Check out proper ways to massage a newborn baby. Understand the benefits of baby massage and learn the rules of massaging a child and its step by step process.
While the baby is in the womb, it is comfortable and warm there. However, since its birth, this situation is changing a lot. Light and noise make the child’s peaceful world into something strange and incomprehensible. Therefore, it is experiencing serious stress in the first weeks of its existence.
In order to facilitate adaptation, young mothers resort to many tricks. They try to swaddle hard, warmly wrap around and press to themselves so that the baby does not feel abandoned. Another method that helps a child to get used to the world faster is massage for a newborn baby. The earlier the mother begins to do it, the easier the baby will bear its stress.
Need to Massage a Newborn Baby
Massage is one of the fastest ways to help baby get used to its new surroundings. Earlier the newborn felt safe and comfortable in the mother’s womb. However, since getting out all it has experience is for the very first time and therefore it gets uncomfortable. So, massage is just another way to help the baby adjust to the new reality.
The professional massage for babies is only possible twenty days after childbirth. This is because the body of the baby is still trying to establish a connection with the outside world. The child’s organs and entire body systems are learning how to function independently. And, intensive massage in the early days will only add more pressure on the baby. It will be an extra burden on the cardiovascular and nervous system of the baby. However, if the massage to the newborn is done by his mother, then it will not hurt him.
It is very important to follow the rules for performing proper massage movements. This is because lack of consistency and too active actions can harm a child’s health.
A mother should make easy movements and observe the regularity of their performance. This way the positive effect of the massage will be expressed very strongly and soon. It is important to remember that young children need to massage everything. This includes their feet, brushes, the crown and even the tips of the ears. Massage of newborns is very different from the massage of adults. Since they can only do a back massage or just head massage.
The nervous system of the child in the first month after birth is very sensitive to all changes. Therefore it is important to do massage stroking movements. This way we do not to cause too much stimulation of nerve endings in the skin of the baby. A little later, it will be possible to resort to a more intensive massage technique. Since now the better circulation in the child is best achieved by means of active actions. How to do a massage for a newborn will be explained in detail below. Accurate and detailed description will not allow any mistakes or harm the baby.
Benefits of Massage for a Newborn
The main goal of the massage is to improve blood circulation in tissues, increase metabolism and stimulate the nervous system. As all this, together positively affects human health. Since the body of a newborn is still very weak, massage is doubly necessary for it. Proper stroking movements will reduce intestinal colic, improve the baby’s sleep and stimulate the lymph flow in the tissues.
Massage for newborns at home will make life easier not only for the child but also for their parents. This is so because the baby becomes calmer and less tearful after a proper massage.
Often children during labor are injured in the cervical spine. This is accompanied by increased intracranial pressure and changes in the tone of the limbs. When examined by a doctor, they pay special attention to the increased tone in the handles and legs. To prevent and treat these complications, daily gymnastics and massage for newborns are needed. It is important to remember that proper treatment after birth trauma is the guarantee of a child’s good health. Sometimes there is no need to use any medicines since massage acts as the main therapeutic factor.
The most common problem that mothers face is intestinal colic. Sometimes there are a strong spasm of the muscles of the intestine and bloating. This results from the fact that the children have a deficiency of enzyme systems which are necessary for the splitting of food. As a result, there are severe pains that torment the baby within three months after birth.
In such cases, a massage of the abdomen for newborns, which is performed clockwise, will come to the rescue. This technique allows restoring the right peristalsis of the muscles of the intestine. Over time, the work of the digestive tract is normalized. However, until this moment, the tummy massage is a real salvation.
Rules to Massage a Newborn Baby
When considering the health of her baby, then mothers should listen to the advice from the older generation and experienced girlfriends/mothers. It is essential that you understand that you will not get everything immediately. It may take some time but soon you will start understanding all the subtleties of caring for a baby. Then as time passes this will all just become part of your daily routine and sort of like habit. It is the same when it comes to massaging a newborn.
- Getting the Habit
At first, the sequence of movement seems heavy. However, then the hands will automatically repeat them.
It may take some time but you will get there. How to properly massage a newborn baby will prompt intuition.
With prolonged communication with the child, a mother starts learning about the problematic areas of her child. Then this is where they should pay more attention.
Different Factors for Massage
There are certain factors one need to consider before and during massage. Some of the common ones are mentioned below.
- Best Time for Massage
It is best to massage a newborn baby in the morning, one hour before meals. During this period, the kid is not yet fed up with new sensations and the massage will be fun.
Also, this does not cause the baby any negative emotions instead makes it a pleasant memory.
If the baby has recently eaten, then you should wait for an hour. This way you do not end up disturbing the digestion process.
- Changing Postures
When the baby cries, you should change your posture. You can also change the movements in the massage and reduce the duration of the session.
If this does not help, then you can do massage unobtrusively several times a day.
Gradually, the baby will get used to these manipulations, and then you can hold a full-fledged massage every day.
- Air Baths
Before doing anything or before starting you need to ventilate the room. This is necessary for the child to feel comfortable. Simultaneously with the massage, the child will take air baths as well.
Massage for the newborn is especially useful if the baby is premature. In such cases, massage will help the child to gain weight faster and adapt to the changed environmental conditions.
An important question that worries many young mothers is when you can start a massage for a newborn?
Suppose the baby was born before the term, but its weight is already sufficient (more than 2500 gr). Then the doctors leave the child with its mother and you can start the massage.
Begin to do an easy massage first days after birth, that is, even in the hospital. Movements should be very soft, as the baby’s skin is tender and can easily be damaged.
Long-term babies are more mature in all respects, so you can start massage without any fear.
Techniques to Massage a Newborn Baby
First get the baby cream or olive oil for massage. The initial sessions should be about 5 minutes long. Then gradually the time of massage should be brought to 30 minutes.
The position of the child depends on what part of the baby’s body the mother massages. Most often it lies on the back. However, if the baby does not like it, then you can shift it to the tummy position.
- Feet Massage
It is desirable to begin massage from feet. For accurate movements mum rub fingers and the inner arch of the baby’s foot. This stimulates many nerve endings, which is beneficial for the congenital reflexes of the baby.
Massage of the newborn’s leg always goes from the bottom up. Gliding, smooth movements need to massage muscles. While the arm moves from foot to groin along the front surface of the foot.
To start, repeat the movement 3-5 times.
- Hand’s Massage
Then the mother turns to the massage of the newborn’s hands.
First, brush and fingers are kneaded. Then the muscles of the forearm and shoulder are rubbed by the same sliding movements from the bottom up.
- Chest Massage
After the hands are kneaded, the queue of the chest comes.
All this time the massage for newborns is carried out in the supine position.
The chest massages from the middle to the sides. In this case, special attention is paid to the intercostal spaces.
- Tummy Massage
Next is the turn of the tummy. It is the easiest to massage.
It is important not to press strongly if there is a swelling in the baby.
Strong pressing can cause additional painful sensations to the baby.
Massage of the abdomen in newborns is mastered by all mothers.
Since this method also allows to reduce intestinal colic and provide a baby with a quiet sleep.
- Back Massage
Back massage starts from the cervical region and shoulder blades. Soft strokes stroking the back along the spine is the way to go.
- Head and Ear Massage
Do not forget about the head and ear massage.
The head is also lubricated with oil and massaged in circular motions.
Lobes of the ears are a cluster of nerve endings.
Usually, if the baby cried during the massage, then massaging the lobes, is the best way to calm it down.
A young mother does not need to have a masseur’s qualification in order to massage her child. Love and patience will help her to master the minimum skills to massage a newborn baby. At least, a massage which will allow her to strengthen the baby’s health and make its life calmer.