Touch is your baby’s most highly developed sense at birth, and was the first sense her brain registered during gestation. Because of this, and because touch is the most ancient sense from an evolutionary perspective, it is known as the mother of the senses. This ancient sense allows you to reassure, nurture and build your baby’s strength through a gentle caress. As the primary method of communication between you and your baby, touch can be an expression of love that offers many benefits for your baby’s healthy growth, immunity, sensory development, and cognitive development.
Massage is a form of touch that can help babies grow more quickly and soundly, exhibit more playfulness and less fear, tolerate stress better and have stronger immune systems. With frequent physical contact, babies can start crawling, grabbing and walking earlier, sleep better, fuss less and have bigger brains with higher IQs. Massage will even influence your baby’s hormone levels, elevating oxytocin, to help her respond positively to stressful situations. It provides enhanced physical and emotional health, resulting in a stronger immune system that is more prepared to handle the challenges in our environment today.
“Being touched and caressed, being massaged, is food for the infant. Food as necessary as minerals, vitamins, and proteins.” Frederick Leboyer, M.D.(photo by: www.JessicaVerma.com)
For a new mom, receiving massage can have the same benefits as it does for baby, and more. Massage may help relieve fatigue and muscle soreness to help with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and nervous tension. It can improve circulation and help achieve a relaxed state of mind that is nurturing for both baby and mom. These physical benefits enhance immunity and help to create a mental and physical environment that is more rewarding and nurturing for everyone involved.
Massage provides family members with a beautiful opportunity to support each other and share even more love through the trials and triumphs of new baby care. Always check with your doctor before massaging your baby to find out about special circumstances and precautions.