In addition to the benefits listed on the home page, infant massage has the ability to assist in other situations:
Bonding is essential for infant development, but it’s not always instantaneous – it takes time. Infant massage is a great tool to help enrich and support the bonding experience for parents of adoptive infants. Sometimes there is the missing emotions of pregnancy, delivery and often nursing. Massaging your baby can help create a different way to provide intimate, one-on-one bonding experiences.
Mothers Who Struggle with Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the normal way to provide infants with the perfect nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Sometimes, due to medical conditions and outside factors, it’s not possible for all mothers – and that’s ok. Some mothers will feel that a part of natural motherhood is missing, which is only natural. Providing your little on with loving touch through infant massage is a wonderful way to create a sacred ritual that is just for the two of you. If you are struggling with breastfeeding, please contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in your area. (IBCLC) to help you and your baby. For more information, please click here.
Fathers Feeling Left Out
When baby is first born, mothers are often a major part of baby’s direct care, especially if they are nursing. Quite often dads can feel left out. Believe it or not, dads also have a tendency to experience their own forms of Postpartum Depression. Infant massage is a wonderful way for dads to feel included in the bonding process and provide quality one-on-one time with baby.
Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression
Bringing a new baby home is an extremely exciting time, but it can also be very stressful. It is very common for moms to suffer from symptoms of baby blues – anxiety, restlessness, sadness, mood changes, etc. This can be in association with adjustment to your new lifestyle, lack of sleep and most importantly hormones. It is important to talk with your healthcare professional if you are feeling any of these symptoms or if you are just feeling “blue”. Infant massage can often help ease transitioning into your new lifestyle by giving you tools to help calm your baby and also help you recognize what your baby needs. To read more about Baby Blues from the American Pregnancy Association, please click here.
With regards to Postpartum Depression (PPD), infant massage can be a wonderful benefit to both you and baby. Symptoms of PPD may first appear as Baby Blues, but then typically become more severe and last much longer. Some of these symptoms include: Intense anger, withdrawal from family and friends (even from baby), insomnia, severe mood swings, difficulty bonding with you baby, lack of joy in life, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, etc. If you feel you have any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider NOW. There is no need to be ashamed. Proper treatment can help ease your symptoms and get you back to your old self. To read more about Postpartum Depression from the Mayo Clinic, please click here.
While therapy and medications can help ease and cure symptoms of postpartum depression, neither has a direct effect on the mother-baby relationship. Research has shown that infant massage can help enhance the bonding experience between a mom and her baby that may have otherwise been disrupted by PPD. It can also help with some physical and psychological developmental delays that may have happened due to decreased touch provided early on.