Becoming a new mother is one of the most overwhelming and joyful experiences of a woman’s life. Learning how to cope with the demands of caring for an infant takes patience and love. The more tools at a mother’s disposal, the better mother she will become. As a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) you can provide new mothers with a powerful tool to aid in their baby’s sleep, stress and crying by teaching them the art of infant massage.
Proven Benefits of Infant Massage
As an RMT you know the effects of touch are comforting and positive to an infant. However, it has been proven that infant massage has added benefits that aid in the sleep of new babies as well as reducing stress and crying. A study performed by the Warwick Medical School found that parents who were trained by a health care professional such as an RMT were able to provide their newborns with infant massage techniques that effectively improved sleep as well as reduced crying. The stress hormone, cortisol also decreased in infants who received regular infant massage.
Natural Sleep Aid
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that aids in sleep. Infant massage, as well as massage therapy in general, has been found to release melatonin. With regular massage infants were able to sleep better compared to those infants who did not receive massage. This is believed to be due to melatonin release and the role it plays in aiding with infant sleep patterns.
Massage Therapy in Pre-term Infants
The University of Louisville School of Nursing also performed studies on the effects of infant massage on pre-mature babies. Studies found that moderate stroking of the arms and legs of premature babies resulted in increased heart rate variability. However, these results were only noted in boys. This was comparable to the reaction to stressors in full term baby boys. Massage enhanced development of the autonomic nervous system in boys improving their response to stressful events.
RMT Hands-on Teaching
As an RMT you can increase your knowledge by adding infant massage to your techniques. You can then provide new moms hands-on infant massage training to properly and effectively apply comforting infant massage that will aid in their baby’s sleep and help lessen their stress. This will result in less crying. Infant massage is also a wonderful way for new moms to bond with their infants and you can teach both moms and dads how to use massage for their baby.
Infant massage training can improve a mother’s relationship with her newborn, or provide assistance to newborns experiencing sleep issues and crying. As an RMT you can provide new moms with the loving infant massage techniques that can aid in the comfort and contentedness of their newborn.