Most adults know that massage therapy can help reduce stress and increase relaxation. For infants, massage therapy stimulates the development behavior by providing optimal stimulation of the senses in the context of a loving relationship. A mother is distant, sad and irritable can not adequately nourish her baby and may not be able to experience some of the intense joys of motherhood. Massage therapy offers hope for the infant, the depressed mother and her link.
According to pediatrician William Sears of Southern California, one of the most essential components for healthy child development is the formation of a strong emotional bond between the infant and the primary caregiver. Linking influences the way a baby experiences the world and promotes learning. Bonding occurs when a healthy, beautiful communication cycle develops: the more sensitive is the primary caregiver to the baby’s needs and satisfy, the more likely the baby communicate those needs. In addition, according to an information sheet of Cooperative Extension of the University of Maine, such interactions actually shape the child brain development. The more they are communicated and met the needs of the baby, the more optimal neural connections are created in the brain. In such a predictable, safe and loving environment, a baby learns to explore and trust.
A review by the University of Iowa on recent research indicates that maternal depression is associated with physical, cognitive and behavioral child development delays. Children of mothers who experience depression have more difficulty deciphering communication, interpreting facial expressions, regulate sleep-wake cycles and exploring their environment. They also seem more distant, and take longer to respond to stimulation. Unfortunately, these delays occur at a stage when brain plasticity is ready for a great learning occurs.
Massage therapy for infants provides a means through which the mother-infant pair can be explored together. The process itself is simple. Using approved baby oil massage, the mother gently massage the legs, abdomen, arms, chest, face and back of the baby. This is done in a quiet, face to face , preferably while the mother gently tells her actions and responses of the baby.
The baby feels the contact of the mother, hear his voice, see his face, and both mother smells like oil. The mother sees and knows the reactions of your baby. As the mother-child language, mother rewarded with smiles and more positive verbalizations baby grows, and shows less irritable. Begins to develop a healthier linkage.
Through this process, a mother can also get a new and valuable to get help and more deliberate and actively involved in the development of your baby motivation. The American Psychological Association provides a referral service to help you find a mental health professional. In addition, most pediatricians can help depressed mothers find mental health services and massage therapy classes or instructors.