A gentle massage can help relieve your baby of constipation. Here is the correct technique of baby massage for treating constipation.
Babies are very much prone to gas, colic and constipation. Although, constipation is rare amongst babies that are breastfed, one or two occurrences of constipation every month are common. The problem of constipation is more pronounced in formula fed babies. If your baby does not pass stools regularly, or if the stools are dry and hard, then he / she may be constipated. Constipated babies may have bowel movement just once in every three days or so.
Obviously, this can be a very uncomfortable situation for the little ones and their parents alike. Constipated babies tend to cry a lot. Hence, if you think your baby has been crying a lot lately, then the cause might be constipation, more so, if she does not have a bowel movement for days. Incidentally, certain massage techniques for constipation seem to provide a great deal of relief to constipated babies.
How Does Massage Help for Relieving Constipation in Babies
Massage is one of the most ancient forms of alternative medicine. Massaging the right areas of the body relieves pain and alleviates many health problems. A massage technique can also be used to provide relief to the baby from colic and constipation. Baby belly massage for constipation stimulates the bowels of the baby in a natural way, so that she can have a normal bowel movement.
As the massage involves the touch of mother or a caregiver, it also helps to reinforce the bond with the child. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to make an eye contact with your baby, exchange smiles and talk to her. This can help calm the baby down and also relieve her of colic. A massage is tremendously useful in comforting the baby.
How to Give a Massage for Constipation
It is very important to follow the correct technique for baby massage to relieve constipation. Your baby can derive maximum benefits from a massage only if you do it correctly. On the other hand, if you follow a wrong technique, you might actually end up worsening the problem of constipation. You can use olive oil as a medium for giving a massage. Besides, one can also use grape seed oil or any other fruit oil for this purpose.
Take one small spoonful of olive oil in your hands and rub your palms together to warm them. Place your palms on your baby’s tummy, in the region below her navel. Then start massaging the area around navel in clockwise direction. Apply gentle pressure and check if your baby is comfortable with the massage. Continue massaging for at least 15 minutes. Many mothers also follow an ‘I Love You (ILU)’ technique of tummy massaging. It this method, you trace a letter ‘I’ on the baby’s tummy on the left side, then trace the letter ‘L’ starting from the right side of the baby’s tummy and down across her tummy. Then trace the letter ‘U’ in an upside down fashion on top of her navel.
One can also massage the baby’s tummy on a layer of clothing. However, skin to skin contact plays a vital role in baby massaging. Hence, it is recommended that you massage on the baby’s bare body only. When taking off the baby’s clothes for massaging, always ensure that the room is warm enough for the baby’s comfort. You can choose any time of the day for baby massaging, as per your convenience. However, the mornings and evenings are still the preferred timings.
Thus, a massage is indeed very effective. If your baby gets constipated very frequently, consult a specialist and make appropriate changes to her diet. Giving her ample water to drink is also important to keep constipation at bay.