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Importance Of Physical Contact With Infants

mom infantMassaging is a technique which helps in solving many of the issues related to obstetric complications. According to gynaecologists and paediatricians it could lead to proper position of the fetus from the early stages of pregnancy.

Regular gentle massaging of the belly, vaginal and back regions with essential oils reduces the stresses to considerable extent. Normal childbirth could be made possible without resorting to caesarean method if the massaging is done in the prescribed manner.

In the postnatal period massaging of infant helps in proper alignment of bones and skin layers. Touch therapy is a simple method which helps the infant in attaining enhancement in physical growth and development.

Skin to Skin Contact with Infant

Newly born baby feels warmth and comfort when he is in skin to skin contact with his mother. Gentle massages during breastfeeding can help improve blood circulation and proper digestion.

  • Recommended practice is to hug infant for about 5 to 6 minutes once he has been bathed and dried. As a mother you need to feel his fingers, toes and feet regularly. Holding the bare baby in your abdomen and chest not only provides physical warmth to the infant skin, it also bonds you with the infant emotionally.
  • Prematurely born babies are often kept in incubators and hence they miss out on early skin contact with their mothers. In such cases doctors might advice mothers to massage the infants on back, arms, legs and head region. According to paediatricians it helps the infants in gaining normal body weight apart from enabling response to stimuli, activeness and healthy skin conditions.
  • Carrying your infant on the shoulder and patting him on the back can actually help in normalizing the spinal cord and connective tissues. As you might have observed, this type of holding with the singing of lullaby helps the infant in attaining normal sleep cycles.
  • Healthy skin development is attributed to massaging of essential oils during the first few months. You could include coconut oil, olive oil, honey and buttermilk in the recipe for skin massaging liquid. Once you are done with massaging, make sure that your infant is given a warm bath after 15 to 20 minutes. It helps in removing of peeled skin layers naturally.

Recommended Massaging Method

  • Rest your infant on his belly and start massaging him from the head region. Smearing your palms with gentle olive oil helps. Once you have reached the neck region you need to move both your hands diagonally in opposite directions, spreading the massage to shoulders and arms.
  • Move back till the neck with a gentle massage and then down to his waist and lower back.
  • Slide down till his feet and heels. Take special care to massage his toes.
  • Next you need to rest the infant on his back and repeat the same procedure. You could take about 15 to 20 minutes for completing this procedure. Then let him rest. If he falls asleep, wait till he wakes up before giving him a warm water bath.
  • Repeat this exercise every morning and you can observe considerable improvements in his growth rate.

Baby Skin Contact after Birth

Newborn baby is seldom kept in cradles as he needs consistent physical touch with his mother’s skin. According to paediatricians it helps the infant in getting conditioned to the external world as days pass.

Remaining in the womb for 9 months gives a feeling of protection to the growing baby which may be lost suddenly as he is exposed to the external world.

Being in close skin to skin contact with his mother is said to be helpful for the normalization of blood flow, balancing of skin temperature and relaxation of body and internal organs.

Baby Skin Irritation from Drool

The natural drool produced by the infant could cause skin irritation to your infant when his bed is left unchanged regularly. Besides, the sweat generated during the first 2 to 3 months can also cause feelings of itchiness and irritation.

You might have observed your baby crying even after he has been fed and rested comfortably. It could be due to these irritants. In such cases you need to clean the baby skin with pure warm water, change the diaper and bed.

Cotton is one of the most recommended bed materials for your infant.  Even if you were to have a bed with foam or synthetic bottom, make sure that the part of bed which comes into direct contact with his skin is cotton.

Growing Baby Skin Contact

As your infant starts growing in months he will be able to recognize the different types of touch due to the skin contact people. He certainly knows how to identify his mother and father as he frequently comes in skin to skin contact with them.

Encourage your relatives and friends who come visiting your baby to cuddle and hug him for a while. It helps him in feeling comfortable with the external world, people and surrounding environment.

Touch Derivation and Emotional Problems

According to many clinical research studies, the infants who miss out on frequent skin to skin contact with their parents often grow to be troublesome children. Hypersensitiveness, emotional imbalance, aggression and depression are said to be the common symptoms among such kids as they grow up to be toddlers.

Since no efforts at that stage can help in setting the balance back, it is better to give attention to physical contact with your infant during the early stages.

  • Infant skin has many sensory cells which are directly connected to his brain. When the parents hug and cuddle him it sends a sense of physical as well as psychological relief to the brain.
  • Regular massaging helps the skin to attain proper tightness and elasticity during the early stages. Studies have revealed that skin layers from the epidermis to the hypodermis and Subcutis region get proper supply of oxygenated blood as the veins get tuned. Bone strength also gets enhanced during regular massage.

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