Baby massage is not a new technique, parents have been massaging their babies for centuries. However, the popularity of infant massage is relatively recent in the Western hemisphere.
In more traditional cultures the practice of infant massage has been passed on through the generations for centuries. There is documented evidence that as far back as 2670BC, Chinese mothers already enjoyed a tradition of massaging their infants. Even the maven of modern nursing Florence Nightingale was a fan, promoting the health benefits of massage. The animal kingdom also inspires us to massage our babies as they lick and groom their young shortly after birth and beyond. As midwives we gently ‘massage’ newborn babies as we dry them at delivery to stimulate their first breaths.
The far-reaching benefits of baby massage offer us a powerful motivation for mothers to add this tool to their parenting toolbox. In our online and studio based baby massage classes, Pippagina experiences the evidence first hand. We see how baby massage strengthens that wonderful bond between mother and infant while physically helping the baby manage common issues such as gas and constipation, nasal congestion and teething and importantly relaxing them into deep sleep. An infant massage group is also a wonderful way to embrace much needed peer support for new mothers allowing them to avoid the isolation and emotional fatigue experienced in early motherhood.