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Baby massage course: big smiles all round

Over the past three weeks a group of young mums have been coming together with their gorgeous bubbas at our Woolloongabba clinic to learn the art of baby massage. Our very own Robin Day, a midwife and child health nurse,  recently became a qualified baby massage instructor and offered this three week course free of charge.

“When you give your baby a massage, you’re actually stimulating their central nervous system,” said Robin. “This sets off a chain reaction: it makes their brain produce more serotonin, a feel-good chemical, and less cortisol, a hormone that’s secreted in response to stress. As a result, baby’s heart rate and breathing slow down, and they become more relaxed.”

Giving your infant regular massages is good for their emotional wellbeing too.

“Affectionate touch and rhythmic movement are among the most powerful forms of communication between babies and their parents, so they’re great ways for mums and bubs to bond,” she said.

Research has found that caregivers felt more confident, less stressed, and felt a closer bond with their baby after learning infant massage.

In fact there are lots of benefits. These are just a few.*

Reduces crying time
Various research studies on infant massage have shown that there is a significant reduction in overall crying time with infants and toddlers who receive massage.

Improves sleep and regulates sleep patterns
Massage increases serotonin levels and regulates melatonin secretion rhythms which helps regulate sleep patterns.

Enhances emotions and improves mood
Massage increases dopamine levels which are believed to play an important role in regulating anger, aggression, temperature, mood and appetite in addition to other body functions.

Improves wind, colic, reflux and constipation
Massage stimulates elimination of waste from the body, can relieve abdominal wind within minutes and speeds a natural process of the nervous system which can assist with reflux.

Relieves sinus and chest congestion
Massage helps promote adequate drainage of the sinuses and excess mucus on the chest.

Boosts immune system
Research shows that infant massage can positively influence physiological processes and improve immune function.

Reduces stress hormone levels in children and their parents
Known as “the stress hormone” cortisol is released during times of stress. Prolonged high levels of cortisol can reduce immunity, impair cognitive performance, and reduce bone density and muscle tissue. Massage measurably decreases cortisol levels in both children and their parents allowing blood pressure, heart rate, digestive functioning and hormonal levels to return to their normal state.

Early diagnosis of potential health issues
Parents who massage their infant each day are more likely to notice changes in their child’s physical condition, which may go unnoticed longer with infants who are not receiving massage.

Reduces symptoms of Eczema
A UK study showed significant improvement in eczema symptoms with the introduction of massage by parents in addition, Infant Massage Instructors have seen improvement first hand with many babies at infant massage classes.

Enhances coordination
Studies have shown infant massage improves left/right brain communication which has been suggested to improve intelligence.

Mums learnt the basics of baby massage over the three weeks. By the look on the faces of both mums and bubs when we took these photos everyone really enjoyed their morning. To view more pics from the course go to our facebook page.

    *  Information from www.babymassage.net.au