When a child is born, it becomes the prime responsibility of the mother to take care of the baby completely with no compromise on health , clothing , eating and significantly on skin care issues.
New born baby’s skin is very delicate and need to be looked after 24 hours. Oil massages with some oil products which should be free from chemicals and are skin friendly are used. It can be stated as early as 15 days to 2 months.
It is not only good for skin but also has many other benefits.
Oil Massage –
- helps in growth of the bones.
- helps to improve blood circulation.
- improves the strength of the muscles with proper alignment of the fibres.
- gives texture and smoothening of the skin.
- relaxes the mind of the child and helps sleep better for longer duration at night.
- relieves digestion problems.
- improves the immunity system of the child.
- relieves congestion in children.
- improves motor development and enhances sensory integration in children.
- collectively helps in physical, mental, social and overall fitness of the child .
In-order to perform these massages, there are some massaging techniques which should be followed by every mother for better health of the child.
While massaging, mother should apply oil in the form of letters “I L U”, this has got health benefits .
- Capital I letter mark is good for the descending colon .
- Capital L letter mark is good for transverse colon.
- Capital U letter mark is good for the ascending, transverse and descending colon.
There are other ways to apply oil along with stretching the arms, fingers and legs for relaxation of the body of the child,
- Shoulder stretch with application of oil and movement from lateral side of the neck and downwards upto the upper arm. It can be done with baby placed in supine (face upwards) or in sitting position.
- Upper arm massage from upwards to down upto the wrist.
- Fingers stretch with each finger stretched outward.
- Hamstring stretches from thigh region towards ankle joint.
- Foot shaping stretches for dorsiflexors (upward movement of foot) , Evertors ( outward movement of foot) , Invertors (inward movement of foot), Plantar flexors (downward movement of foot).
- Spine twist with sitting position or supine (face upward), moving the baby in side wise direction with application of oil.
- Pawanmuktasan is a yoga posture performed in children with knees bend and taken towards the chest area. This is helpful in relieving gas formation in babies.
- Small circular movements can be done with tip of fingers of mother at the back area of the baby with placed in face downward position in anti-clockwise direction.
- Similar circular movements with gentle pressure in clockwise direction can be done over chest, and tummy area.
It sometimes becomes difficult to do the oil massage in children as some are cranky and do not co-operate with their mothers. So, before starting the massage, proper conducive environment should be created so that the baby is comfortable while the oil is applied.
- The room should be well ventilated, in winter season cold should be avoided and mild heating of the oil should be done.
- The mother should clean her hands properly, moisturise and rub both hands together prior to the oil massage.
- Proper dressing of the baby with loose cloths or diaper should be done.
- Application of oil in mild sunlight is preferred for bone growth and strength.
- Massaging immediately after feeding should be avoided.
- The fontanel area is massaged in circular manner with finger tips. But remember not to apply over pressure.
The above mentioned points are important for each baby and mother for healthy growth and development. It also helps the mother to monitor her child’s behaviour, development and spend some beautiful time with her new born.