Tweedie Therapy

Comprehensive Pediatric Occupational Therapy
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Benefits of Infant Massage

The tactile system (sense of touch) is the largest and the first sense to develop in the womb. As a result of tactile stimulation, neurons in the infant’s brain begin to grow and branch out. Infants and young children depend on touch for learning and communication with the world and others. At birth babies are particularly sensitive to touch and pressure, as a parent you can use this to start communicating your love and help to encourage relaxation. Your loving touch can help your baby feel safe and nurtured. Research suggests that infant massage has life long benefits for helping babies grow and promoting healthy physical and emotional development. Infant massage can help relieve a gassy tummy or teething pains, improves immune function and muscle development, calms when fussy, and helps soothe to sleep. There are also advantages for the parent. All the touching and stroking makes it easier to bond with your baby and be able to read their cues to understand their individual needs. Below you can read more in detail about the benefits of infant massage for baby and parent.

  • Helps Relieve Pain and Discomfort
    Massage can help relieve common problems such as gas and constipation. Particular strokes help to disperse gas and stimulate the digestive track. Massage also helps alleviate the symptoms of colic. Touch can be used as a natural pain reliever by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain.
  • Boosts the Immune System
    Massage increases the production of white blood cells, which helps the body fight infections. It increases blood flow, which aids in the removal of toxins and also increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the organs.
  • Promotes Deep Sleep
    Massage helps to relax the body by reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, cortisol (the stress hormone) levels drop, and muscles relax.
  • Improves Body Awareness
    Newborns do not have a sense of their bodies and how they move. Massage helps to a newborn to understand how their body works and to make sense of the world. Massage can also encourage the development of motor skills through improved muscle tone and coordination.
  • Increases Alertness
    Massage increases engagement cues.
  • Reduces the Stress Hormone
    Whether you are giving or receiving a massage, loving touch stimulates the release of the “love and feel good” hormones, oxytocin and serotonin. These hormones reduce the stress hormone, which can calm both you and your baby.
  • Improves Parent-Child Communication
    Infant massage requires your full attention to your baby. Through this imitate interaction you are able to observe your baby’s behaviors and reactions. You will become more in tune to your baby’s cues and in turn more efficiently tend to your baby’s needs. This hopefully translates to a happier more relaxed baby!
  • Increases Parenting Confidence
    You will learn the tools needed to help calm your baby, help relieve problems such as colic and constipation, and understand your baby’s cues.
  • The Sensational Growth Class teaches caregivers how to massage their baby’s and discusses the importance of sensory rich activities such as tummy time, holding and rocking your baby. Please click on the link below for more information.