Have you ever been so tired, fatigued and you just wanted to sleep? You feed your baby, give them a bath then cuddle them to sleep. However, as soon as you put your young one to bed, they wake up.
You end up holding him/her for hours and the cycle is endless. Well, massage might be your solution. When Francis Muhoro, a physiotherapist got twin girls, his skill and career worked in his favour.
His daughters seemed to be awake throughout the night. One evening after a bath, Francis did what he does best. He massaged his daughters and they slept throughout the night. He took me through the benefits of massage to babies, how to do it, and when. “Massage can be soothing for babies, but can also improve their overall health tremendously.
The very basic aspect of massage is the primary communication the newborn receives through touch. The massage and touch acts as psychological food for the baby,” he says.
Just like massage benefits various physiological processes in the body, it also benefits the immune system. Regular massage gives a newborn baby’s immune system a boost, thereby keeping common ailments at bay. Baby massage stimulates the nervous system. This makes the infants more aware about their body’s functions during the massage process.
This way, infant massage improves flexibility, co-ordination and muscle control. Among the many benefits of massage is that it gets rid of congestion overtime. Massage aids improved drainage of sinuses, thus preventing fluid accumulation in the sinuses and airways. Muhoro advises to massage the baby at the same time everyday—that way he will expect it and enjoy it.
As opposed to having a specialist or trained masseur do it, Muhoro recommends that you do it yourself so as to bond with the child. Massage has been proved to reduce postpartum stress for the mother.
Some of the important massage include head massage, neck massage, belly massage and colic relief massage. “The trick is to be gentle and have a good massage oil,” Muhoro concludes.