Supporting a baby's immune system is essential for their overall health and well-being, and it is something that all parents worry about, especially during the winter months when cold's and bugs seem to be the most rife. I've discussed before about the many benefits of baby massage (read my previous blog for more details) another amazing benefit is how baby massage can support the immune system! In this article I will cover exactly how and why baby massage can support the immune system, as well as which stokes to use to target this specific benefit.
When considering our immune system, it is important to recognise the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the body's immune response by helping to remove waste and toxins, it is the body's natural drainage system, so to speak. While there are specific baby massage strokes designed to directly stimulate the lymphatic system, it is worth noting that gentle and rhythmic massage can have positive effects on circulation and overall well-being in general, and can indirectly support lymphatic function. Meaning that just practicing any baby massage in itself can help to support your baby's immune system.
If you are wanting ensure that you boost and support the immune system specifically, here are a few of the main strokes which stimulate the lymphatic system, that you can easily incorporate into your baby massage routine:
Wringing: Place your hands at the base of the thigh, next to each other. Gently wrap your fingers around the thigh. Move your hands up the length of the thigh in a gliding motion as if you were wringing something out. Do not squeeze the thigh, just glide. When you reach the ankle, place your hands back at the top of the thigh and repeat. This stroke can also be done on baby's arms as well.
Ankle to toe strokes: Hold baby's foot with the top of the foot exposed, use the flat part of the thumb, stroke gently from the toes to the ankle. Use a rhythmical motion, ensuring a gentle pressure to protect the delicate bones of the feet.
Pit Stroke: Gently elevate baby’s arm with one hand. With the other, use your first and second fingers to stroke the inside of your baby’s arm from the elbow into the armpit and down to the side of baby’s chest. Your strokes should be firm to avoid tickling baby. As with all baby massage strokes, ensure a firm but gentle pressure, to provide the benefits of massage without cause any discomfort.
It is important to note that baby massage should be performed with care, using gentle and appropriate pressure. Always pay attention to your baby's cues and adjust the intensity of the massage accordingly. Additionally, if your baby has any underlying health conditions or concerns please consult with a healthcare professional before practicing massage. Attending a baby massage course will help to ensure that you are performing the strokes correctly and will also increase your knowledge and confidence when practicing.
Baby massage has an amazing and wide array of benefits, supporting baby's immune system is another one of these benefits. The act of massage in itself supports overall wellbeing, furthermore certain strokes can specifically target the immune system by stimulating the bodies lymphatic system. Regularly incorporating these strokes when massaging your baby is a great and easy way to build on supporting immunity.
All of these strokes and more are covered in my Happy Baby Massage course, book onto a course today to learn the amazing skill of baby massage and help support, soothe and settle your baby. Attending a specific course will ensure that you learn the skills correctly and are providing the best for your little one. Head over to my booking page to find out when the next course starts.