Mother and Baby Massage

Happy baby getting a massage

Discover the Magic of Infant Massage

Touch is as important to infant health as eating and drinking.

“Baby massage may seem superfluous or silly to some people, but it does have significant health benefits. In fact, touch plays a much more important role in human development than scientists first imagined. Skin is by far the largest of all our sense organs. It develops early in-utero at less than 8 weeks the sense of touch is already highly developed”.
By Dr. Alan Greene – Practicing Paediatrician.

Common questions asked when parents come in for a baby massage are:

  • Why can I not massage my baby at bath time?
  • Why should I not use olive oil to massage my baby?
  • How does massage help my baby's brain and nervous system develop?
  • Why should I start massage with the legs?
  • Why do I massage my baby and not a massage therapist?

These are all questions commonly asked by parents who attend baby massage sessions. The first time you and your baby visit an Infant Massage Therapist you will learn the answers to all these questions and much more. In subsequent sessions you will build on this foundation to develop techniques that you and your child will enjoy right through to adolescence.

Learning infant massage is a gift for life.

Benefits of Baby Massage

  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Boosts immune system
  • Relieves sinus and chest congestion
  • Reduces stress in parent and baby
  • Enhances bonding and can assist in treatment of post natal depression
  • Builds parent confidence
  • Understand your baby’s body language
  • Increase weight gain in low birth weight babies
  • Reduces pain caused by colic, wind and constipation
  • Enhances cognitive and motor development
  • Assists in nervous system development
  • Creates a positive time for parents to spend with their baby

Why should you learn to massage your baby?

In addition to the many benefits of massage for baby and parent mentioned earlier, there are many practical reasons why you should learn to massage your baby and not take your baby to someone else to be massaged.

  • Massage for babies should take place daily.
  • Massage should never be forced. It needs to happen when your baby is receptive and not at a prescribed time.
  • Massage is a very intimate form of touch and is an important form of bonding between parent and baby.
  • Massage for babies is very different from massage for adults and it is important to understand correct techniques.
  • Even as tiny babies we teach our children that it is OK to say no to touch. It is one of the few times we allow them to say no to an adult. This form of touch should only occur with a primary carer and the child still has a right to say no. If they learn this from infancy, the ‘stranger danger’ talks become very straightforward in early childhood.

Pre-term Babies

Pre-term baby in an humidy crib.

When a baby is born early, there can be many stresses and complications associated with the baby’s care. Mother and baby are often separated very soon after birth and contact can be limited for some time. This disrupts the bonding process for both mother and baby.

Research has shown that infants receiving touch therapy and massage gain weight faster and are discharged from hospital earlier than other infants. Interestingly, these studies also showed that the babies receiving massage also gained bone density.

It is important not to underestimate the level of stress experienced by the parents. Learning to handle a baby is difficult at the best of times but when your baby is particularly tiny it can be nerve wracking.

Learning infant massage can help to build the bond between parents and baby and boost the parent's confidence in handling their tiny bundle.

What is in baby massage for Dads?

A new father bonding with his new child

Having a newborn baby is often daunting for the Dads too. Many Dads feel awkward and uncomfortable handling a newborn baby. This can exclude Dad from the early days of bonding.

If Dad can develop confidence in handling their newborn they will build a stronger bond and feel more able to help with the daily care of their baby.

What to expect from your baby massage session.

In all sessions, your instructor will demonstrate massage strokes on a demonstration doll, allowing you to gain experience and confidence in completing an effective and beneficial massage with your baby.

If your baby is not happy to be massaged at the time of your session, additional dolls are available for you to practice your techniques.

Each session will run for 1 – 1.5 hour.

In your first session you will learn:
  • Appropriate oils to use on babies.
  • Asking permission to massage.
  • When and how long to massage.
  • Strokes for legs, feet and abdomen.
  • When massage should be avoided.
In your second session you will:
  • Review what you have been practicing at home.
  • Learn strokes for the chest, arms, head, face and back.
  • Baby's daily cycle and when to massage.
Subsequent sessions:

are tailored to your needs and can cover topics such as:

  • Special strokes and sequences for the relief of colic, wind and constipation.
  • Adapting massages as your baby develops right through to adolescence.
  • Lymphatic drainage exercises for a healthy immune system.
  • Exercises to kept baby flexible.

Your options.

You can choose to book a series of 4 x 1 hour sessions to cover the complete range of topics or you can simple book single sessions as you go along here at the Centre.

4 x 1 hour sessions $250.00
1 session $80.00

Alternatively get a group of friends together (min 3 - max 5) and have a group session. These are very successful and lots of fun. They can be held at home, a childcare centre, or community house for example.

Group sessions are $50 per person per session.

Comments from parents

“I have massaged by daughter everyday since birth and we have both always really enjoyed this time together. My daughter started school last year and every day, when we come home, we have massage time. She becomes very chatty during massage time. This is when I found out about a bully at school and was able to take action. If we had not developed that bond through massage I might never have known.” Karen (Mitcham, Vic)

It is very common for children to become very communicative during massage. Even tiny babies will become vocal during chest massage.

Mother holding pre-term baby.

“My baby was 6 weeks early and I had only known I was pregnant for 11 weeks. My partner had never touched a baby. My baby was in the Special Care Nursery for 3 weeks and was taken away only a few minutes after birth. Connecting and learning how to physically handle a baby was challenging. When she was 10 months old I attended an infant massage course and kept thinking “why didn’t anyone tell me about this when she was born”. To have had those skills and the knowledge from the beginning would have saved LOTS of heartache. I gained so much from the course that I became an instructor.” Jill (Blackburn, Vic)

There are many circumstances that add to the stress of becoming a parent. Premature birth, post natal depression, unexpected pregnancy, family circumstances, young parents, adoptive parents. Learning baby massage will build a strong bond, reducing stress of both parent and baby and building your confidence.