By Rita Singha,
It is an age old tradition. As soon as the baby is born or sometimes even before the baby is born, a malishwali or a midwife is appointed for daily massage. But is it a good idea? Does it really serve the purpose that it is believed to serve?
Some say it is good for the baby to strengthen the bones and some others say that it does not have any health benefits at all. Let’s take a neutral look at this.
Photo Credit: guidetochildcare.org
Here are the benefits of infant massage:
- Improving sleep quality – if your baby is a light sleeper, a massage could be absolutely soothing and could give your baby a peaceful sleep.
- Relaxes muscles and strengthens immune system – A massage relaxes the muscles and puts your baby in a good mood. Well, research shows that it strengthens the immune system too.
- The hormone release can comfort teething and other distresses – Your baby will be distracted from other discomforts like teething etc. It will sooth the baby.
- It could be good for colic, chest congestion and some emotional stress
- Skin stimulation increases brain body communication – massage is said to be good for the development of body communication in your baby.
- Development of flexibility and co-ordination
- Increases oxygen and nutrient flow to the cells
- The other benefits when the parent opts to massage the baby herself (a mother for example)
- Helps increase the confidence of the parent – a parent can enjoy the closeness to the child and build self esteem and confidence as a parent.
- Reduces the effects of post partum depression – Post pregnancy depression is very common and bonding with your new born while giving her a massage could be a great way to reduce the effects of this type of depression.
- Builds a strong bond between parents and babies – there are stressful times when you are trying to settle down a crying baby etc. Massaging a baby could be your joyful time with a baby. Almost 90% of the babies enjoy a good massage.
- Spending quality time with children – this could be your time with your little one! No interruptions and no one else!
Well, massage is good for your baby; the only decision is to do it yourself or to appoint a malishwali. It’s actually a personal choice, but as per the positive effects it has on a baby, doing it your self will create a stronger bond. If you are confident enough, you can easily create a stronger bond with your baby.
Hiring a midwife could be a good option, only if you monitor closely as the age old practices of putting oil in the ears and nose are medically not safe and dangerous too. Make sure you are aware of the massage procedure and that you closely monitor while the malishwali massages and bathes your infant.
With every passing day, the bond between the mother and child will strengthen with a massage done by the parent herself.
Author Bio for Rita Singha
Rita Singha is the founder of Rita’s Pregnancy 101 – Pregnancy & Childbirth Classes in Ahmedabad, Surat& Chandigarh, Childbirth Educator and a hypnobirthing consultant. She has dedicated her life to educate people, especially women about the importance and greatness of pregnancy and motherhood. She loves to share tips and pointers to ease the process of pregnancy and help women with a happy and healthy pregnancy. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.