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Massage Therapy For Premature Babies

Touching And Caressing For Mental Health

Infant Massage

As a parent, you likely want to caress your kid instinctively. But its also been scientifically proven that children who were touched and nurtured more by their parents as babies have better mental health as adults because they develop stronger neuronal connections. Having a hippocampus thats almost 10% larger just provides concrete evidence of nurturings powerful effect, writes Joan L. Luby, MD, Professor of Child Psychiatry.

Does Massage Help Baby Growth

Thereâs evidence that premature babies who are massaged may have improved weight gain. No benefits of massage for normal full-term infants have been clearly demonstrated.

  • A 2017 research review analyzed the results of 34 studies of massage therapy for premature infants. Twenty of the studies evaluated the effect of massage on weight gain, with most showing an improvement. The mechanism by which massage therapy might increase weight gain is not well understood. Some studies suggested other possible benefits of massage but because the amount of evidence is small, no conclusions can be reached about effects other than weight gain.
  • A 2013 review of 34 studies of healthy full-term infants didnât find clear evidence of beneficial effects of massage in these low-risk infants.

Development Of An Evidence

Aileen Chan WK,1

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1The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China2The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China3Department of Paediatrics Cardiology, Queen Mary Hospital, China4Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, China

Correspondence: Aileen Chan WK, The Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Esther Lee Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T. Hong Kong, Tel 31634290

Received: October 20, 2015 | Published: November 16, 2015

Citation: Chan AWK, So WKW, Shih FY, Chui KH Development of an Evidence-Based Guideline for Preterm Infant Massage by Parents. Int J Complement Alt Med 2: 00042. DOI: 10.15406/ijcam.2015.02.00042

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Benefits Of Infant Massage

I often get asked how long should one massage their child after the baby is discharged from the NICU. What I tell parents is if the baby is benefiting from the massage, to continue to do the massage. If massage was helping the babys brain development, especially to the age of 3 years and beyond, would a parent really want to stop massaging their baby? How many adults want massage to be a done deal after a certain pain was gone? Wouldnt a person want to continue to have the benefits that massage therapy provides?

The endorphins that are released into the body during massage combat the stress hormones already in our system, being in the parasympathetic nervous system as compared to the sympathetic nervous system . Working in massage with both infants and adults, I can see that babies are mentally more relaxed, positive, have less stress signals, less alarms going off, deeper sleep and better weight gain. I believe that the babys mind and soul are truly affected by massage in only positive ways. The parent-child bonding experience is just one example of this. Many parents find it hard to put into words their massage time with their infant. Most say it was just as pleasurable giving the massage to their baby as the baby receiving it. That just makes my heart melt and one of the main reasons why I work with parents. I feel all parents should learn massage for their kids. You cant put a price on something so valuable to both parent and child.

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Vibrations And White Noise To Calm Down Your Baby

Performing a Massage on an Infant

Vibrations are proven to be one of the best ways to soothe your crying baby. White noise devices have the exact same effect, plus they help babies fall asleep and sleep longer. Dryers or washing machines have become saviors for desperate new parents. The static sounds, experts say, are similar to the body noises that a baby listens to in the womb.

How to do it:

  • Get an infant seat and place it on the appliance. Set your baby comfortably in it and be sure to hold the seat to prevent it from moving out of place.
  • Start the machine and let the vibrations of the appliance slowly calm your baby.

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Can Massage Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Massage therapy may be helpful for some fibromyalgia symptoms if itâs continued for long enough.

  • A 2014 evaluation of 9 studies concluded that massage therapy, if continued for at least 5 weeks, improved pain, anxiety, and depression in people with fibromyalgia but did not have an effect on sleep disturbance.
  • A 2015 evaluation of 10 studies compared the effects of different kinds of massage therapy and found that most styles of massage had beneficial effects on quality of life in people with fibromyalgia. Swedish massage may be an exception 2 studies of this type of massage did not show benefits.

For more information, see NCCIHâs fact sheet on fibromyalgia.

How Music Therapy For Kids In Nicu Is Practised

The music therapy happens around their gestational stage or within the development stage, they would have been if they werenât born early. It is a combination of humming and singing depending on which stage the baby is currently at and develops to singing at the appropriate time. Some of the music therapists who work with them and parents who have been involved in this procedure report that during this period the kids have reported that their vitals have improved positively during this time

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The Donts Of Baby Massage For Preemies

Dont try to massage your baby if they’re sleepy, fussy, sick, or not alert.

Never use a soft surface such like a bed or couch for baby massage. A changing table or the floor are appropriately firm surfaces.

Dont continue massaging your infant if they appear uncomfortable or distressed. See the signs listed above in the Dos section.

If your baby is easily overstimulated, dont talk, sing, or play music during the massage, but do use eye contact and whispered statements of love and encouragement to connect with them.

Dont use deep-tissue massage as you would for an adultit could cause trauma or injury to your baby. Light pressure and slow, gentle strokes are the most calming and soothingand fun.

Dont massage your baby when they’re hungry or full.

Don’t let the massage oil get into the eyes, nose, or ears. Avoid massaging the soft spot on your baby’s head, and massaging directly over their spine.

Can Massage Help Cancer Patients

Welcoming a new life â Physical therapies for premature baby

With appropriate precautions, massage therapy can be part of supportive care for cancer patients who would like to try it however, the evidence that it can relieve pain and anxiety is not strong.

  • Massage therapy, with or without aromatherapy has been used to attempt to relieve pain, anxiety, and other symptoms in people with cancer. A 2016 evaluation of 19 studies of massage for cancer patients found some evidence that massage might help with pain and anxiety, but the quality of the evidence was very low , and findings were not consistent.
  • Clinical practice guidelines for the care of breast cancer patients include massage as one of several approaches that may be helpful for stress reduction, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and quality of life. Clinical practice guidelines for the care of lung cancer patients suggest that massage therapy could be added as part of supportive care in patients whose anxiety or pain is not adequately controlled by usual care.
  • Massage therapists may need to modify their usual techniques when working with cancer patients for example, they may have to use less pressure than usual in areas that are sensitive because of cancer or cancer treatments.

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Other Benefits Of Infant Massage

It should be noted that infant massage is not just something that benefits premature babies. Even babies who were born full-term can benefit from being massaged on a regular basis. The Mayo Clinic notes that some of the general benefits of infant massage include:

Enabling a parent to bond with his or her child, which has been shown to boost cognitive and social development, says KidsHealth Helping a baby of almost any age relax and sleep better at night and during naptimes Eliminating stress

Including The Mother In The Heel Prick

To test this hypothesis, the scientists followed 20 premature babies at the Parini Hospital in Italy and asked the mother to be present during the daily blood test, which is done by extracting a few drops of blood from the heel. We focused this study on the maternal voice, because in the first days of life it is more difficult for the father to be present, due to working conditions that do not always allow days off, says Dr. Manuela Filippa, a researcher in Didier Grandjeans group and first author of the study.

The study was conducted in three phases over three days, allowing for comparison: a first injection was taken without the mother being present, a second with the mother talking to the baby and a third with the mother singing to the baby. The order of these conditions changed randomly. For the study, the mother started talking or singing five minutes before the injection, during the injection and after the procedure, says the Geneva researcher. We also measured the intensity of the voice, so that it would cover surrounding noise, as intensive care is often noisy due to ventilations and other medical devices.

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Mastering Preemie Baby Massage

When your preemies skin can handle it, this form of touch therapy will help them grow. You may be wondering exactly how to massage your baby, what to do, and what to avoid.

We understand, and our BEB Organic expert team created this beginners guide to baby massage to answer all your questions and help you get started with confidence and ease.

Once you know all the amazing evidence-based benefits of baby massagefrom improving sleep to enhancing immunity, circulation, and digestion to supporting brain function and parent-child bondingyoull probably want to get started right away.

Our BEB Organic Nurturing Oil adds healthy ingredients to the love you give during your first tentative massageand the expert ones you’ll give later.

The Safety Of Baby Massage

SSM Health Medical Minute

When performed properly with gentle, loving strokes, infant massage is completely safe, with no negative side effects. Just keep a few precautions in mind:

  • If a baby is massaged too vigorously or with strong pressure, they can be hurt or traumatized. Massage gently, especially with your little preemie.
  • Babies who are sick or who have heart problems shouldn’t be massaged, unless under a doctor’s order.
  • Use a safe, non-toxic oil or lotion that does not trigger a skin reaction in your baby, like BEB Organic Nurturing Oil.

Always check with your doctor first before adding baby massage to your routine.

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How Massage Therapy Can Reduce Stress In Premature Infants

The American Massage Therapy Association notes that massage therapy can be very helpful for infants, as it enables premature infants to gain weight, improves their social and emotional temperament, decreases urinary stress and diarrhea, improves quality of sleep and reduces sleep-related breathing problems in babies born with a low birth weight.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information backs up these claims, noting that studies done on premature infants clearly show that massage therapy clearly brings about improvements in an infants autonomic nervous system, although the benefits were much greater for baby boys than baby girls.

Does Your Baby Knead A Massage

Research has produced so much about touch and the positive effects of touch. Human touch helps infants with weight gain, development, bone growth, muscle coordination, and ability to bond with others.1

There are three positive experiences that a premature infant and caregiver can have while in the NICU: kangaroo care, breastfeeding, and infant massage. Massage contributes to healthy development, but especially helps premature infants with brain growth, weight gain, improved circulation, helps mature the nervous system and improves bonding between parent and baby. Yes, infant massage does reduce infants stress levels due to the NICU environment, and the premature infant can learn how to relax.

For mothers who are breastfeeding, massage can actually help stimulate prolactin, the hormone that increases milk production. For fathers, I find teaching them massage is crucial to help them bond with their baby. It also helps fathers to feel comfortable touching and handling their baby. They often feel they will hurt their babies since dads hands are usually larger than the moms and they are afraid of their childs fragility.

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Baby Massage Promotes Sleep

Research from the University of Warwick found that baby massage lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and stimulates melatonin production. Because melatonins main job is to regulate sleep cycles, baby massage helps babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Given the apparent effect of infant massage on stress hormones, it is not surprising to find some evidence of an effect on sleep and crying, Angela Underdown, University of Warwick

Baby Massage Improves Certain Conditions

Neonatal Touch & Massage Therapy – Creative Therapy Consultants

Just like massage therapy can be used to treat various conditions in adults, massage therapy can also be used to treat conditions in babies and young children. For instance, children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder performed better on tests after a massage. The same was true for children with ADHD. Other pediatric psychiatric disorders that were also improved by massage included:

  • Bulimia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

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How Music Therapy Helps Premature Babies Develop Faster

We have good news today for mums whose babies are in a Neonatal Intensive Care unit: Music therapy can help them develop and come home faster. According to a research, which was carried out by the director of music therapy program at Florida State University, Jayne Standley and a team of other researchers, they discovered that playing music in the NICU could lead to babies developing faster. And so, they would be discharged earlier from the hospital.

How To Massage Baby Premature Baby In Nicu With Dad

Was baby born premature? Or did baby spend time in the NICU? If yes, then its important to know the benefits of infant massage!

Massage+ 30, 10, 5 is a simple, quick, and powerful baby massage intervention to help improve the health and development of premature and full-term infants. This is an infant massage of babys head, arms, legs, belly, and back, and also incorporates communication and movement. This baby massage can be done in the NICU or at home.

In this video, youll learn baby massage techniques for premature infants, babies in the NICU, and full-term babies at home. Watch this video of Mary May, born 2 months premature, in the NICU getting an infant massage from her dad.

There are many benefits to this infant baby massage intervention. Some of the benefits of infant massage include improvements in:

  • Babys sleeping and eating habits
  • Babys sense of hearing, touch, sight, and motion
  • Parent confidence levels
  • Parent and child intimacy
  • Parent and child communication

Massage+ 30,10,5 is also known as ATVV, which stands for Auditory, Tactile, Visual and Vestibular. The parts of this baby massage are:

  • Auditory Talk softly to infant for 30 seconds
  • Tactile Moderate stroking or massaging infant for 10 minutes
  • Visual Making eye-to-eye contact with infant while massaging and rocking
  • Vestibular Rocking infant for 5 minutes

Here are a few tips to help with baby massage:

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Do I Need Baby Massage Oil

While you dont need baby massage oil, using massage oil can make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable, because it lessens the friction between skin.

According to a study published in the journal Indian Pediatrics, the type of massage oil you use can affect the health and growth of your baby. Researchers found that when coconut oil was used, the babies gained more weight.

Recent research from the University of Manchester also studied the role of oil used in baby massages, and found that olive oil and sunflower oil seemed to break down babys skin barrier function. Babies massaged with these oils were more at risk for developing skin conditions like baby eczema.

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  • After a diaper change

Massage For Mom And Baby

Preemie Prints is a 501(c)3 non profit organization ...

Therapeutic massage for the mother can provide an important opportunity for stress release and time to self-nourish on a regular basis, and can impart of feeling of being care for.50 A study by Field et al. found that depressed teenage mothers receiving massage experienced decreased depression and anxiety, had statistically significant behavior changes, and decreased salivary cortisol levels after a session.77Infant massage, which mothers can easily be trained to do, may also have benefits not only for the infant of the depressed mother via insuring contact and bonding that may become neglected with PPD, but also for the mother. Infants who receive massage regularly may sleep better and be less fussy, reducing potential stress, anxiety, and depression triggers for the mother, but also the act of giving infant massage can improve the mother’s sense of connection and attachment to her baby while helping her to feel confident handling the baby and validated as a âgood motherâ for the effort she is making. A study by Onozawa et al. found that depression scores were reduced for both mothers with PPD and their infants as a result of regularly attending infant massage classes, and motherâinfant interactions were improved.78

K. Minde, P. Zelkowitz, in, 2008

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Different Types Of Massage

Massage has been used for centuries to relieve pain and reduce stress. There are several different kinds of massage therapy. The most common form in Western countries is Swedish, or classic, massage. Other styles include sports massage, Shiatsu, Tui na, deep tissue massage, and clinical massage to release muscle spasms.4

Several studies have found massage helps people with other types of pain, depression, and anxiety, including those with fibromyalgia, cancer, digestive issues, headaches, and HIV/AIDS. Massage seems to help premature babies gain weight faster.4

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