Venue: PRDS-OFFICE-KOTHACHERUVU, Date: 24.01.2012

Introduction:

In our country, it's a tradition to massage a baby before his bath and oils are preferred over creams and lotions for this purpose. Baby massage is an ancient childcare practice that is still practiced all over the world. Recent medical research has proven the benefits of the same. Studies have shown that premature babies when regularly massaged require minimum hospitalization. All newborns show healthy growth, more weight gain and thrive better if they are massaged well and regularly. A good oil massage soothes and calms a baby, helps him/her to relax and sleep better and makes him/her more alert during the waking hours. It is a good exercise and promotes motor activity and emotional security in a child, besides a healthy body and muscular development. It stimulates digestion and helps the baby pass gas. Here are some massage tips for infants.

Gloria-B, Schutz performing the baby body massage, the mother and baby feeling very happy.

Gloria Madam said to do Baby Massage tips:

 

Baby massage tips by Gloria madam

  • It is a good practice to keep all things you need ready, before you start rubbing the oil on the baby's body. This includes the baby massage oil, clean diapers and clothes.
  • Baby's skin is very soft and bracelet, rings and long nails might hurt your child accidentally. So, keep your fingernails short and keep aside the jewelry you wear on hands when you are massaging the baby.
  • Spread a changing mat or a soft towel on a flat surface and undress the baby. Put the baby down with his or her face up.

Gloria-B, Schutz performing the baby body massage, the mothers are observing with curiosity

  • Rub only about half-a-teaspoon of oil at a time on your palms, so that they glide easily on the baby's body. You can apply more oil later as needed.
  • Make sure that your palms are warm.
  • Use smooth, gentle but firm strokes with your palm or fingers. Light circular movements on chest and stomach, stroking across the shoulders, downward movement on the arms and legs and upward movements on the back are the best.
  • Do not put too much pressure on the baby's fragile body and avoid the spine area.
  • Keep the baby engaged while massaging him or her by talking or singing to the infant.
  • Eye contact with the baby ensures him or her of your undivided attention.
  • Sudden break in contact of your hands may cause alarm to the baby. Therefore, take care to be gentle while stopping the massage.
  • Do not oil baby's palms or fingers as these little ones tend to put them in their mouths or eyes often, which may cause irritation?
  • Wrap the baby in a clean and warm towel after the massage and cuddle him or her.
  • Do not massage the baby just before or after feeding, or when the baby is ill.
  • Do not wake the baby up for a massage.
  • Avoid rashes, wounds or areas where the baby has got his injections or vaccines as it may hurt.

You can continue to massage your baby till he/she is three or four years old, as the benefits of a good massage are numerous.

 

Coconut oil is a good choice in the hot summer months. It is easily available and has a cooling effect on the body. Similarly, til or sesame oil is also a popular alternative for massages in many regions. The more expensive olive oil and almond oil are ideal vegetable oils for massage and you can use them in summer as well as winter months.

Massage with coconut oil After massage with the oil clean with warm water.

Benefits for babies:

  • Develops their first language, which is mainly touch
  • Enhances their feeling of being loved, respected and secure
  • Helps to strengthen and regulate their digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems
  • Relieves symptoms of colic, gas and constipation
  • Calmed nervous system leads to more restful sleep
  • Teaches babies how to be aware of their body's tension and how to release it, an invaluable gift as they grow into adulthood.

Benefits for parents :

  • Develops confidence when handling their baby
  • Enhances loving communication, helping parents to understand and respond to their baby's non-verbal language
  • Provides 'permission' to relax together with their baby
  • Increases awareness of baby's growth and development

Mother’s opinions about baby body massage programme:

  1. Sajida says” it is very useful for baby’s to grow well”.
  2. Tulasi says” that she is doing massage usually to her baby without knowing any thing. Now she came to know everything about baby massage”
  3. Lavanya says” that while doing massage baby feels very happy and gets relief.
  4. Lakshmidevi says” that after massage her baby slept happily”.
  5. Hymavathi says” that she doesn’t know about baby massage she is daily using both soap for bathing. Now onwards she will apply the oil to her baby before bathing”.
  6. Venkataramanamma says” that oil massage removes rashes and wrinkles. It is advisable during winter season it is recommended to apply oil to the baby before bathing to warm up the baby’s body”

In this programme PRDS staff and ICDS (Integrated Child Development Society) and nearly 40 mothers were attended. PRDS is planning to screen this film in all the villages of three mandals to bring awareness on baby massage.

Indian Tradition:

Our Indians will use black kajal to save their kids from the evil eyes. Indians keep kajal like bindi on forehead, left side of the cheek, palm and under feet of the babies.

 

Their belief is that by decorating their babies with black kajal they can protect their kids from evil eyes .Another custom of Indians is that of tying up of black and red threads around the children’s necks to save their kids from evil eyes.

Gloria-B, Schutz, Yogan with PRDS staff

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