Baby Massage: A Cure for Colic
By Lucy Curran
Colic hurts. Any parent who has an affected child will know that there is almost no pain like it – the physical and vocal response to the problem can be highly tiring and its very difficult to stand by and cope as a parent. It’s often tough to ask – what the hell is going on inside my baby?! When the problem arises, as it’s so common many health visitors expect parents to be aware of the nature of the affliction and how to deal with it.
The fact is: no one knows what colic is, although it was thought for a time to be a intestinal problem, and related to trapped wind. However, the only thing that even the medical profession knows about the cause of such pain is that it causes up to three hours of crying a day, for more than three or four days a week. Your baby isn’t alone either: 20% of children, males and females, suffer colic as infants; usually when they are but a few months old. Apart from the application of gripe-water (a, shall we say, interestingly flavoured product) there was, for many, many years, no cure for this elusive problem. Until now.
Many parents instinctively rub their children when they are in pain. We all know that, just as we need to massage our limbs when we get cramp, they need physical stimulation so that blood flow and wind movements can be righted. Baby massage allows for intense and structured contact with colic-afflicted babies – and massage has been credited with ending problem completely.
Flowing from the head to the toes, this specialist form of massage sees babies have full, much needed skin to skin contact with their caregiver; a soothing prospect for those suffering pain. A particularly encouraged technique for parents of colicky babies is the stomach massage, which sees the masseuse rub the baby’s belly in a gentle, circular motion beneath the rib cage, an action that encourages the correct movement of digested food through the body.
Classes teaching baby massage techniques are available worldwide, and many families have now begun to reap the benefits of the special, quiet times massage allows them to spend with their children. The BBC recently ran an article on the enriching quality of the massage for mothers who have suffered from post-natal depression and their babies, noting that the bonding process can be strengthened by the intimacy of massage. It has also been suggested that the strong bond developed naturally by the massage can prevent behavioural disorders later in life, and that the muscle stimulation involved can see children sitting, and even walking much sooner.
Available at a number of Sure Start centres in the UK, baby massage provides at last a positive solution for parents suffering the effects of a colicky child. Correcting sleep patterns and ending infant anxiety, it is perfectly simple, and the perfect solution to a huge number of childhood ailments.
About the Author:
This article written by Lucy Curran. For further details on Baby Massage teachers in the UK visit www.busylittleones.co.uk
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