Babies are a beautiful gift.  As a parent, we make sure that our babies have everything that they need in order to thrive, which includes, feeding, clothing, love, attention, snuggles, proper healthcare and so much more. When our child is not feeling well we take them to the doctors and most of the time we are either told to wait it out for a virus or to have medications prescribed.  

Did you know that baby massage is also an amazing form of medicine?  When we have sore muscles or headaches or just want to relax, many adults schedule an appointment to have a massage.  Just as a massage is a great health benefit for adults, baby massage can also have many benefits.

Can Baby Massage Help with Colic and Reflux?

Studies show that when a baby is being massaged, they are less fretful.  By massaging your baby, you can help their digestion.  The massage can assist in moving gas and stool that is trapped in their system.  Furthermore, massaging the tissue surrounding the diaphragm can help to reduce the discomfort of acid reflux

What is Colic?

When a healthy baby has colic, they tend to cry a lot more than other babies.  All babies get fussy, but a baby with colic may cry for hours.  More often than not, a baby with colic will usually cry at the same time of the day or night.  During the times that they are not crying, they usually eat well and are not agitated.  There are many infants that get colic. In fact, about 40% of babies get colic when they are between the ages of 3 and 4 weeks old.  This can last quite a while and sometimes until they are about 4 to 6 months old. Some of the common symptoms of colic are listed below: 

  1. Crying that lasts three hours or more
  2. Grimacing or frowning
  3. Inconsolable during episodes of crying
  4. Long fits of screaming
  5. Loud rumblings of the stomach
  6. Pulling up legs towards the stomach 
  7. Reddening of the face
baby massage benefits

What is Reflux?

With reflux, there is a movement of food, fluids or sometimes acid inside the esophagus.  This makes babies fussy and agitated. Usually, the food or fluids will come back up causing them to not get the necessary nutrients that they need.  

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, is a digestive system disorder.  This disease primarily affects the lower section of the esophagus.  Babies that have GERD, acid comes back up in the esophagus causing them pain and discomfort.  When a baby is spitting up their food often and crying inconsolably, this can mean that they have GERD.  The symptoms of both Reflux and Gerd are similar. Some common symptoms of Reflux and GERD are listed below:

  1. Abnormal arching of the body
  2. Frequent coughing
  3. Gagging and choking
  4. Inability to gain weight
  5. Irritability, especially when being fed
  6. Spitting up or vomiting 
  7. Wet burps and or hiccups
why baby massage

Baby Massage and Colic, Reflux or GERD

Massage is known to work wonders and not just for adults. For babies that are dealing with Colic, Reflux, or GERD, baby massage can be very beneficial for them. Keep reading for how baby massage works with colic or reflux:

  • Baby Massage Techniques for Colic
    • Start by firmly placing your hand on your child’s abdomen (be sure your hand is warm.) Stroke your baby’s abdomen in a downward motion, alternating hands in a way that when one hand finishes the other hand starts the downward stroke. 
    • Try bending your child’s knees up towards their abdomen.  Next, rotate their knees in a gentle clockwise motion over the abdomen repeatedly.
    • Place your child on their abdomen on top of your thighs, and roll them from side to side in a gentle motion.
  • Baby Massage Techniques for Reflux and GERD
    • Place your baby in a semi-upright position by placing a pillow or cushion behind them.  Using gentle movements over your baby’s abdomen, massage in a clockwise direction. If your baby is not comfortable in this position, try sitting them upright with their back pressed against your abdomen, using the same gentle clockwise stroke on their abdomen. 

Final Thoughts on Baby Massage

Massage therapy is magical when you really think about it.  It combines the comfort of touch with the expertise of different techniques to soothe our minds and bodies. Do you remember the last time that you picked up a crying baby and gently rubbed their back or tummy and they stopped crying?  Why do you think that is? While most people don’t think about baby massage for infants with Colic, Reflux, or GERD, it actually is an amazing natural remedy. Schedule an appointment with Massage Lee’s Summit today! We can’t wait to meet you. 

All the benefits of baby massage Lee's Summit