Baby Massage Classes
Potential benefits of baby and infant massage may include:
- Improved bonding
- Improve sleep patterns
- Ease discomfort
- Increase relaxation
- Focus attention
- Increase well-being
Touch is a primary human need, rooted in all cultures. Throughout history, massage has been used by parents to ease childbirth, assist in recovery and soothe babies when they are fretful or ill.
In India the practice of massaging infants has been used for centuries. It is thought to have originated in southern India, where the method was passed down from generation to generation. Vimala McClure’s book, issued in the 1970’s, ‘Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents’ is thought to have brought the practice over here.
Parental skin-to-skin contact with newborns is now encouraged in many UK hospitals.
The UK medical profession now encourage parents to regularly hold their premature babies rather than leaving them isolated in incubators. Hospitals that encourage this two-way bonding process recognise that premature babies who receive skin-to-skin contact improve faster than those left in incubators.
Can everyone benefit from infant massage?
Infant massage is an excellent way to get to know your baby and research suggests that both parent and baby have much to benefit from this technique. It is an excellent way for fathers to strengthen their bond with their new baby.
Your infant will respond to your massage in two ways. Firstly, there is the physical effect on their body. Secondly, there are psychological effects – your baby will feel safe, secure, loved and cared for.
The relaxed group classes offer the parent a chance to meet others and receive support while learning the techniques.
Research has shown that levels of oxytocin can be raised in both mother and infant during this touch process. This gives both the parent and the child a feeling of relaxation and well-being.
The Imperial College London Faculty of Medicines, in its research found that infant massage can reinforce the feeling of closeness between mother and infant. This is especially useful in cases of postnatal depression.
It has also been found to increase breast milk production in the mother.
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0118 979 2989