A WONDERFUL WELCOME TO THE WORLD
By Mary Costello
Infant Massage seems to be getting more and more popular these days, but what is it all about?
In lots of cultures, massaging babies is a tradition that has been around for centuries, but it is thanks to Vimala McClure and the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) that it is at last spreading throughout the Western World. It is the very special art of using nurturing touch to communicate with your baby, to show them that they are loved and welcomed and that they can feel secure and safe in this new world into which they have suddenly been delivered. This knowledge will allow a baby to grow and develop in a healthy way. It can speed up their development, can help them gain weight and enable their digestive system to function more efficiently, thus aiding the prevention of colic and constipation. Because it impacts on all the systems of the body, it is particularly beneficial for premature babies.
Infant Massage is also a very special way to bond with a baby. For this reason, IAIM recommend that it is only taught to those closest to the baby, especially mum and dad, but also grandparents, guardians or siblings for example. For dads it is a special way to get involved when mum is breastfeeding, doing something that is enjoyable and fun, and really benefits the baby.
Oxytocin, the hormone of love, floods the system of the baby and of the person giving the massage. For mums suffering from post natal depression, this has a natural healing effect, and for babies it has a calming, relaxing effect. Massage can therefore aid sleeping patterns.
Baby Massage Ireland (BMI) is the Irish Chapter of the IAIM and they have instructors throughout the country running private classes and group courses. The benefits of infant massage are so numerous that it is becoming more and more recognised by the medical profession. In Ireland, course fees are now covered by most of the major health insurance companies provided the instructor is registered with (BMI). All certified instructors are listed on www.babymassageireland.com