by Sarah Korbeck, Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Massaging your baby is a beautiful and loving way to begin a lifelong relationship.
Early psychological and sensory input is essential in facilitating the development of all infants. Infant massage is a preventative program that provides loving touch right from the start. Understanding and beginning touch early in life can improve the quality of parenting and family life, and promote the well-being of the infant.
Infant massage contains such critical elements of bonding such as eye-to-eye contact, smiling, soothing vocal sounds, loving touch, caressing, smell, and mutual interaction. Studies show that bonding increases a parent’s feelings of attachment as well as the desire to nurture and care for their infant.
Benefits for Baby
- Emotionally nourishes the baby
- Begins a loving, intimate communication between a parent and the baby
- Helps to strengthen and regulate the baby’s primary systems (ie: respiratory, circulatory, nervous, musculature, gastrointestinal, and immune system)
- Reduces gas and allows the baby to sleep better
- Helps baby relax and release tensions of daily stimuli
Benefits for Parents
- Better understanding of their infant’s cues
- Enhances communication and emotional ties
- Increases confidence and handling skills
- Greatly improves the bond of affectional attachment
- Provides a means to develop quality interaction time
- Helps the parents relax and listen to their baby
- Improves sense of well-being and overall health
- Reduces stress and blood pressure
The Need for Infant Massage
The growth in popularity for infant massage instruction is due to positive research outcomes, to our changing lifestyles, and a desire by parents to provide better care for their infants.
Massaging babies provides an important source of tactile stimulation. A study, conducted at the University of Miami Medical Center, showed that “stimulated (pre-term) neonates averaged a 47% greater weight gain per day, were more active and alert during sleep/wake behavior observation, and showed more mature habituation, orientation, motor and range of state behavior on the Brazelton Scale than control infants.”
Infant Massage is being adopted in many hospitals and clinics across the country as part of their standard community and parenting education programs. In addition, nurses, occupational and physical therapist, massage therapists, childbirth educators, and other health care professionals are incorporating infant massage into their practices.
Loving Touch Parent-Infant Massage Program
The Birth Center is excited to announce that Sarah will be offering a 4-week series of infant massage!
Mommy and Me Infant Massage
Click here to find an upcoming class!