Whilst the benefits of baby massage are becoming well established and include helping babies relax and improving bonding between mother and child, new exciting research shows there could be even further positive implications for your child…
New research has indicated that baby massage could help nervous system, brain and senses development in young infants, exciting news for both health professionals and new parents.
The most recent study, published last month, showed that baby massage in pre-term infants appears to affect the development of their nervous systems in a positive manner.
Researchers measured the effect of massage on heart rate variability, a measure of autonomic nervous system function (the part of our nervous systems that controls breathing, heart function and many other jobs our bodies perform without us having to think). It was found that over the study period heart rate variability improved in those babies who were massaged, but not in control babies who weren’t – interestingly more so in boys than girls – meaning their bodies were better adapted to deal with and respond to external stresses.
Another recent study looked at the brain activity of pre-term infants by measuring EEG activity (an index of brain maturation) and found that massage positively affected the maturation of brain electrical activity when compared to those babies who weren’t massaged.
Whilst the studies didn’t look at how massage had such a positive impact on babies’ they have added serious weight to support the practise.
Note: Baby massage should only be carried out after a baby’s six week check up and if no contraindications are present.
Baby Massage Products
There are now numerous companies offering baby massage, but leading the way is the company Tiddley Pom who have worked in conjunction with infant massage instructors, an aromatherapist and the musician Fredrik Karlsson, who specializes in relaxing music, to produce baby massage sets that include organic baby massage oil, an instructional DVD and music CD alongside other organic goodies such as moisturizing lotions and nappy balms. They’ve already picked up numerous accolades and awards for their products and have recently launched in Debenhams stores and Debenhams online. For more information, or to buy their full range, please visit www.tiddley-pom.com