The following information on the benefits of infant massage has been provided with permission by the International Association of Infant Massage for family’s living with Infant Gastric Reflux.
The four main benefits were originally defined by IAIM founder, Vimala McClure.
STIMULATION RELIEF RELAXATION INTERACTION
STIMULATION – INCLUDES ALL BODY SYSTEMS
- Digestive system
- Circulatory system
- Lymphatic system
- Immune system
- Nervous system
- Brain development
- Muscular development and tone
- Hormonal system
- Skin stimulation
- Body awareness
RELIEF – HELPS WITH
- Excess mucus
- Sinus congestion
- Digestive pains (Including Gastric Reflux GORD)
- Muscular tension
- Sensitivity to touch
RELAXATION – MAY BE DEMONSTRATED OR EXPERIENCED BY
- Increased deep sleep
- Regulation of behavioural states
- Lowering high muscular tones
- Increased flexibility
- Reduction of stress levels
- Higher tolerance to touch
- Higher levels of oxytocin
- Enjoyable positive “time out”
- Less hyper – activity
- Less hyper – sensitivity
- Increased environmental coping mechanisms
INTERACTION – INCLUDES
- Better understanding of baby
- Reading individual cues
- Secure attachment
- Promotion of bonding
- Verbal/non verbal communication
- One to one quality time
- Undivided attention
- Pre-language communication skills
- Nurturing touch
- Eye contact, talking, singing, smelling
- Influence of calming hormones
BENEFITS FOR PARENTS
- Gives parents permission to touch (that is not sexual or “sissy or abusive.)
- Helps parents to fall in love with their baby.
- Quality time. Time to connect.
- Develops intimate communication.
- Teaches nurturing parenting skills.
- Gives a greater awareness of baby’s physical, mental and emotional needs.
- Increases parents’ confidence, competence and self esteem.
- Develops bonding/attachment.
- Allows for fathers involvement. Dads are wanting to do the nurturing today. Baby will tell his story during massage and Dad’s can play an important role by simply “listening”.
- Massage can involve the whole family unit. The second sibling can also learning to massage and to bond with the new baby which can help prevent any jealousy between siblings.
- Postnatal depression (also known as Postnatal distress disorder). We can encourage mother to stay in bed for three days with baby. Mother needs some support. She may be very depressed, and possibly father may be resentful of mother’s depression. There needs to be an understanding these to emotions. If this is not faced, it will affect the baby. If the father learns to massage baby, this produces the hormone prolactin in the father, which can help him become a more nurturing parent.
- In many cases, massage has helped to improve the parent relationship. This allows more time together to nurture each other. There are huge adjustments to make when a baby arrives on the scene. We are not educated for marriage, let alone parenting!
- If father is made to be part of massage from the beginning, this aids and supports the family unit.
- Can prevent disintegration of the family unit.
- Massage brings about a subtle awareness of baby’s cues and cries.
Communication skills and bonding deepen through the art of massage, because of the eye to eye contact, the nurturing touch, the gentleness of the voice, and through learning to listen to each other.
What is the result? – Fun, pleasure, relaxation, peace and tranquility.
Spiritual connection. Through learning to tune in on different levels, baby will have a sense of being loved, nurtured and wanted and parent will want to continue to offer their love to their vulnerable little angel.
PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR MASSAGE
- Premature baby under 1000 gms – can use holding techniques
- Fever about 101° F or 38.3° C
- Heart disease – greater demands on heart
- Umbilicus unhealed
- Systemic infections – chicken pox
- Skin infections
- Cancer or undiagnosed lumps
- Fracture, bleeding, burns or other acute injury
- Kidney disease
- Adaptations for special needs babies
- Recent surgery – can use holding techniques
- Most important of all is, “WHEN BABY SAYS NO”.
IAIM – Promoting better beginnings. For further information and training please contact: Peggy Dawson P.O. Box 33997 Takapuna, Auckland. Copyright belongs to International Association of Infant Massage.
- An intricate dance – The loving relationship between IAIM
- May I touch you? By Emma Miller, North Carolina, U.S.A.
- Article Health visitor run baby massage classes: investigating the effects.3
Community Practitioner volume 76 April 2003 Number 4
For copies please contact GRSNNZ or IAIM
Collected for GRSNNZ by Jennifer Howard, National Coordinator for Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust January 2006. Used with permission.
This page may be printed for the personal use of families, as long as the copyright and source (i.e. Crying Over Spilt Milk’s URL) is also printed. It may not be copied to other websites or publications without permission from IAIM.
Hi. Just wondering if anyone has a similar situation to us. Our daughter was born 8wks premature and was a very unhappy baby. Once her reflux was diagnosed at about 4 months old and she started on losec, she improved instantly. I discovered going dairy-free helped her tolerate breastmilk. We have had to increase her dosage as she has grown. She is now 4years old and her symptoms have changed. She used to wake up screaming in pain but now it just affects her personality, sleep, etc. I have tried gradually weaning her off losec but she becomes anxious, tired and just can't cope with life. We've been to Dr Ford and he suggested going gluten-free which has helped. She has had an endoscopy but no answers. Our paediatrician doesn't believe in food issues and thinks if the medication works - use it. She is now up to 30mg losec each day. I would love to hear from anyone who has a young child still on losec or who has successfully got off it.... Cheers.
Baby Sleep Consultant is a nationwide infant and child sleep consultancy service, we offer affordable in home, email or phone consultations. Our methods are science and practice based, whether its establishing healthy sleep habits in your 6 week old, teaching your 9 month old to sleep through the ni...
Hi there, just wanted to say that this page and your website has been a huge help! It has provided ideas, helping me and my 8 week old son cope with his reflux. He was diagnosed @ 4 weeks old, and has been on gaviscon since. I have also gone dairy free, not sure if it's helping but he's definitely settled over the weeks. Hopefully he 'grows out of it' as the Dr says, grateful for all tips and advice from other parents experiencing the same...'I'm not alone'....this is a photo of our son in his Happy Place, where he goes from crying to smiling straight away!
Hi, Just wondering if you could help me with a question please. I got given Losec Suspension today. Since it's in suspension form and not the granules how long before a feeding should I give it to my baby or can it be given at the same time?
My baby has been diagnosed with reflux, her dr prescribed her ranitidine 150 mg/10 ml. It says 1 ml 3x a day, shes 5.7 kgs, does this sound right? That seems alot to me...
Hi there. I've been reading your website and Facebook page with interest over the past few months and it's been really helpful. My daughter is coming up 4 months old and her reflux seems to be improving. We tried gaviscon but it didn't make much difference. Main thing for us has been that I cut dairy out of my diet. I now have food with dairy in it but just don't do the core basics like cheese, yoghurt, milk etc and although she still spills often, the associated pain seems to be almost gone. Am hoping she's growing out of it but the dairy still seems to have a bit of an effect. Anyway, in two months time I have to go back to part-time work and will need to start using a formula on those days. I usually used karicare gold with my kids but have no idea what options would be best for my reflux baby. Can you make some suggestions? I'd like to try some out to see how she reacts etc before I go back to work but don't know what brands to try. Thanks.
Hi, I have a wee girl Matilda, 3.5 months, who has been diagnosed with gerd and is currently on Ranitidine and Domperidone. We have tried Losec and gaviscon infant too, and after trying pepti jnr and neocate we are now on elecare formula. Also have done the usual, raise cot, chiro, upright after feeds etc. We don't seem to be making much progress and its really heart-breaking to try all these medications on such a wee person! We do seem to have 3-4 great days when she is happy and contented but then have 3-4 terrible days with constant crying, not much drinking, so much vomit and terribly unsettled, not much sleeping etc; my question is, is this 'normal' ?! Is gerd cyclonic? Thanks, Amanda :)
My four month old son has recently been diagnosed with reflux after his feeding has become worse and worse over the last month. He will cry before and during a feed and constantly turns his head from side to side. It takes alot of coaxing to get him to drink. He has also started waking almost hourly through the night. We have tried gaviscon which gave him terrible constipation and now ranitidine. After reading the dosages on the spilt milk site we realized the dose we were given was far too low so have now been on a high ish dose for a week with little change. How long should it take to see a change? We also have a script for omeprazole so can try that next. Anyone else with a reflux baby also had these sleeping issues? Any tips welcome, we have raised the bed and keep him upright after feeds. Thanks in advance
Anyone recommend a good paediatrician in Auckland, son has reflux and looking to get some help!
How can I give my omeprazole granules to a 5 month old? I have been putting in pear puree but now want to introduce food and think this is putting her off wanting to eat!
Our membership form is now working again. Sorry for the delay. We are looking forward to meeting some new members. http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz.../ Joining Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust gives access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks. Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting.
hi i have a nearly 8 month old girl, she is on ''Kari-care anti reflux AR'' now they say by six months the reflux or spewing up heaps of milk should be fine now. but im scared to put her on normal kari care cause she use to vomit like crazy, what formula should i be going on? thanks :)