12 Benefits of Infant Massage
Did you know that infant massage has multiple benefits? It has been proven that mothers who caress and exert some pressure on certain points of their baby’s body help promote their development.
For example, when a mother makes circular movements with her hand on the baby’s abdomen, it promotes good digestion, releases gas, relieves stomach pain and induces relaxation.
Many people require the services of a massage therapist, chiropractor or physical therapist. So it’s not surprising that there’s now a category for children called “infant massage.”
What is a massage?
A massage is the action of manipulating the body’s muscles through various movements of the hands. It has a therapeutic function and has positive effects on the body.
In this sense, it can be said that massages were devised to combat pain. Over time, different techniques were developed, and today it’s known as “structured touch.”
What is it for?
- Relieving pain (such as contractions and other physical or emotional discomfort)
- Relaxing or stimulating (depending on the case)
- Rehabilitating muscles or tendons
In this way, a massage can be used for muscular rehabilitation, as well as to promote general relaxation.
It should be noted that massages help promote good blood circulation, which allows tissues to slide over each other easily.
The benefits of infant massage
Increasing attachment and emotional bonding
Infant massages involve eye contact, laughter, caresses and other interactions with the baby. This allows the infant to interact positively with his parents.
Massages also activate the body’s responses in a favorable way.
Relax and relieve stress
Like all other types of massage, children’s massages help relieve or eliminate tension in the body.
Although people often don’t believe that children can suffer from this, in reality they’re able to accumulate tension and feel discomfort.
Of course, the most common source of this type of discomfort is injury due to poor posture.
Remember that, for example, when parents lay their children down to sleep, they aren’t always ready to help them change their position after a while, and this can make them uncomfortable.
Encourages psychological development
Infant massages allow babies to feel more secure. This is because they’re given full attention when they’re massaged.
Fears are reduced and tranquility, relaxation and confidence are promoted, stimulating their psychological development in a positive way.
Teaches recognition of the body’s limitations
Through infant massage, the baby can understand the limits of his body. In other words, he can begin to understand its dimensions and have a perception of his own body space.
Little by little, massage helps babies understand that they’re no longer an extension of their mother, but their own individuals.
Benefits the digestive system
Babies tend to suffer from gastrointestinal problems. One of the greatest benefits of children’s massage is that it favors digestive function and relieves gas and colic.
The body also absorbs nutrients better when digestive functions are improved.
Benefits the immune system
When the human body is calm and free of stress, immune system function is improved.
By offering infant massage, you can be assured that the immune system is in good condition for facing infections, as well as defending against certain diseases.
Improves the development of the nervous system
Through massages, we perceive movements, caresses and stretches, which transmit signals directly to the brain.
By means of infant massage, the baby can improve his capacity to recognize stimuli and therefore develops the nervous system further.
Undoubtedly, massages help increase blood flow, which even improves breathing.
With a greater oxygen supply, the blood is cleaner. Infant massage achieves this and also helps to drain the lymphatic system at the same time.
Strengthens the respiratory system
Infant massage performed on the chest, shoulders and back area helps to strengthen the lungs and optimizes breathing.
Infant massage also helps tone the skin, improve flexibility and improve the coordination of the upper and lower extremities.
There are multiple benefits of infant massage. Touch allows emotional bonds to be developed and strengthened, which favors the child’s neuro-physiological development.
Also, all bodily functions are enhanced when in a relaxed state, which leads to good health and well-being.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Fritz. S. (2001). Fundamentos del Masaje Terapéutico. Editorial Paidotribo. Barcelona.
- Gracia, M. G. (2007). Masaje infantil. Medicina naturista, 1(2), 45-62.
- Márquez Doren, F., Poupin Bertoni, L., & Lucchini Raies, C. (2007). Efectos del masaje en el recién nacido y el lactante. Index de Enfermería, 16(57), 42-46. http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?pid=S1132-12962007000200009&script=sci_arttext&tlng=pt
- Quirós, L. L. (2009). El masaje infantil: conocimientos, experiencias y opiniones de profesionales de Enfermería Ginecobstétrica y Perinatal. Revista Enfermería Actual en Costa Rica, (16), 2. https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=5021219
- Sebastián, M. Y., & Sebastián, M. Y. (2005). Estimulación multisensorial en el trabajo del fisioterapeuta pediátrico. Fisioterapia, 27(4), 228-238. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S021156380573443X