SOOTHING COLIC OR WIND RELATED PROBLEMS WITH BABY MASSAGE
Colic affects many new born babies and it is distressing condition for both baby and parent. Colic is misunderstood and widely used to describe a whole range of conditions. Symptoms of colic can include prolonged crying during late afternoon on a regular basis, a hard tummy, drawing legs up to tummy, and difficultly passing wind. It is important for parents to identify what they believe triggers their baby's colic and respond to it. The key to calming a baby is to observe its cues, listen to its needs and try a variety of techniques to soothe and settle. Some techniques may not be appropriate but we can eliminate those and focus on those that lead to success.
How and why baby massage works?
Massage helps in a number of ways;
· It helps to eliminate wind from baby's body;
· It can help to produce "feel good hormones" helping baby to relax and reducing levels of stress hormones;
· It can help to mature the digestive and nervous systems by helping to tone the digestive tract and aid the process of myelination of nerve cells for better brain body communication.
Most importantly baby massage gives you the opportunity to listen, observe and communicate with your baby. Your baby ultimately needs your trust, love and respect to make him feel secure and comfortable outside the womb. By communicating this through massage and offering your baby the skin to skin contact he craves you will be able to soothe and reassure him.
The stomach can be quite a sensitive area to massage. Massaging the stomach can aid the passage of any trapped air bubbles in your baby's tummy and intestines towards the bowel. Stomach massage can have huge benefits for babies that suffer with excessive or trapped wind or constipation as massage supports the movement their digestive system.
Some babies may find the sensation of air moving around the stomach uncomfortable however and can become tense. If this happens it is up to you as the parent to know whether to continue the massage. The effect of releasing air trapped in your baby's tummy will help relieve your baby of the pain associated with trapped wind. You may feel that this may outweigh any minor discomfort your baby feels moving the air around his stomach. As your baby becomes more familiar with sensations of stomach massage he will not be as sensitive to the strokes.
Normally if a baby starts to cry during a massage then this could be a sign that the baby has had enough massage however in the case of massage for colic it may be appropriate to continue the massage as the effect of massaging may be to release the trapped wind causing the pain. You are the best judge of what your baby needs.
Ideally to get the most effective results you should try to practice the tummy massage or colic massage routine twice a day, preferably in the morning and late afternoon. You should try to make this part of baby's daily care routine. Results will not be instant in every case and you should aim to repeat the massage for at least two week to help digestion.
About the author:Gayle is an expert in baby massage, trained in toddler massage, a baby yoga instructor, massage therapist, author of "Baby Massage-Expert Know-how at your fingertips" and mum to three children. She also has a law degree. Gayle trained with the International Association of Infant Massage and Birthlight and has taught baby massage to hundreds of parents. She is also a lecturer at the Body Basics School of Body Therapy in London where she teaches the baby massage course, baby yoga course, and pregnancy massage and preschool massage diplomas. Gayle works closely with Sure Start and with a number of nurseries in the Colchester area teaching baby massage and yoga.
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