Massage stimulation has several terms, namely touch stimulation, baby massage, baby massage, infant massage, and others. The Coordination Work Unit (UKK) for Growth and Development – Social Pediatrics The Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) developed the role of massage as a form of stimulation for infants. What are the benefits of baby massage that can be obtained?
Benefits of Baby Massage
You need to know that baby massage is a combination of multimodal forms of stimulation, namely, touch (tactile) and motion (kinesthetic) carried out by parents or health workers.
At the time of massage, the added stimulation is auditory stimulation (hearing, by inviting the baby to talk when massaged), visual stimulation (vision, by making eye contact when massaging), and others.
Basically, the purpose of the baby massage function is to optimize the growth and development of the baby by providing stimulation of touch, motion, and other combinations of stimulation.
Baby massage is done in a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere. The duration of the massage is about 15 minutes and should be given regularly. There is no standard limit on the frequency of giving massages per day.
The following are some of the benefits of baby massage that can be obtained, including:
1. Make baby more relaxed
The first benefit of baby massage is that it can stimulate the central nervous system. This will make the brain produce more serotonin which makes it comfortable while lowering cortisol (stress hormone). In addition, this condition also makes the baby’s heart rate and breathing slower, thus making the baby more relaxed.
2. Not easy to fuss
The next benefit of massaging the baby is that it can make the baby not easily fussy or cry excessively and can make him sleep more soundly. In fact, baby massage is also believed to relieve constipation or stomach pain.
3. Strengthen bonds with parents
In addition to the physical benefits that babies can get, the benefits of baby massage are also useful for increasing the emotional connection between babies and their parents. Touch and movement when massaging is a pleasant ‘communication’ between baby and parents.
4. Make baby sleep more soundly
As explained earlier, because the benefits of baby massage can make it more relaxed. The subsequent impact will make it easier for the baby to fall asleep at night. When your baby is sleeping soundly, your little one will sleep soundly all night – without having to wake up too early or cry.
If your baby wakes up frequently in the middle of the night crying, it’s likely that you can try giving him a massage in the afternoon.
5. Reduces the risk of colic and bloating
One of the disorders that generally occur in newborns is bloating and colic due to an immature digestive system. The benefits of baby massage are proven to be able to smooth bowel movements and digestion, thereby reducing the risk of both disorders.
6. Supports brain growth
The benefits of baby massage that many people don’t think are useful for a baby’s brain development. When your baby gets a new experience – such as massage for example – it will stimulate the birth of new brain cells needed for growth and development.
Various kinds of touch, the smell of massage oil, to your communication with it is stimulation that produces myelin, a substance in the brain that functions to regulate nerve impulses related to sensory and motor abilities.
7. Helping with postpartum depression
For women experiencing postpartum depression, you should definitely benefit from baby massage. When you do a massage on the baby, it will automatically make the body more relaxed.
Not only the production of the oxytocin hormone in babies has increased, this condition can also occur in women who have just given birth, making them feel more positive. Intimate interactions with children will help improve mood.
8. Train sensitivity and senses
The gentle and rhythmic touch that babies receive is useful in stimulating their nerves and sense of touch. Baby massage allows your child to tell which touches are too big and which are just right. The benefits of baby massage that can be obtained are that the baby’s muscles will be stronger and more flexible.
9. Gain weight
Besides being able to affect the psychological atmosphere, the benefits of the next baby massage can also affect the baby’s physical condition. A study revealed that babies who were massaged experienced weight gain compared to babies who had never been massaged.
More optimal results can be obtained if the massage is done with massage oil (can be natural or artificial). The warm effect that is generally obtained from massage oil can make babies more optimal in digesting breast milk.
10. Increase bone density
In addition to the baby’s heart rate and brain that are more stable after getting the benefits of baby massage, the benefits of massaging babies born prematurely are to help increase bone density.
11. Optimizing the digestive process
If your baby was born prematurely, the benefits of baby massage with baby oil are believed to help stimulate the nerves that connect the brain and stomach, thus making the digestive process more optimal.
Difference between Baby Massage and Traditional Massage
In principle, what is meant by massage and massage have similarities in that they are both forms of manual manipulation of soft tissues, namely by holding, moving, and or putting emphasis on the body to give a positive influence.
However, there are other things that are also different in principle. Urut is often associated with the term massage shaman or paraji who do massage to cure disease. So the purpose of massage is more to cure a disease. Often for this purpose, baby massage can be continued even though the baby is crying (perhaps because of pain).
While baby massage is a form of stimulation that must be carried out in pleasant conditions, it can be done simultaneously with the provision of other stimulation (auditory in the form of music, sound, visual stimulation and others), carried out by parents, health workers and is very dependent on the baby’s response.
If the baby shows signs of discomfort or crying, then you should stop the massage, check the cause of the baby’s crying (whether because the baby is urinating, defecating, the massage is too hard, or the baby is uncomfortable with certain types of massage).
At What Age Can Baby Massage Be Done?
In full-term infants actually as soon as possible after the baby is stable. Meanwhile, for preterm babies, they must first be checked by health workers whether they can be given baby massage or not.
When is the right time to do a baby massage? Should not after drinking milk / eating, not when the baby is hungry, not when the baby is showing signs of reluctance to massage.
In addition, avoid waking the baby from sleep just to massage. Sick babies should be taken first to health workers to determine whether they need special care or not.
Is it safe to do baby massage?
Until now there are no reports about the dangers of infant massage as a form of stimulation in infants and children. Baby massage is safe to do if parents follow instructions such as seeing the baby’s response and done in a comfortable atmosphere.
Things that are needed when doing baby massage, among others:
- Always pay attention to every baby’s response.
- If the baby cries, it is best to first check the cause, do not force any type of massage on the baby.
- In giving massage, other stimulation can be given such as playing songs, inviting children to talk and others.
- Use lotion or baby oil or coconut oil for a medium between the massager and baby’s skin.
- Set the room temperature so it doesn’t get cold.