Calming the Storm: Using Infant Massage to Relieve Colic Symptoms

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For new parents, their baby’s colic is a significant challenge. This constant crying can cause stress and even depression in the mother or father.

Fortunately, there are natural remedies to help relieve infant colic symptoms. One such remedy is infant massage. Not only does it help to alleviate gas and reflux, but it also strengthens parent-child bonding.

Relieve Muscle Tension

Infant massage Washington DC can soothe colicky babies, reduce the frequency of crying episodes, relieve gas and constipation, help increase daily weight gain, improve the length and quality of sleep, promote a deeper breathing pattern, ease nasal congestion and teething discomfort, aid in the development of good muscle tone and coordination, enhance body awareness, and boost the immune system.

Garofallou, who teaches infant massage in the Child Life Department of a hospital and also gives group classes for maternity nurses and other healthcare providers, has brought her program to hospitals and drug rehabilitation centers where she works with disadvantaged women and their newborns, many of whom are born preterm or have medical complications. Her research has shown that infants who are held, massaged, carried, rocked, and nursed have an easier time adjusting to their new lives.

If you want to learn infant massage, find a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI). They can teach you the basic strokes of baby massage and adapt them to your specific needs.

Reduce Stress

The release of mood-enhancing endorphins during massage decreases cortisol levels, a stress hormone. This has been found to help lower stress and anxiety in babies. Combined with the sense of security and well-being that massage promotes, this creates an environment in which colic may be less likely to thrive.

Colic is characterized by periods of crying lasting longer than an hour and typically occurs after feedings. In many cases, this discomfort stems from gastrointestinal issues. In these instances, infant massage may help alleviate trapped gas and soothe digestive upset.

In addition to lowering stress and anxiety, regular infant massage has been shown to improve attachment between parents/caregivers and their children. This is attributed to the hormone oxytocin being released during massage and improving the parent’s mood. This allows for a more efficient way to communicate with their baby and reduces stress that can escalate the colic symptoms. The practice of infant massage also assists in improving a baby’s overall health by stimulating the lymphatic system. This helps remove toxins and boosts immunity, making it easier for infants to fight off illness and infection.

Help Baby Sleep Better

The discomfort caused by colic is so inconsolable it can make new parents feel like their world is crumbling around them. It can be challenging to console an infant who won’t stop crying – even with a full belly, clean diaper, and many cuddles.

Studies have shown that infant massage can help to relieve colic symptoms and improve sleep quality for both the baby and the parent. This is because massage reduces stress hormones and promotes relaxation.

Before you start, find a comfortable place to massage your little one and remove any clothing or jewelry that could irritate you. It’s best to do it when your baby is calm and relaxed, such as in the morning or before bed. Also, it’s essential to begin each session by inviting your baby: “Are you ready for a massage?” This helps them learn from the beginning that they can communicate their preferences through body language.

Increase Parent-Baby Bonding

Parents whose babies suffer from colic will benefit from infant massage techniques that can reduce crying, soothe fussy babies and support more restful sleep. They can also increase the parent-baby bond through touch and soothing communication.

Babies who receive regular massages tend to have higher scores on the Brazelton scale, a rating system for newborns that indicates how well they adjust to life. And premature babies who are massaged regularly gain weight faster than those who aren’t.

To massage your baby, start in a warm room with a soft blanket and few distractions. Choose a non-scented, all-natural vegetable or fruit oil. A dab of the oil helps your hands glide more easily over your baby’s body. If your baby becomes agitated during the massage, pause and move on to another body part. You can gradually work up to a full-body massage if your baby allows it. It’s best to begin massaging the head and torso and work your way down to the feet.

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