Pregnancy Massage and Infant Massage
Pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life. The body is in a state of constant change. Ligaments are stretching, muscles are changing, and organs are moving to make room for the growing fetus. Hormones are increased and are influencing changes in the body and skin.
This is why massage is so important during and after the pregnancy. Pregnancy massage allows a skilled therapist to assist with alleviating low back and leg discomfort, which are common during pregnancy.
Massage encourages relaxation through the parasympathetic nervous system. Relaxation, meditation, yoga are all beneficial to the mother-to-be. The same is true for the developing fetus. Hormones are released from the mother’s body through the placenta and directly to the fetus. The fetus will experience calm and relaxation as well as the mother.
Touch is important to all living creatures. We all are aware of the study with monkeys that were not given touch, they died shortly after birth. Infant massage is another way for parents to express love, comfort and touch with their new baby. I offer infant massage as well as classes for parents and care givers.
Benefits of Infant Massage:
Infant massage develops the expression of our first language-touch. It provides a time of day when the parent is totally focused on the baby is directly communicating love, caring and respect. Infant massage is also a tool for when the baby is ill. It is a pleasant way to help baby’s development while enhancing the infant-parent bond. And it’s enjoyable and fun!
Benefits for parents:
· Communication, both verbal and non-verbal
· Positive parenting skills
· Increases confidence in parenting
· Pleasure and enjoyment
· An opportunity to connect & share quality time
· Increases prolactin production-the nurturing hormone
· Education in how to touch & respond to baby in nurturing ways
· Positive effects on other relationships, with partner and children.
Benefits for all babies:
· Promotes Bonding/attachment
· Improves circulation, digestion and organization
· Reduces muscular tension
· Enhances awareness of being loved, accepted and safe
· Reduces fussiness
· Helps baby learn to relax
· Baby feels respected and responded to
· Improves sleep
· Increases sense of well-being
· Strengthens the development of GI and respiratory tract
· Reduces the symptoms of colic and GI tract distress
Benefits for babies with special needs
In addition to the above benefits:
· Helps relax tight muscles
· Helps stimulate muscle tone for hypotonic babies
· Increases baby’s ability to maintain a functional alert state
· Helps babies learn to accept & tolerate positive touch (especially for babies who have been hospitalized)
· Increases baby’s ability to gain weight
· Helps baby sleep longer and deeper
· Helps decrease gas, constipation and GI track distress
· Helps to regulate tactile hyper or hypo sensitivity