Having a newborn baby is a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging and confusing at times. Our Hong Kong-based postnatal expert Melinda Hunt, of Melinda Maternity, is a mother-of-five and has helped countless Hong Kong parents through the early stages of parenthood. Here she explains the benefits of baby massage.
What are the benefits of baby massage?
Mothers have been massaging their babies for centuries in a bid to comfort and soothe their little ones. Vimala McClure, author of Infant Massage: A Handbook For Loving Parents, states that touch is the first sense to develop in utero and the last sense to leave us when we die. Such is the importance of touch in our lives.
Baby massage is an ancient art that promotes bonding between parents and babies. Dr Tiffany Field, a leading researcher from the Institute of Touch in Miami, states: “Our current research suggests that touch is as important to infants and children as eating and sleeping.” Touch also teaches parents how to lovingly handle their new baby; massage will not only make your baby feel secure and loved, but also help them learn how to relax and release any tension they hold from within. Baby massage promotes positive social, emotional, cognitive and physical development, and the medical benefits are immense too, including relief from gas, colic and constipation, reduction of stress hormone cortisol, and aiding sleep.
It’s as simple as including a 15- to 30-minute massage in your bub’s daily routine. Find a quiet place to perform this loving ritual. Dim the lights and play soothing music! It’s your special time with baby.
Melinda Maternity is a bespoke postnatal care and night nurse service. A mother of five herself, Melinda brings first-hand experience and professional advice on topics, from feeding and settling to basic baby care.
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This article first appeared in the August/September 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.