Infant Massage

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
  • Growth
  • Hormonal system
  • Skin stimulation
  • Body awareness

RELIEF – HELPS WITH

  • Excess mucus
  • Teething
  • Sinus congestion
  • Wind/Gas/Colic
  • Constipation
  • Digestive pains (Including Gastric Reflux GORD)
  • Muscular tension
  • Disorganisation
  • 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
  • Respect
  • Influence of calming hormones

babymassage

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
  • Jaundice
  • 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.

Related material

  • 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 there are there any formulas that you can get on prescription or financial assistance? Pretty sure my 8 week old isn't coping with his formula that he's on. He has reflux and on ranitidine but now he has green mucousy poo so im thinking he might need some different formula? But I see specialist formulas are expensive!!

  • Hi, my 5 month old has started solids and we have been ok'd to feed these before milk as otherwise he spills most of it. He takes losec granules, which was have been giving with pear 30mins before a milk feed. Can we now just give these with his solids with milk following half an hour+ later? Or not due to the higher volume of food in his stomach so it wouldn't be digested by the time he has his milk. Thanks

  • Hi. We've used the karicare thickener in our boys bottles on top of losec and neocate to control his reflux. Now he's 4 months old I was looking at using watties rice cereal to thicken his bottles before moving to solids at 6 months. Looking to find anyone who thickens with rice cereal. Advice? Thank you

  • Argh! I don't know if I'm doing the right thing for my wee girl. We discovered her reflux early 8 days old and has been on goats milk formula for 3 months. Did it help? Hard to say but she was happy enough. We were reffered to the hosp dietician by our plunket nurse and on Thursday started neocate. Its made things worse and she seems in pain.. her poops are slimy green. We gave her a few gaviscon feeds with it to help her tum cos she seems to have a sore tummy a lot. So its Sunday, we've been on it three days but I am continually second guessing myself. Should we have seen a change in her by now. Is it normal to take a few days for the tummy to get used to it? I hate putting her through all this esp if it doesn't end up working... sometimes I just want to throw it in and put her back on goats milk... would love some advice from others on neocate or just any advice/encouragement please and thank you :)

  • Hi mums I have recently taken my daughter off losec on advise from a paed to see how she went. We didn't notice the symptoms coming back and also started solids around same time with it going great. She's had a cough and cold but is over it except this nagging cough which is day and night until she eventually throws up. My question is could the cough actually be the reflux and should I start losec again.

  • A Good News Story ... http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/his-gastric-reflux-stopped/

    Hi Roslyn, Thanks for the updates over the past several months. I am leaving the group as my little boy no longer suffers from gastric reflux and is also no longer dairy intolerant! FYI he was on Neocate from 3 months old and had a combination of formula and my milk until he was 7.5 months. ...

  • Hi. My boy is 6.5 wks. He started screaming at 3 wks. Became unsettled for periods of up to nearly 12hrs without sleep. He's been on formula as my milk never came in. He gets about 100-200 ml breastmilk /dy I pump. He started spilling/vomiting a lot at 4.5wks old.started losec 9 dys ago-frm GP. Saw paediatriciAn 4 dys ago and started amino acid formula to check for CMA. I feel things improved a bit about 4 dys after losec started. Also he seemed great once on th amino acid formula but thn yesterday was his old really bad self - fussed all day 10am-4pm thn really distressed n frantic 4-9pm. He's been ok today.i also started adding karicare thickener 2 dys ago. His first poo day after starting amino acid formula was soft n ok but I thnk he might b constipated with th thickener. He really had to push to get yesterday's out n was very sticky. Anyone else experience this? What do you do? I've heard lactulose and prune juice etc can make reflux/ wind worse. I thought about halving th amt thickener I'm using.also his vomiting better on th new formula I think but still occasional. He vomited Sunday night n mayb brought th losec up- could 1 missed dose like thts make him bad th next day like he was? Any opinions greatly appreciated

  • Please consider joining Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/ Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting. If you have completed a membership form previously, but never received anything further, please message me (Roslyn Ballantyne at https://www.facebook.com/roslyn.ballantyne.rn ) or comment below. The membership sign-up had been a double opt-in with a confirmation email, but as some people have had trouble with this, I've now changed it to a single opt-in. (I do still need to process applications and add you manually to your Local Support Networks though.)

    Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants & Children Charitable Trust Membership & Confidentiality Agreement Form / Newsletter Admin PageFirst NameLast nameEmailStreet AddressCity/TownAreaPostcodeDo you live in NZ?Country and Area if not NZHome Phone (include area code)Partner's NameE…

  • Hi I'm a bit confused. I filled out th membership form on th cryingspiltmilk main page. Do I need to do anything else? I see there's a forum somewhere else - kiwi health or something? Or do I just post n use this Facebook page? I'm thnking you hav th older site but most people jst use this Facebook page now yeah? Ta :) I hav a 6 wks old beautiful boy who has been in so much pain been breaking my heart but I'm jst getting things in motion now to help I thnk. Saw paediatriciAn few dys ago n hav started losec gaviscon mylanta and amino acid formula with karicare thickener

  • Hiya, I'm starting to introduce solids to my almost 6 month old and just wondering if there are any foods that any of you have found to be better than others and which ones to avoid? TIA. :-)

  • Other information here: http://www.lalecheleague.org.nz/news-a-events/lllnz-conference-2014/312-lllnz-50th-anniversary-conference-2014