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.

  • So true. Make some time today for you, even if it is just 5 minutes. #happiness #gastricreflux #gor #gord #infant #baby #gastricrefluxsupportnetworknz #cryingoverspiltmilk #child #family #reflux

  • Hi there im only new to all of this! My daughter is 12 weeks old and was put on losec and gaviscon last week, we have had issues with her vomitting up the granules, no matter what we try she just does! My gp has just given us the liquid form to try, my question is do we still give it to her half hr before a feed? Or can we give during? It dosnt say on the bottle

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Spilt Milk's event.

    Is there anyone with a child under the age of one year who is unsettled who would be interested in ideas to look after yourself? This does include some practical tips on settling your baby, but the main focus is you. See the event for details and please register using the registration form. This starts a week tomorrow and we don't have many registrations. Please register asap so we know whether it is worth continuing.

  • Try to relax and enjoy the little things this Sunday. #gastricreflux #gor #gord #infant #baby #gastricrefluxsupportnetworknz #cryingoverspiltmilk #child #family #reflux

  • I have an 18 month old son who had silent reflux. we weaned of gaviscon about four weeks ago. His symptoms for reflux were aconstant runny nose, cough and wheezing. For the last week he has had the above symptoms again. I have had him to the Drs and they have said just to give him his inhaler as he is wheezy. I have always had to fight to get the diagnosis of reflux. I was just wondering if anyone has weaned there child off gaviscon and if so how long would it take to symptoms to possibly reappear?

  • Spilt Milk (Canterbury) February / March 2016

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Spilt Milk's event.

  • We have been weaning off omeprazole and the most recent drop didn't work so we have increased again. How long until she's feeling herself and not in pain again?

  • My 10 week daughter I think is suffering from reflux. She doesn't spill alot however I notice she swallows back quite often. Latley she has been gaging. She has been in a lot of discomfort from about 2 weeks. I've been taking her to a chiropractor which I thought was heping but this last week seems to be back to her old symtoms. I'm just wondering about the medications people use. Do they work? She is gaining good weight. So I'm wondering do I just go another month and hope she grows out of it? or do I try the medications? I'm just worried they might cause trouble Down the track? I don't have a very good GP so no help there. Any suggestions would be great thanks ☺

  • #gastricreflux #gor #gord #infant #baby #gastricrefluxsupportnetworknz #cryingoverspiltmilk #child #family #reflux

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Patient's photo.

  • Had you noticed that this page for the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ is a Verified Page by Facebook confirming that it is an authentic page for the Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust? http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Above Rubies's photo.

    Thank you to our previous National Coordinator for sharing this one. And in the words of Kelly from SmileDial our children might be a different kind of perfect.

  • Thanks Margot Kristensen for adding me to here we have a silent refulx baby we've been in and outa hospital for help and suport she's 8 weeks old crys frm the moment she wakes till any were frm 11pm or later I've tryed everything she has this day of screaming all day and then she's exausted the next day the pediatrician says there is nothing he can do and she is in pain were Goin to be admitted to mother craft in Hamilton as I can't rock her all day every day I'm exausted 2 any tips or advice pls

  • I have a 4 month old (5 at end of month) he's on omeprazol for silent reflux. He's started spitting his medication and I can't get him to swallow all of it. He gets distressed and this morning he vomited it all back up after gagging on it. He's had a flare up I'm sure cause he's not getting enough. I've asked GP for capsules w. Baby pear, but been denied cause hex too young. Anyone had luck mixing liquid with anything to get him to take it?

  • Hi We were prescribed gaviscon infant and told that it acts Like a plug keeping the acid down, b However I noticed on the crying over spilt milk site that there are two gaviscons used and that it is the other one that acts like a plug. My son is on ranitidine for silent reflux, which has helped but he still wakes up all the time from it and during the day will only sleep for about ten minutes before waking. Can anyone explain the difference between the two gaviscons? Also, is there any reason why my son sleeps better at night? Or is he just exhausted from not sleeping during the day? Thanks in advance for any advice

  • Please check the posts to the page and help out on a recent question if you have ideas for helping keep a young baby upright.

  • Hi there, I have a little 3 week old baby girl who we have just been told has reflux. It causes her a lot of pain and because of the reflux her windpipe gets closed off for an extended period of time with the milk/acid going up and down causing her to go bluey or purple which is very scary. She needs to be held 99% of the time because when lying her down it causes a lot of pain and also causes her to be sick out her nose and mouth. She has been started on gaviscon at every feed which seems to be helping with the "choking" episodes but I still need to hold her all the time. I am wondering if anyone has had any good slings or has any ideas that may help to keep her upright and comfortable to sleep etc. for both me and her. :)

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Patient's photo.

    #understanding #havebeenthere

  • Our daughter has had reflux since about 5 weeks & she is now 7 and a half months old. She will sleep 12 hours and wake to have 30 mls. She has small amounts often throughout the day and cannot handle anymore than 80 mls which is few and far between. She also has solids 2 - 3 times a day. She is also still on newborn teats and we try all the time to go up but she cannot handle the flow and wont drink at all. She is now a good size and looks healthy but only because I am constantly feeding her and also have a 4 year old who has gone backwards in her behaviour and toileting because Miss 7 1/2 months is so time consuming. She is under a pediatrician, on Ranitidine 3 x a day and is booked in for a barium swallow on the 18th of this month. Has anyone else had/have this issue?

  • #gastricreflux #gor #gord #infant #baby #gastricrefluxsupportnetworknz #cryingoverspiltmilk #child #family #reflux

  • Our seven week old baby can sleep for hours vertically in our arms, but wakes when in his back. When he is sleeping on his back he often makes a sound which sounds like someone clearing their throat, it goes on and on and eventually he wakes up. He doesn't spit up, but often has white on his tongue. He also grimaces a lot in his sleep. Does this sound like silent reflux? I'm especially keen to know if anyone has experienced the same type of noises in their baby. We have a doctors appointment on Tuesday.

  • There is a post to the page about settling babies with Gastric Reflux to sleep.

  • #gastricreflux #gor #gord #infant #baby #gastricrefluxsupportnetworknz #cryingoverspiltmilk #child #family #reflux

  • Hi all, I've successfully moved to a feed, play, sleep routine during the day with my 4 month old who is on omeprazole (although we battle the sleep but at times!) - however we still feed to sleep at night, and I keep him upright for 30 mins afterwards (asleep). I've been reading up on trying to stop feeding to sleep for 5 month olds to try and stop this sleep association and it suggests keeping baby awake for 10 mins after a feed then putting down awake/drowsy. How do people manage to get their reflux babies down at night without feeding to sleep? I'm confused on how to make this work whilst needing baby to stay upright after a feed for 30mins. Thanks!