Western civilisation has only recently discovered the gentle art of baby massage, something that other cultures have been practicing for thousands of years.
In India, mothers learn the techniques from their own mothers or mothers–in-law and pass this knowledge on to their own daughters. Sometimes massage begins on the first day of life, but usually it starts when the baby is five days old, once the umbilical cord stump has fallen off, and continues through childhood.
Massaging your new baby is a great way to get to know them and to create a loving, trusting bond between yourself and your child. It is a great way to get dad involved in caring for his newborn. Fathers do not get the skin-to-skin contact that mothers and babies have through breastfeeding, so this is a great way for them to establish a strong bond with their child.
Baby massage techniques are simple and easy to do; the techniques are empowering and improve the parent-infant attachment process. There is a growing body of research that supports the therapeutic benefits. Expectant parents who take infant massage instruction in advance are ready to begin this wonderful loving touch right from the start.
Just a little massage each day can help your baby become calmer and happier, with fewer stress hormones and healthier immune function as massage releases endorphins, those 'feel good' hormones that help us all reduce stress.