I work in a baby spa. Some people find it strange that the babies needed massaging. Recent studies have showed that giving a massage to babies could help them enhance their physical, emotional, mental and social development. Some premature infants need this for weight gain. Baby massage is entirely different from adult massage. We don't give infants Swedish or Shiatsu instead it's more of a nurturing touch that we do. We usually show the technique to parents so that they could do it themselves and create a bond between their babies.
"Kelly your three o'clock is here." The receptionist said.
"Send her in Marie." I said. My clients entered as I prepared the room.
"Hi I'm Mrs. Prescott and this is my husband. Our little angel here is Erica." She smiled as she and her husband extended their hands for a handshake.
"Hi, I'm Kelly and I will be your massage therapist." I adjusted the thermostat to make the room warm for the baby then I placed baby Erica on the bed and played the music on. I chose Enya for this session. The atmosphere should be relaxing for the baby and the music should be soothing and relaxing. I took off the baby's clothes and prepared the massage oils. "Music plays a lot in the massage environment. Babies get relaxed with this kind of music."
"We thought we should bring her here. She had been colicky for a few weeks now." Mr. Prescott explained.
"This massage can help your baby with that problem." I started to take off the baby's clothes. "You must not be afraid to touch your baby and you have to do this regularly." The couple stood there and watched me as I massaged their baby. "We start the massage by letting the baby know that we will do so. At first they won't understand this, but they will get used to the pattern as you do it day after day," I explained to them as I go. Usually these new parents are a little afraid to touch their babies. Leaving the infants lie on the cribs all the time. I explained to them the essence of touch in a baby's growth.
"Kelly, should I put a little pressure when I massage Erica?" Mrs. Prescott asked.
"We need a light pressure around the tummy area and you should apply the oil downward from the ribcage to the diaper area. For the back part, all you have to do is make smooth strokes from waist to neck. You might want to use your favorite baby oil for lubrication."
"What kind of smells do babies prefer?"
"A natural smell would do. Nothing too strong or too sweet smelling. You should use essential oils without any harsh chemicals to irritate your baby's skin. You can also try some edible oil since babies would have a tendency to put their hands and feet in their mouth. You might want to consider Sweet Almond oil, Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil for your baby." The parents listened intently as I explained to them.
As the session was coming to an end, the couple seemed satisfied by the new knowledge they gained and they seemed eager to try it themselves. These moments usually bring a smile to my heart.
By Caitlin Roberts
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