Muscle Tone

Infant massage is commonly linked to improved muscle tone. The gentle massaging action would increase the circulation of blood through the muscles, ligaments, and tendons thereby strengthening and nourishing these tissues.

It would promote healthy muscle growth and improve muscle tone. This may help your baby learn to walk or perform other physical activities with better ease and efficiency. [2]

Infant Massage to Strengthen bones

Massaging your baby may help to improve bone density and make their bones stronger. This benefit is also observed in preterm babies.

Regular massage of preterm babies would support the development of the bones and improve bone strength. This is one of the reasons why infant massage is highly recommended. [3]

Infant Massage to Improve Breathing

Baby massage may help to provide relief from respiratory disorders such as asthma in infants and newborn babies. It is believed that infant massage can promote the elimination of mucus from the throat and lungs and allow smooth flow of air through the respiratory passages thereby providing relief from breathing difficulties. [4]

Infant Massage Benefits for Parents

Infant massage is beneficial not just for the baby but even for parents. Research studies have shown that massaging your baby would improve your attitude toward childbearing and enhance maternal or paternal satisfaction considerably. [5]

It can also improve the bond between you and your baby and fill the moments with smiles and laughter. This would ease stress and anxiety in first-time moms and dads and increase their confidence about being able to take good care of their baby. [6]

Conclusion

A gentle and caring touch is good for all. However, for infants, it holds more importance as they are new to the world and need assurance of having someone special caring for them.

Other than this, massaging your baby can also help him or her in several other ways by improving blood circulation and relieving muscle stiffness.

If you are due for delivery or have already welcomed your baby into the world, make sure you gift the goodness of massage to your bundle of joy. The caring touch will make your baby happy and his smile will bring more joy to the experience of parenthood. Just be sure to learn how to do it properly.

References:

1.      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31059673/

2.      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617372/

3.      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2844909/

4.      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5457772/

5.      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28866286/

6.      http://www.healthofchildren.com/I-K/Infant-Massage.html#ixzz6aM4JrAnr

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