Massage is a natural way to help support the health of our baby – we all have pharmaceutical powers at the tips of our fingers! Our baby’s digestive system can be supported; their immune system boosted and the development of their bone formation and muscular system supported. This is thanks to massage strokes encouraging the circulation of oxygen and nutrients to cells, tissues and all of our baby’s organs, helping them to work more effectively while they develop.
A baby’s digestive system is often in need of extra support since it is not yet fully developed at birth – baby massage can help with this. The digestive tract for example may not be fully developed, which can cause wind to be trapped in the bowel as the tract muscles are too weak to push the wind through properly. Massage can help to move air bubbles through the bowel system which can offer relief to babies suffering from digestive and colicky issues.
A baby’s immune system – also not yet fully mature during the first years of their life – can be boosted by massage. Our touch stimulates the flow of the white blood cells around the body (“lymphatic flow”), helping to fight off any toxins and waste products that might otherwise cause illness.
Massage can also help keep our baby’s skin free from infection by removing dead cells. Stimulation of the skin glands (the sebaceous glands) gives off a waxy substance, called sebum, which lubricates and makes the skin more water resistant, helping to protect it. Massage helps keep the skin’s pores open to enable it to expel waste and toxin products (the skin plays an important role as it expels around a third of the body’s toxins).
The process by which a baby’s skeleton takes its full shape and strength can also be supported by massage as it encourages circulation to the bones to support ossification – the growth and development of bones, as well as joint mobility.
The development of a baby’s muscular system can in addition be supported and increased by massage via the gentle stretching and relaxing of the muscle tissue in response to stimulation. This helps the baby in its continual development and learning of physical movements and mobility.