Advantages & Benefits
Advantages of the IAIM Infant Massage Program
Did you know that parents who take a class with IAIM learn much more than just the mechanics of a massage routine?
Our program involves many different styles of touch, movement, interaction and communication.
Both research and anecdotal evidence from families have shown that there are many ways that babies and families may benefit from infant massage.
The benefits for babies can be grouped into four categories: Interaction, Stimulation, Relief and Relaxation and benefits for parents, the entire family and society as a whole are also recognised.
“Mother and baby enjoying massage together in a UK class”
Benefits for Babies : Interaction
Regular massage promotes quality time with both parents:
- For bonding and secure attachment
- Feeling loved, valued and respected,
- Early contact with both parents, developing empathy,
- Verbal and non-verbal communication, using all of the senses,
- Developing trust and confidence
Regular massage support infant development by:
- Stimulation of all body systems including the digestive, hormonal, immune and circulatory systems, elimination, muscle tone, joint mobility
- Improving self-regulation
- Experiencing body’s sensing, coordination and balance to better body awareness Encourage vocalizations and communication
- Release of neuro-mediators involved in brain development
- Improving sleep quality
- Encouraging parent-directed learning and concentration
Parents describe that massage helps relieve :
- Gastro-intestinal issues: Colic, constipation and wind/gas,
- Teething discomfort, excess mucus,
- Reduce growing pains and muscular cramps
Relaxation identified after massage by:
- Deeper sleep
- Improved sleep patterns,
- More flexibility and relaxed muscle tone,
- Regulation of behavioural states,
- Being calm and being able to calm themselves,
- Reduction in stress hormones,
- Increase in “feel good” hormones
Happy interaction is an important part of the infant massage process,
which is shown in this photo from Venezuela.
Benefits to society
IAIM program: promotes social engagement and solidarity
– Breaks parental loneliness by attending infant massage class
– Parents gain support from the group and the certified instructor/educator
– Reduces the incidence of maternal post-natal depression
– Helps adjustment of couple after giving birth
Reduce violence and abuse:
Infant massage classes proposed by certified instructors/educators are opportunities to enhance sensitive parenting skills development and to promote child development education, acting against violence and child maltreatment.
Touch is nurturing babies and parents as it triggers a reciprocal effect : calming down nervous system and sharing pleasant experience.
“First impressions are imprinted deeply and last the longest”
DeAnna Elliott, IAIM trainer USA