History/Origins of Baby Massage
There are historical accounts of massage being used in ancient civilisations as far back as 3,000 years ago.
The word 'massage' originates from the Arabic word meaning 'to stroke'. In India for hundreds of years the art of baby massage has been passed down through the generations from mother to daughter. Although it is very difficult to pin point exactly where the practise of baby massage originates from, it is now widely practised around the world, and recognised by many as being just as vital as the milk we feed our babies.
Baby massage is not a trendy phase or fad, it is an ancient art and philosophy that connects you deeply to your baby. It provides you with an opportunity to understand your baby's individual and particular non-verbal language, enabling you to respond with love and respectful listening.
When baby massage is practised this ancient art enhances and promotes deep emotional bonds which develop in infancy with parents/carers. This is what lays a lifetime foundation of trust, dependability, faith and love between parent and child. Setting aside some time to incorporate baby massage as part of your baby's routine will help you build your parent/baby relationship in the early 'getting to know you' stage.
It's important to remember that massaging your baby is something that you do with your baby rather than to your baby. Baby massage is a truly wonderful way to make your baby feel safe and secure by showing them that they are loved and cared for. You will discover when it is best for both you and your baby.
Research has shown that baby massage can alleviate the effects of post-natal depression and offer a more positive interaction between mother and baby during this difficult period. Equally, if you are a working parent or about to return to work, baby massage is an excellent way of connecting with your baby. A short massage each night before or after a bath depending on your baby's preference, can help you to communicate your love to your baby.
If you are breastfeeding this can often be a time when partners might feel isolated and left out of things, so learning baby massage is a perfect opportunity for them to have their own special time with baby.