Life inside of the womb is rich. Rich with noises, sounds and movements. Here your baby is surrounded by nice warm amniotic fluid. Continuously touching and caressing your baby’s skin creates warmth, safety, nourishment and support. Your baby will start to feel surges when you are in labour. During labour, your baby will experience a gentle rhythm of squeezes around their whole body that is supporting a vaginal birth. This will be the most powerful massage that your baby will ever receive in their life, which is birth itself.
The benefits of baby massage is both emotional and physical. When the baby experiences an emotion, a muscle will tighten somewhere in the body. Baby massage can release that emotion out of the body and relax their muscles which is linked to that emotion. This way, you are able to release some anxiety or trauma from birth and/or from everyday life. Baby massage stimulates the release of the hormone endorphins, this reduces the circulation of cortisol which is a stress hormone in the bloodstream. Communicating with your baby with the touch of your hands will give the baby a feeling of well being.
The sense of touch is already highly developed inside the womb. Through touch, the baby will discover the world. Communicate your love to your baby with the art of baby massage.
In the video below, I am demonstrating how to carry a baby in a cloth. A selendang is a piece of batik which originates from Indonesia. The baby will be snuggled in closely against your chest, with the selendang wrapped tightly around their tiny body. Having this intimate contact with your baby promotes the release of the hormone oxytocin which plays a big role in bonding. Oxytocin is released by your pituitary gland, it slows down both your heart rate and your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress. It is no wonder that being so closely hugged against your warm body, where the baby can smell you and hear your heartbeat, that they often fall asleep. This is a great way to take your baby out in public where they will be protected from stimulation around them whilst you are breast feeding.
Learning how to carry your baby this way will take some patients and practice, but in the long run you will not carry your baby without it anymore.
Baby Audrey is so relaxed in this video after her baby massage class, she was a perfect model.
How you can carry a baby from 2 months onwards in a traditional Indonesian way. You can fold the selendang double for more strength.