- enhanced through increased eye contact
- increased prolactin levels - a hormone needed to produce breast milk,
- also known as the "mothering" hormone
- this increase has been noted in fathers and other caregivers
- has the effect of helping you "fall in love" with your baby
- has been used with great results in cases of neglect and abuse
- In studies it has been shown that mothers who had a lot of early contact were able to choose their 3 - 8 year old children's pajamas from among others that were identical
- Gives you a chance to 'mirror' your love
- Computer studies have shown that infants synchronize their body movements with the speech of their caregivers.
- This shows the important 'dance' of communication that occurs
- Massage enhances this response as infant and caregiver become more in 'sync' with each other
- There is a decrease in cortisol levels (stress hormone). See research for details
- If you routinely massage a baby , you will have a measurable decrease in your stress levels.
- Routinely practicing the breathing and relaxation techniques needed to successfully do the massage will become automatic in other parts of your life
- Many working parents have found that doing the massage as soon as they get home helps them to relax and "reconnect" with their baby before they start their evening routine
"Infants and young children are gifts of pure, unconditional love. Sharing massage with them allows us to tap into this love and, in turn, reflect it back to them."
-Elly Leduc, RN, Certified Infant Massage Instructor.
In Baby Massage: A Video for Loving Parents see a complete massage by Elly, as well as the five lessons teaching all the strokes of the routine.