How massage alleviates your baby’s ‘colic’ 

What is ‘colic’?
Sadly there is no established cause as yet for what is commonly termed ‘colic’. The NHS describes colic as ‘excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy.’ 

Typically babies are aged between three and twelve weeks with symptoms including intense crying which is frequently in the late afternoon or early evening. Babies may draw their knees up to their tummy or arch their back when crying which may indicate abdominal pain and babies may appear less able to tolerate intensely stimulating environments. 

It can be incredibly hard to see your baby in such discomfort and one of the most important things we always recommend to parents is to gain as much support as possible.

The healing power of touch 
It may be reassuring to know about the benefits of the healing power of touch. Given the immaturity of the digestive system in infants, tummy pain can be a contributing factor in excessive crying. Whether the tummy pain is the primary cause of the crying or a result of the crying we cannot be sure, but what we do know is that massage is ideal for stimulating the digestive system and helping it to function more efficiently. 

There is a routine you can perform on your baby which provides a useful tool for gentle relief of tummy pain and should leave you feeling empowered, confident and more ‘in tune’ with your baby.

The massage is easy to follow and has been researched to provide stimulation for the digestive system, relieves abdominal wind, digestive cramping and constipation, and helps to assist with elimination. The routine releases built-up stress by calming and relaxing your baby and relaxing the stomach area. Applying nurturing touch releases relaxing hormones and reduces stress hormones such as cortisol in your baby.

It is recommend that once you have learnt the routine, that it is used 2 to 3 times a day at a time when your baby is not distressed nor demonstrating feeding cues (for example this may be during a nappy change). Being consistent and following through with the routine on a daily basis is the key to ensuring relief for your baby and should prevent symptoms increasing.

How we can help

For Baby & Me massage courses will provide you with much needed support in a nurturing, calm and caring environment. We have also developed one to one sessions which focus on excessive crying and can take place in your own home where you will have the opportunity to learn:

  • The Colic Routine: massage, touch relaxation and gentle movements
  • The most appropriate time to massage a colicky baby
  • Which oil to use for massage 
  • More about how the digestive system functions
  • Other ‘fourth trimester’ calming techniques 

To book onto one of our group baby massage courses or to book a bespoke colic session, or to enquire about hosting your own baby massage course for a group of friends please get in touch by emailing info@forbabyandme.net

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