Postpartum Doula Cleveland

Newborn Massage: Pampering or Necessity?

I posted on Facebook that I was finishing up my paperwork for my Newborn Massage Instructor certification. I had a comment that implied something along the lines of “Why would you pamper a newborn?

Aren’t they pampered enough?” It was an odd question, I thought. I had always thought of newborn massage as a great physiological and emotional tool for parents, not pampering.

On my journey as a postpartum doula and lactation educator the one thing that has always stuck out to me is how almost afraid some parents can be about holding and snuggling their newborns too much. After all, you may spoil them and they will never let you put them down…ever. As a culture we have instilled fear into new parents that touch is almost a bad thing.

Not only will you not spoil your newborn by holding and snuggling them, but you are actually helping them grow. Science has supported this concept for years**. Many heard of the studies done in Russian ophanages where those children that were held and touched grew and gained weight while those that were not touched failed to thrive. Touch is needed for growth.

My personal observations led me to pursue my Newborn Massage Instructor certification. What better way to encourage parents to touch their newborns than to show them many different techniques to not only touch their newborns, but to do so in a way that promotes that has so many positive effects.

Newborn Massage has so many benefits*:

Better performance on neurological assessment scales

Better sleep/wake behaviors

Greater soothability

Improved growth and development

Improved body awareness

Improved relaxation and release of accumulated stress

Strengthened digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, which can lead to weight gain

Reduced discomfort from teething, congestion, gas, colic and emotional stress

Improved muscle tone coordination

Increased elimination, circulation and respiration

Reduced blood pressureImproved overall health

Families who engage in newborn massage have benefits too:

Stronger bonding and attachment between parent and baby

Enhanced sense of love, respect and trust among family members

Improved ability of the parents to read infant cues

Increased confidence in parenting

Increased communication between baby and parent

Strengthened parenting skills

Stronger family foundation through understanding, positive communication, and touch

So let’s answer the question: Is newborn massage pampering or a necessity? In my opinion, it is not pampering. Is a formal class a necessity? No, but touching and snuggling your newborn is definitely a necessity! A newborn massage class will give you a great set of techniques to use on your newborn for a variety of benefits to you and your newborn.

 

* Source www.babysfirstmassage.com

** www.sharecare.com/question/lack-of-touch-failure-thrive

** www.scienticamerican.com/article.cfm?.id=infant-touch

Filed under: Newborns, Treatments and Your Options, Postpartum Planning

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