“My child lights up when he sees the therapist rub her hands with oil, knowing that the massage is about to begin. The massage has helped him relieve the muscle tone and it is easier for me to put on her foot orthotics, that otherwise was a dreadful task for us.”
-From a mother of a baby born with a disability (cerebral palsy)
Birth of a new-born is like a joyous festival for the parents and the family. However, there are few cases where a mother might give birth to a baby with disabilities. This is an adverse situation to face and overcome. The family needs to be strong mentally and not develop stress as that would affect the baby even more adversely. And, you are not the only one facing this situation. 6% infants are born with serious birth defects all over the world ( Birth Defects Causes And Statistics ) While medicine has evolved enough to take care of such abnormalities and heal the baby in most cases; the age-old practice of infant massage might also prove to be of great benefits in improving the condition of a disabled baby.
Infant massages: how does it help?
Infant massages have been in practice since ages and are a great way to pamper and nourish your baby when he/she is in the early developmental stages of life. The only difference; that parents are gaining more insights towards its physical and mental health benefits now and are embracing it more for a better upbringing of their babies.
Infant massage involves a human touch; a human touch that is like a therapy for a new-born. The touch, the massage is a way of communicating and showing care to the baby. It includes gentle strokes all over the baby’s body. An infant massage is a process of gently massaging the baby's muscle in a specific way using essential oil or moisturiser.
There are a lot of proven benefits of infant massages. Some of them being: relieving constipation, body cramps in infants, improving flexibility and muscle tone and improving sleep patterns. Similarly, infant massages have proved to be beneficial in improving conditions of physically disabled babies as well. Disabilities in newborns may be physical, the baby might have an inability to think clearly or might involve mental health illnesses. There also might be hearing or seeing inabilities. Children with disabilities have special needs and require much more care, attention and support than normal babies.
Let us have a look at benefits of infant massage for certain common disabilities:
Cerebral palsy: symptoms include low and high muscle tone, shortening of the muscles and joints, reduced abdominal motility and spasticity.
How can massage help?
• Reduce taut, stiff and tense muscles.
• Create more fluidity in the body
• Increase in mobility with correct strokes
Spina Bifidia: occurs when the spinal cord fails to develop properly.
How can massage help?
• Stimulate local circulation
• Aid neurological and brain development
• Increasing positive body image
• Decreasing scar tissue
Retinoblastoma: a childhood cancer that affects the eye and the child might develop aversions to touch the facial region due to repetitive procedures.
How can massage help?
• A massage with gentle protocol can decrease the disliking towards touch in the baby.
• Relax the baby prior to stressful procedures.
There are many trained professionals who could give your baby the joy of massaging and help them improve their condition. Infant massage therapists at Babysutra are trained to take care of infants with special needs. These therapists have a complete understanding of the healthcare that has to be undertaken and precautions to massage such babies. It is taken care that each baby is given a massage tailored for him and that the session lasts for only as long as the baby can tolerate.
Are you also doing your best to bring up a baby with disabilities? Get in touch with us. We are here to help your baby heal soon, heal well.
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