The Baby’s Sensori-motor touch
In the stomach of her mother, the baby receives numerous sensory, in particular tactile stimulations, due to the contact of the skin with amniotic liquid. During the birth, the passage of the intra-uterine middle to the external environment is rough, the physical conditions between these two circles being very different. So it is important to massage, fondle the baby at birth to minimize the trauma he suffered.
Baby’s massage influences psychological development: attachment and nonverbal communication between mother and baby are favoured. Consequently, the baby improves the emotional link between these two beings. Moreover, the massage therapy is also because it allows calming baby. Indeed, it has shown that baby’s massage could have a positive effect of himself. He is happier, calmer, less stressed and therefore more outgoing.
Moreover, baby’s massage influences a lot of vital function like immune system or sleep. New born baby caressed fifteen minutes a day falls asleep more easily, his awakening-sleep is better adjusted than a baby who are not massed. The motor development seems influenced positively by regular messages: it was in direct relation with the nervous system that involves till the end of the first year. All the contacts with outside world are important and formative for baby. The commonplace activities such as bath, caresses and massages are essential for baby’s development.
So these massage’s moments are suitably made, it is necessary to respect the various phases of baby’s growth as well as his susceptible capacities. The new born baby uses a lot of reflex actions like head’s inclination, leg’s extension, … When the baby grows, reflex are transformed little by little in voluntary movements: children’s becomes less clumsy. The massage could to favour physical coordination’s process.
The massage technique is especially useful in the relaxation as in the psychomotor development. Sometimes it is useful to act on symptoms varied as muscular tension, pains, insomnias, digestive disorders, and dry skin…
And at the premature baby ?
In our western countries, we tend to forget natural alternatives, such the touch, to help the premature babies to develop. Even more than the forward born baby, the premature baby needs to be massed to feel physical contact, securing, pleasant, which is deprived in incubator.
However the massage of premature baby is different from the mature baby’s massage. In reality, it matches to caresses and contacts that we practise very slowly. Nevertheless, it is better to not affect the belly of the premature baby before the detachment of umbilical cord and to avoid touching baby’s face four in five weeks.
The premature baby’s massage is essential because it allows a faster growth and weight gain, so a reduction of hospitalization’s time. Then, premature baby’s is more quickly in touch with her mother. This contact is very important for the establishment of the emotional link mother-child who conditions partially the personality of the children.
The various techniques of massage
For centuries the baby’s massage exist in several regions of the world. Little by little massages are compulsory in the modern societies, showing beneficial in physical and emotional domains.
According to the traditions, it exists a lot of diversity in the techniques of massage. We shall discover two different massages though two cultures: Asian and African. In these continents the massage be a part of baby’s care.
In Asia, more exactly in India, mothers remains seated on ground with back straight. Her legs are stretched out in front of her. She puts them children’s on her legs by different ways : stretch out in lap or dorsal position. There are no rules during these practices. In fact, baby reactions give indications for the massage.
This type of massage, due to the different and flexibility technics inspired the western culture in which the massages are very presents.
Considering their similarity, the description of two basic techniques that are the Asian and western massages, seems interesting.
Every massages session has to begin with fluid caresses, fingers giving to the baby indication about his body. Then mother can realize various massages techniques on the whole body.
Thanks to the contact skin with skin, the caresses of her mother, baby acquires a safety sensation and well being. Massages assure at baby a discovery of his body. The relation mother-child is important and develops the non verbal communication.
Besides the psychics benefits, massage assure a physical growth by toning up muscles and by softening the articulation of children.
The tactile experience through sensori-tonico-moteurs touches and through porterage allows a continuity not insignificant transnatale.
Physical contacts are favourable to children development but also for parents who will be more in confidence and will establish a deep relation with baby. Thanks to these techniques, children is going to become aware of limits of his body and developing his body scheme.
Besides, his vestibular system is stimulated and allows him to be better situated in the space. We can also observe a net progress in the psychomotor development of the baby during the first two years of life. A verbal, not verbal and interactive communication is going to become established and to satisfy the needs for reinsurance of infant.
Finally, these types of physical contacts offer the possibility of building an emotional intimate link between the baby and his parents.
The psychomotor therapist could have to invite, to accompany, to reassure and to guide parents to enter into a relationship with their baby through these two methods where a tonico-emotional dialogue is developed.
" Where the touch begins, begin love and humanity, from the first minutes even of the life "