Mellow Mummy: Baby massage - The hidden benefits : Taking life as it comes...

Thursday 20 September 2012

Baby massage - The hidden benefits

Baby massage is a wonderful way to get to know your newborn baby intimately and to share a very special bond. When Lara (my first daughter) was tiny, I tried a baby massage class but she was already 3 months old at the time and had already started to make her own decisions in life - she wasn't much into the baby massage thing. So with Holly, I started baby massage at just 3 weeks and we have both loved every moment.

Not only does baby massage offer you to chance to explore every single last millimetre of your new baby's body, it is a great excuse for some quiet time together for just you and your little one to bond. These quiet 10 minutes to an hour have been welcome breaks from the chaos of motherhood over the past few months. It is also a natural way to achieve a number of hidden health benefits too...

...Baby massage is well known to help alleviate trapped wind, colic and constipation. Holly was a very windy baby until we started massage and within a week of starting I could see that after a massage she was a lot more comfortable. Baby massage helped me to find places and techniques that help her to bring up wind from her chest and relieve wind down below.

...Baby massage as part of a gentle regular routine can help to relax your baby in time for bed.

...Baby massage can help to strengthen a baby's digestive system and respiratory system and can stimulate the circulatory and nervous systems.

Until recently I had never considered massage of the face but for us it has brought two wonderful natural benefits for Holly - the ability to relieve the discomfort of a blocked nose during a cold and some slight relief (a distraction at least) from teething pains. To massage your baby's face you don't need much, if any, massage oil on your fingers; the residue from your main baby massage will suffice or you could use a specialist oil such as Organic Monkey cheek rub oil.

Holly caught her first cold aged 10 weeks and we opted for some natural remedies to help her through it - we used Sterimar Baby saltwater spray to clear her nose and baby massage to help her to clear her sinuses and unblock the passages in her nose. Here are a few great baby massage techniques for relieving the discomfort of a cold or headache.

1. Starting with your thumbs in the centre of the forehead, gently spread your thumbs out across the head towards the temples. Repeat around 4 or 5 times.

2. With your fingers or thumbs, gently rotate in small circles around the temples. You can do this to yourself to relieve your own headache too!

3. Pressing your middle fingers onto the top of the nose where it meets the eyes, slowly work your fingers down the nose and over the nostrils, effectively squeezing out any goo that might be in the nose. Gently press your fingers together on the top lip, just below the nostrils. Repeat.

You can help to relieve teething by massaging gently along the upper gum line or lower jaw line.

I took my baby massage classes in my own home thanks to Bond with Bubs who I can WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend. She was very patient with a new baby who wanted to feed ALL the time.

Disclosure:  I am a product ambassador for Sterimar Baby.  I do receive a financial incentive for this but I do it because I genuinely rate their product.  Holly's first cold wouldn't have been anywhere near as bareable without it.

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