Here at baby llama, we particularly enjoyed reading about the LOVE creates LOVE campaign from the blossom and berry baby massage experts, as they’re passionate about creating a loving environment during pregnancy and continuing this nurturing through activities such as baby massage.
“Massage is a lovely way for you to express your love and care for your baby. Studies show that babies who are regularly massaged and touched cry less, sleep better and gain weight faster than those that are not.”
(Field 1987, 1995).
This is thought to be due to the fact that feel good hormones released during massage activate babies’ relaxation responses and therefore body functions are improved. It makes sense. We feel better when we are relaxed!
“Through positive and reciprocal interaction you are fulfilling your baby’s emotional needs and helping to create a loving secure attachment which studies now show is vital to enable healthy brain development. You are teaching your baby that the world is a loving place and helping to create a strong and secure emotional blueprint from which he/she can use to build other relationships. Consistent and repetitive care is seen to be the key factor (Bowlby 1969).
“Touch and massage produce a hormone called Oxytocin known as “the love hormone”. Studies have shown it helps to combat levels of stress in the body, reduce anxiety and put the body and mind into a relaxed state. It also encourages our nurturing instinct and desire to help and take care of others (Francis et al., 2000; Williams et al., 2001; Caldwell and Young, 2006).
It creates the magical feeling of having a bond with someone. Both your body and your baby’s body produce oxytocin when you have close physical contact or touch. Baby massage has also been shown to help with postnatal depression which some writers suggest could be caused by low levels of feel good hormones (Glover 1994).
Massage is a way to continue strengthening the bonding process, as it will come naturally to you to chat and make eye contact!
Massage has many added benefits for your baby, including:
- Improving weight gain
- Aiding digestion
- Improving circulation
- Easing teething pain
- Improves sleeping patterns
Spending time with baby is also a time for you to enjoy benefits:
- Improves ability to read cues from baby
- Provides quality time for you both
- Enhances relaxation time
- Improves sense of well being
- Increases confidence in parenting