This article was written with the help of the legends at Tranquil Bubs and contains general advice only. If you have concern about your own or your baby’s health, please contact your medical practitioner to seek personalised advice.
Wondering how to level-up your massage game? Good. You came to the right article. Because today we’re talking all things baby AND belly massage with the help of Massage Master, Stephanie Hedditch from Tranquil Bubs.
Let's get into it!
Belly Massage During The Third Trimester
A quick belly massage during the third trimester has a heap of wonderful benefits, Stephanie tells us. “Massaging your baby belly can help to release all of those ‘feel good’ hormones for both you and your baby including the ‘love’ hormone, oxytocin,” she explains.
Further to that, it can also be a wonderful way to slow down and bond with your baby. Stephanie recommends taking a deep breath before beginning, and allow yourself the opportunity to stop, focus and enjoy the moment. Consider it a chance to ‘check in’ with your baby, and make the most of this massage.
On top of just feeling nice and soothing, Stephanie says that pregnancy massage can also support your belly health, assist with relaxing any (exhausted!) muscles, and promote circulation. (Show-off!) “By massaging your belly, you can help to support good digestion by promoting blood flow to help eliminate waste,” Stephanie says, noting that gentle clockwise strokes will “ensure you are following the working of your intestines.” In order to maximise relaxation, before bed is prime time to allow yourself to fully unwind before you drift off.
Baby Massage During The Fourth Trimester
All the massage fun doesn’t have to stop when your tiny human arrives. Continuing the ritual during the fourth trimester can also be enormously beneficial while you’re getting to know your baby.
“After a busy day of feeding, burping and changing nappies, massaging your little one can be just the right activity to enjoy,” shares Stephanie. “It can be the perfect way to get to know each other without the ‘outside’ distractions.”
If you can find a moment amongst the chaos, Stephanie suggests spreading out a towel or play mat on the floor and get started. Pro tip! Grab a nourishing baby oil to help replenish as your little one relaxes and don’t forget to sing along as you gently massage your baby for major soothing, relax-y feels.
As well as just feeling nice and, similar to belly massage, baby massage can also be beneficial for “regulating digestion and assisting with minimising constipation,” says Stephanie.
“Evidence-based research suggests that when you practise baby massage on your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction, you can help to stimulate the elimination of waste from your baby’s body,” she explains. “Adding in cycling leg movements and gentle leg pulses as well can help to allow your baby’s tummy muscles to soften and relax.”
Last but certainly not least, baby massage can also support good sleep habit. “By incorporating a massage into your baby’s ‘wind down’ routine before bed time, you can encourage your baby to feel calm and relaxed,” Stephanie shares. “Your baby may also sleep more soundly after they are massaged, due to their melatonin secretion levels being regulated and serotonin levels increasing.”Want more from Steph and Tranquil Bubs? Skip over to their website, stalk them on social media, or sling them a bribe to try and score yourself a massage.