The Benefits of Baby Massage for Parents (Oh Right, and for the Baby)

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Jan 14, 2015

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Infant massage is certainly not a new custom, and hiring a malish bai is on the to-do list for many parents. However, metros are now seeing a shortage of these women, who learned their baby malish skills from mothers, grandmothers, or aunts. These days, it is common to find young, inexperienced women calling themselves malish bais, but they’re simply not trained in newborn massage. So, what’s a parent to do? Massage your baby yourself. It’s a better choice for everyone involved — there are tons of benefits of baby massage for parents, as well as for babies.

Research increasingly shows that loving, nurturing contact between parent and infant has a positive impact on the child’s emotional and physical development. Baby malish is exactly that kind of contact, and it’s something every parent can and should do.

The benefits of massage for babies

The benefits of massage for infants are well documented. Baby malish:

  • Smooths the transition from womb to the world
  • Develops the baby’s sense of touch (the least-developed sense at birth)
  • Alleviates trapped wind, soothes colic, and eases constipation
  • Teaches positive touch and instills a sense of security, safety, relaxation, and contentment
  • Helps regulate and stimulate the baby’s digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems
  • Develops the baby’s body-mind awareness and coordination
  • Strengthens and tones muscles

The benefits of baby massage for parents

Perhaps less well-known are the direct benefits of baby massage for parents, particularly mothers. For parents, the act of infant massage:

  • Promotes bonding and attachment
  • Enhances communication with the baby
  • Can alleviate the symptoms and impact of postpartum depression
  • Promotes lactation for breastfeeding mothers (through the stimulation of hormones)
  • Gives parents a practical tool to soothe their baby’s common ailments
  • Enhances parents’ confidence and competence in dealing with their baby
  • Increases parental awareness of their developing baby

Convinced? Read more about what makes the best baby massage oil and how to massage your baby!

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Written By Keshinee Shah

Ms. Keshinee Shah is an international lawyer and management consultant, with 20 years of first aid experience. She is a first aid instructor and has been conducting training in first aid under Emergency First Response for parents, students, care-givers and professionals, both in India and the UK, since 2011. Keshinee also holds a Diploma in Infant Massage from the UK.

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