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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Nurturing Touch and Infant Massage

A bond between child and parent is a wonderful, loving experience. The bond happens pre-conception for some parents. Some individuals dream of that experience of holding that little one in their arms from day one. Through the pregnancy, that parent begins to form that bond with the baby even before that baby is born.


    Sometimes that bond is immediate — the moment that baby is born and the parents/caregivers first set eyes on that baby. For some, that bond is not so immediate and may take a little longer. It may take a few hours, or even days, weeks, or months for that bond and attachment to take place.
    There are some that take that first look at their newborn baby and instantly fall in love — this bonding process is a natural human instinct for some. These parents instantly feel a sense of connection. Their baby has already started to feel that connection in utero — as they get to know you within the womb from hearing your voice and feeling your touch.
    A bond between parent and baby can happen in many ways. Bonding occurs when parents/caregivers look at, touch, feed, and care for their new baby. Gazing at your newborn and making that eye contact is a great first step at establishing that bond between parent and baby. When you gaze at your newborn, your baby will look back at you. According to WebMD, for mothers who are breastfeeding, the baby’s cries will help to stimulate the production of milk.
    The power of touch is an amazing stimulation for the baby — holding and touching that baby is very beneficial to the wellbeing of the baby. Rocking your baby to sleep or stroking your baby can help establish your new relationship and make you feel more comfortable when handling your new baby.
    Infant massage brings many benefits to parents and babies — as well as to the entire family. The four main benefits of infant massage include: interaction, stimulation, relaxation, and relief.
    Interaction is promoted through bonding, secure attachment, verbal/non-verbal communication, one-to-one quality time, pre-language skills, undivided attention, feeling respected, using all of the senses, love, tolerance, nurturing touch, early contact with both parents, empathy, and imitation.
    Stimulation occurs with all vital systems (e.g. circulatory, digestive, immune, nervous, respiratory etc.). There are benefits to language development, improved learning ability, muscular development and tone, growth, elimination, sensory integration, connections between neurons, and mind/body awareness.
    Relief can help with gas/colic, constipation, excess mucus, growing pains, muscular tension, teething discomfort, sensitivity to touch, tension, and softening of the skin.
    Relaxation may be demonstrated by improved sleep patterns, increased flexibility, increased environmental coping mechanisms, regulations of behavioral states, being calm, improved ability to calm oneself (also known as self-regulation), reduction of stress levels and stress hormones, higher levels of relaxing or anti-stress hormones (such as oxytocin and serotonin), lower levels of stress hormones (such as cortisol and norepinephrine), higher levels of dopamine, less hypersensitivity, and less hyperactivity.
    Parents benefit from infant massage as they are better able to understand their baby — reading and respecting their cues. Parents will feel a promotion of bonding, secure attachment, and improvement in their self-esteem and confidence. They will have a chance to discover their baby’s uniqueness as they spend quality time with their baby.
    The Infant Massage program is a tool to help parents to understand and enjoy their baby more, to reduce postnatal depression as the parents may form a better bond with their baby, to enhance the parents’ confidence in their own ability, and to reduce parents’ isolation as they enhance their social interactions among other parents.
    Through the Infant Massage workshop, parents will learn how to use nurturing touch to bond with their baby, reduce stress levels, and help their baby relax. Through the hands-on workshop parents will learn to use different strokes to use for different parts of the body, as well as a routine that may help with gas and colic.

    Palms Together Yoga is located at 1717 R.T. Dunn Drive, Unit E in Bloomington. For more information, you may call 309-825-1800 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

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