The arrival of a new baby can provoke both excitement and a bit of fear in even the most confident mom and dad.
But in some cases, that confidence may begin to erode as baby cries, fusses, refuses to nurse or demonstrates some other upsetting behavior. While studies have shown that massage can help calm a stressed infant, they also indicate that parental confidence can realize a boost from touch therapy with their baby.
Vimala Schneider McClure, founder of the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), witnessed infant massage in an orphanage in India in 1973. The incredible benefits she saw prompted her to found her specialized organization to promote the practice. She points out that infant massage has been an integral part of caregiving tradition in many countries around the globe for decades—and for several good reasons. She asserts that, among other benefits, infant massage empowers parents, giving them the means to become experts on their own children and making them better able to respond to each baby’s unique needs.
In a paper titled “Infant Massage: Communicating Love Through Touch,” Juliana Dellinger-Bavolek, M.S.E., certified infant massage instructor, reports that parents cite increased feelings of competence in their parenting role. They also feel more capable of helping their infant relax during stressful times. Read More
Our 3 year old is addicted to massage. Her nightly requests are “rub my back” and “massage my legs”. Pepper’s “growing pains” always need a little tlc from Mom and Dad.