Andrea Johnson | Senior Paediatric and Women's Health Physiotherapist | The Portland Hospital
The week of 14th to the 19th May marks National Baby Massage Week, promoting the benefits of baby massage to new parents.
Historically baby massage has been a parenting tradition in many cultures, such as in India and Africa, and has been gaining popularity in the UK since the late 1990s.
What is Baby Massage?
• Baby massage is when a parent or primary carer lovingly strokes or holds their baby.
• Using a high quality non-fragranced vegetable oil, soothing holds and rhythmic strokes are given on each area of the baby's body.
• A sequence is followed which has been developed over many years.
• The massage offers a wonderful experience and a special time to communicate both verbally and non-verbally with babies, to increase bonding, relaxation, relief and stimulation.
What are the Benefits of Baby Massage?
- Between child and parent
- Promotion of bonding and undivided attention and quality time with parents.
- Demonstrated by improved sleep patterns
- Lower levels of stress hormones and lower levels of anti stress hormones
• Relief - massage may help with:
- Gas and colic
- Constipation and elimination
- GI cramps and teething discomfort
- Of the circulatory and digestive symptoms
- Of mind/body awareness
What will you learn during Baby Massage?
• A routine of massage strokes
• Colic routine
• Gentle movements
• Touch relaxation
• The best time to massage your baby
• Which massage oils to use
• Adapting the strokes
Baby Massage Classes are available at The Portland Hospital, all of the Infant Massage Instructors are trained by the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), which is a worldwide association that offers training of a very high standard. Attending baby massage groups at the Portland is a wonderful way to meet other parents and share experiences. Many new friendships have been forged through parents and their babies attending the classes.
If you would like to book a Baby Massage Class please contact The Portland Hospital Physiotherapy department on 020 7390 6553.