Benefits of Infant Massage



Through infant massage we develop further our means of expression which is part of our very first “ language “ – touch. During the course of the day the massage offers a period of time in which the parent is fully concentrating on the baby and conveys to him/ her, in a very direct way, love, care and respect. It enables the parents, in a pleasant way, to further the development of the child and at the same time strengthen the parent / child bond . And, of course, massage is fun!


Benefits for Parents

  • Bonding and relaxation
  • Communication, verbal and non- verbal
  • Increased parental competence in relating to and handling the baby
  • Fun and joy
  • Opportunities for close bonds and intensive communion between two people
  • Increase in prolactin/ocytocin production ( the hormone which furthers “ motherly instincts & well being )
  • Development of awareness through loving touch and caring attention
  • Positive effects extend to other relationships i.e to partner and child
  • Teaching, in groups offers parents the opportunity for reciprocal exchange of ideas and experiences


Benefits to Babies

  • Supports the bonding process
  • Improves the blood circulation, digestion and inner equilibrium ( balance )
  • Conveys a consciousness of love, acceptance and security
  • The baby learns how to relax and become more calm
  • The baby feels that it is respected and his/ her needs are cared for and considered
  • Can improve sleep patterns
  • Stimulates a heightened sense of well being
  • Furthering of the development of the digestive tract and the respiratory organs
  • Reduction of colic symptoms and digestive problems


Benefits for babies with special needs ( additional to above )

  • Promotes relaxation of tense muscles
  • Stimulates muscle tome of hypotonic babies
  • Increases baby’s alert state promoting ability to concentrate
  • Helps baby to accept touch and to associate it as something positive ( especially in babies who have experienced traumatic hospital intervention )
  • Promotes weight gain
  • Can increase length and depth of sleep
  • Reduction in bloating, constipation and other digestive problems
  • Helps to regulate hypo- or hyper – sensitivity towards touch
  • Improvement in eye contact and interaction with others
  • Stimulation of blood circulation, which reduces “ marbled veined “ skin
  • Decreases fist making and shoulder tension
  • Encourages hands go to midline more frequently, for self comforting
  • General relaxation


Written by  Margo Killborn a granny of triplets from Johannesburg. Margo is the President of the International Association of Infant Massage ( IAIM). Margo not only trains therapists, she also speaks at various seminars including the SAMBA seminars in Johannesburg.


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