I was very interested in any type of alternative therapy to help with the pokes and prods my sons endured daily.
So, I did some reading and found that there were many benefits to infant massage so, I took advantage of the service.
Massage has been practiced for centuries in many cultures around the world, such as India, China and South America.
All babies need touch to thrive emotionally and physically. Our babies don't get much touch.
Preemies spend many hours in their isolette and we are limited to how much we can touch them. And lets face it the only touch they get to feel right off the bat it the poke of needs for blood draws or IV or of a cold stethoscope etc...
Massage has some special benefits for premature babies.
A gentle massage gives your your preemie a soothing touch. With a series of gentle strokes and gentle leg and arm movements,your baby can experience many benefits .
What are the benefits of massage for your preemie?:
- It calms and soothes
- Creates sounder and longer sleep patterns.
- Can increase weight gain
- The tactile stimulation can help brain and visual development
- The baby can become more alert and active.
- A general increase in health.
- It increases bonding feelings for parents
Get trained by a certified massage therapist because preemies (most of the time) don't like to be touched.
In my experience when we first started my son could experience anything from drops oxygen saturation's to increase heart rate.
So as with anything check with your NICU team before trying any type of alternative treatment.
Make sure you check out this article on how infant massage therapy reduces stress in preemies.
Here is a great book on infant massage called Developmental Baby Massage.