Written on 7 November 2017
There are many traditions and practices related to newborn’s care in India that are considered essential and passed down the generations as a must to do. You certainly want the best for your bundle of joy and carry on with many of these traditional practices and tips, but some of them might not be so good for your baby altogether or if not done correctly. Baby massage is one such traditional and common practice, so let’s look at it more closely.
Is massage really needed - While it is a fairly common thing, doctors say a baby massage is not required from a scientific and medical point of view. According to doctors it can probably help the baby relax and sleep well if done in the right manner. It can also increase the bonding between the baby and the mother if it is done by the mother and not a maid. But, there is not enough scientific evident to conclusively prove that massage helps in strengthening the baby’s bones and muscles and aid his development.
Why doctors do not recommend it – The doctors are against baby massage due to the following potential harms and disadvantages of massages:
Most of the times, massages are done by a maid or midwife just to earn money and they may use a lot of force or do it carelessly causing pain and even injury to the baby. If it is being done, it must be done by the mother, father or elder members in the family.
The oils used for massaging may cause allergic reactions or skin ailments as a baby’s skin is hyper sensitive and cannot bear harsh substances and oils.
Massage can sometime become stressful for the baby making him irritated and cranky and even disrupt his sleeping and feeding schedule.
Massaging the baby in the wrong position is fairly common and it can cause injuries or discomfort to the baby.
So, think carefully from all angles before you start on a massage schedule for your baby and not just blindly follow any advice you receive in its favor.
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