Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children - by admin@mcb on June 13 2017

Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children

Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children

Infant massage isn’t just for mothers. In fact, there are several reasons why fathers should be just as involved in childcare, including learning infant massage for their babies.

Infant massage has many benefits for children, as well as benefits to the parents, as prior articles on this blog have detailed. One more benefit can be added to the list: lowering the risk of obesity in children.

A recent analysis of several studies showed that increased participation in childcare by fathers lowered the likelihood of the child becoming obese by age 4 by 33%.

The study followed over 10,000 American children from birth to first grade. All of the children in the study lived in two-parent, heterosexual households where the father was not the primary caregiver. The fathers in the study worked an average 46 hours a week and mothers worked an average 18 hours a week.

Michelle S. Wong, leader of the study, said, “There is growing evidence of the importance of fathers’ involvement in raising children in other areas of children’s development, and our study suggests that there may be benefits to child health as well.” Obesity in children is of growing concern, and something that can reduce it by 33% should be promoted throughout the medical community.

The complete study can be found here.

Include Fathers in Infant Massage Classes

Infant massage courses teach simple, yet effective, techniques for relieving many conditions common to babies. It is simple by design, since it is intended to be easily learned by new parents with no massage therapy training or background. The infant massage certification course offered by Institute of Somatic Therapy also includes movements and stretches designed to stimulate brain development and muscle coordination. To become certified in infant massage, students complete the 16 CE online course, and perform two infant massage classes. For details about the course, click here.

Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider, #280672-00.

Infant Massage Instructor Teaches Skin-to-Skin Benefits - by admin@mcb on February 21 2017

Infant Massage Instructor Teaches Skin-to-Skin Benefits

Infant Massage and Skin-to-Skin Benefits

Infant massage instructors know that skin-to-skin contact for babies is more scientifically and physiologically based than many people realize. There is a link between the skin and the brain that begins with the very earliest stage of human embryonic development.  Upon conception, the fertilized egg travels to the uterus where it attaches.  The next stage of development is the division of the cell into three “layers”, known as the endoderm, the mesoderm, and the ectoderm.

•    The endoderm develops mainly into organs.
•    The  mesoderm develops mainly into bone and muscle.
•    The ectoderm develops into the SKIN and the BRAIN, and the nervous system.

One way to look at this is to say that “the skin is the outermost part of the brain, and the brain is the innermost part of the skin”.

Because of the link of development between the skin and the brain, a relationship has been shown between skin-to-skin touch after birth and intelligence.  The more tactile stimulation a baby receives in its first months of life up through the first year can impact their brain development permanently.

Skin Contact and Breastfeeding

Uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has significant impact on infant brain development, and also on breastfeeding rates and duration.
One of the earliest studies on infant breast self-attachment was published in the Lancet Medical Journal. Dr. Leonart Righard of Sweden studied the ability of a newborn to breast crawl if it was separated from its mother within the first hour after birth, or was medicated during the birthing process. The study involved 72 vaginally delivered infants. The babies were placed naked on their mother’s stomach and given the opportunity to crawl to the breast on their own. Of the unseparated, unmedicated babies, all 17 crawled to the breast and 16 sucked correctly. Of the separated, medicated babies, 4 made it to breast but all four failed to suckle correctly, while 15 failed to breast crawl at all.

Separation alone, and medication alone also interfered with breast crawling and suckling. Of the separated, unmedicated babies, 14 of 15 crawled to the breast, but only 7 of them sucked correctly. Of the unseparated, medicated babies, 11 crawled to the breast and 8 of them sucked correctly, while 10 failed to breast crawl at all.

For more information on the importance of uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact until after the first breastfeeding experience, visit www.breastcrawl.org.

Become a Certified Infant Massage Instructor

To become a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Institute of Somatic Therapy offers an online massage therapy continuing education course, approved by the NCBTMB for 16 CEs. Click here to enroll today.

Helping a Colicky Baby Through Infant Massage - by admin@mcb on September 08 2015

Helping a Colicky Baby Through Infant Massage

Learn more about the benefits of massage for both infants and their parents. Source: Pixabay
Learn more about the benefits of massage for both infants and their parents. Source: Pixabay

Colic is defined as a spasm in a hollow or tubular soft organ accompanied by pain. With infants, this is generally in the digestive tract. As such, the parent of a colicky baby can bring relief to their unhappy baby by performing gentle massage along the abdomen, in the direction of digestion.

A technique that can follow the massage is the “5 S’s”, developed by Professor Harvey Karp, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. The five s’s stand for: Swaddle, Side (or Stomach), Sway (or Shake), Shush, and Suck.

Begin by swaddling your baby tightly in a receiving blanket, which helps to replicate the tightness of the womb. If you don’t know how to swaddle your baby, there are numerous videos and diagrams available online by searching “How to swaddle a baby.”

Once your baby has been swaddled, hold your baby close to your body with him lying on his side (either facing your body or with his back to your body). An alternate option is a “football carry” (holding the baby on its tummy over your forearm) since this puts gentle pressure on the abdominal organs, which might be helpful.

Next, gently sway back and forth (or use a gentle shaking bouncing motion), while making a shushing sound. If you are comfortable in allowing your baby to use a pacifier, allow him to suck on it as you go through this process. This routine has shown to relax even the fussiest babies.

To learn more about infant massage, Judith Koch, Director of Education at the Institute of Somatic Therapy, offers massage therapists the opportunity to earn the title of Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor by taking our infant massage certification training. Massage therapists will learn how to teach new parents how to massage their babies, and can earn 16 massage continuing education credits (aka CEs) valid for the NCBTMB and most states.

This course is also open to non-massage therapists. Since you will be demonstrating the techniques on a doll and not actually massaging the baby, no massage license is required. As such, related professionals such as certified doulas, lactation consultants, or pediatric nurses are invited to take this course.