In India, it is a very common practice to hire a massage specialist for the baby and mother during the confinement period which is typically for 40 days post delivery. Thus following this practice we too fixed up a lady just before my first delivery. This was done after getting a lot of references etc as we all do before hiring anyone.
The massage was to start on the day after returning from the hospital. Massage for me was quite a relaxing experience. Especially after all the weight gained and bad postures due to the big tummy.
But once the baby’s massage started, my daughter was just wailing and was extremely uncomfortable. My mom and I both found this experience very upsetting. In spite of this we tried for another day. The experience was the same on day 2 as well. My baby was just too uncomfortable.
My mom practices naturopathy, chiropractic and acupressure was already a bit skeptical before we had decided to hire outside help for the massage. So she then decided to massage my lil one herself. The entire experience was totally opposite to the first 2 days. In fact we actually thought that my lil one almost smiled too. This strengthened our belief that if the mom or someone in the family massages the baby it helps forming a strong bond too.
The technique that we followed was pretty much the same as explained on the link below. The only thing we did differently was that the baby was kept on mom’s or my outstretched legs instead of the ground
Step by step procedure for massage : This is a detailed procedure along with pictures for massaging a baby who has not started to crawl.
Some tips and precautions while doing the massage from my experience
- I used to massage my lil ones once before their afternoon nap and once before bedtime. The afternoon massage followed by a bath and swaddle ensured that my lil one slept really well and this gave me some time to myself too
- Afternoon massage was done using coloured oils and night massage using cold cream or a baby night cream.
- No massage immediately before or after a meal or feed.
- Make sure it is not too cold in the room that you are massaging and preferably keep the fan switched off.
- Use gentle pressure and smooth strokes.
- Make eye contact, sing to them, and talk to them. Remember this is your special bonding time with your lil one. Avoid talking on the phone or doing anything else during this time.
- If your baby is unwell – fever, cold, loose motions, vomiting etc. then avoid massage on those days or consult your pediatrician.
- While using oils and cream make sure that they are not causing any rash or allergy. Baby skin is very sensitive and it might take a couple of trials to understand what suits them the best.
Following these techniques and precautions massaging your baby can be a very satisfying experience for both the mom and baby. I massaged both my babies for more than a year and trust me, it’s a wonderful experience to see them responding to your touch.
To know the benefits of massage click here
Image courtesy: http://developachild.net/massage/workouts-home-mom/