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Massage for Mothers and Infants
Pre- & Post-Natal Massage
The nine transformative months, full of excitement, planning and peering into the future can bring with it mood swings from ecstasy to agony, and many physical changes such as nausea, back pain, heartburn, raging hormones, breast pain, and swollen legs and ankles. The gentle, non-invasive approach of pregnancy massage can ease your discomfort, help you prepare for labor and give you the emotional support of a caring practitioner. Massage can bring back a sense of body-mind integration, putting you into a state of relaxation and calm acceptance of your continually evolving physical form.
Recent studies from the Touch Research Institute (TRI) in Miami, Florida, indicates that pregnancy massage provides more than just symptom relief for mom. A group of the 26 pregnant women were given either Massage or relaxation therapy during a five week study. In addition to experiencing a reduction in symptoms of anxiety, stress, back pain and sleep problems, the massage group had, fewer complications in their delivery. Their newborns had fewer post-natal complications. Another TRI study showed massage during labor resulted in shorter labor times for the mothers, shorter hospital stays and less post-partum depression.
Once your baby has arrived, massage can continue to be an important part of good health for you and your baby. Post-partum massage can relieve the stress of your new responsibilities and provide nurturing and relaxation to aid in adjusting to motherhood. By increasing circulation, massage improves the post-birth healing process and has a significant effect on realigning your body when the center of gravity shifts back to pre-pregnancy state.
Infant massage is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and provide a secure, comforting welcome to the world.
Infant massage is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and provide a secure comforting welcome to the world.
In his acclaimed book Touching, Ashley Montague writes, ". . . the more we learn about the effects of cutaneous (skin) stimulation, the more pervasively significant for healthy development do we find it to be". Stimulation of the skin increases cardiac output promotes respiration, and develops the efficiency of the gastrointestinal functions of the human infant.
Infant massage training groups report that massage:
- Facilitates the parent infant bonding process in the development of warm, positive relationships.
- Reduces stress responses to painful procedures such as inoculations
- Reduces pain associated with teething and constipation
- Reduces colic
- Helps induce sleep
- Makes parents feel "good" while they are massaging their infants
Massage Therapy with Preterm Infants
Research results show that the massaged infants:
- Gained 47 percent more weight.
- Were awake and active a greater percent of the observation time
- Showed better performance on the Brazelton Scale on habituation, orientation, motor activity and regulation of state behavior.
- Were hospitalized on average six fewer days than the control infants, yielding what would be comparable to 10,000 in hospital cost savings per infant (and would approximate 4.7 billion dollars hospital cost savings if the 470,000 preterm babies born in the United States each year were massaged).