One way to nurture your baby and show your love and care to him is through a massage.
Baby massage is done by gently stroking and rubbing your baby’s body and limbs with your hands in a specific way.
When massaging your baby, the level of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone produced when you hold or breastfeed him, is increased and will make both of you feel warm and relaxed. You can start massaging your baby with oil after his umbilical cord falls off several days after birth and throughout his first year.
Benefits of baby massage:
– Encourage interaction between you and your baby
– Lift your mood as a parent
– Help your baby relax and sleep better
– Reduce crying and fussing
– Relieve colic in babies or toddlers
– Promote growth and weight gain for premature babies
Guide to baby massage:
– Create a calm, warm and quiet atmosphere before starting the massage.
– Pick a good time, when your baby is relaxed and content (e.g. before his bedtime), but avoid massaging him right after feeding.
– If you prefer to use oil or cream, choose one that is odourless and non-toxic; make sure that your baby has no allergic reaction to the oil/cream.
– Note how your baby responds to your massage; if he is restless or unhappy, stop the massage.
This brief article can serve as a guide to baby massaging but do consult your doctor for further questions.
Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail is a consultant paediatrician and paediatric cardiologist. This article is courtesy of the Malaysian Paediatric Association’s Positive Parenting programme in collaboration with expert partners. For further information, please email email@example.com.
The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care.
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