You can't pour from an empty cup…….make time to re-fill, re-energise and re-focus yourself. Doing this means relaxing.
Relax and feel the benefits. You will not only be fully able to give your baby all the love and attention that they need, but you will enjoy giving it. Feeling positivity from your interactions with your baby will feed your feelings of love and happiness, enabling you to fall into a natural cycle of positive emotions and interactions.
Leaving yourself to run dry and trying to function on 'empty' means that you are allowing stress to creep in.
Babies are the same, if they are unable to relax & re-energise their stress levels are likely to rise. This can become a serious matter, affecting not only sleep & feeding but also their outward behaviour and social interactions.
Baby Massage & Yoga can aid parents and babies to find a relaxed state together, as well as on their own. A relaxed baby is much more likely to sleep & feed with ease and happiness. Before I even get into the nitty gritty of the hows and whys baby massage and yoga are important to aiding relaxation, just think about this;
TOUCH. A simple, gentle, loving touch can evoke a powerful feeling of well-being which is the same for adults, children & babies. So just think about how powerful a focused massage can be in promoting positivity in the body and mind.
So what is the issue of a baby experiencing stress? We all experience stress in life so surely it would equip them for it in later life? Well actually the opposite occurs.
When stress occurs regularly in a baby it can lead to high levels of stress hormones being released, as well as low expression of favourable hormones. The stress hormone Cortisol can;
These effects are not just in the moment. If stress is persistently experienced during infancy, it is likely that during adulthood the brain will overreact to stressful events making it harder to cope in these situations. Individuals affected in this way may also demonstrate "type-A" behaviour, which is associated with a high risk of heart disease and adult-onset diabetes.
It doesn't just stop here. The affects of stress can also target the Hippo campus which is a structure important in learning and memory. Stress hormones affect the number and types of receptors here. It has been demonstrated that nerve cells in this area are destroyed when high levels of stress are experienced. Another consequence of chronic stress can be intellectual deficits. Children with the lowest scores on mental and motor ability tests have been shown to hold the highest cortisol levels in their blood.
Stress is caused in babies when they;
Are left to cry for an extended period of time with no intervention
Their communication is not listened to or understood and so they continue to cry
By 6 months, many babies can distinguish between happy and angry body language and are sensitive to background hostility (Zeiber et al 2013).
Overtired/lack of sleep
Stress in babies can be kept to a minimum by;
In-fact you can go one step further and nurture your child so that they are more likely to develop into stress-resilient adults just by using 'nurturing touch' through massage, hugs and skin to skin contact.
But it's not just about touch 'the power of parental sensitivity and responsiveness – the ability to “read" a baby’s cues and give him what he needs in a timely way' is deeply important. Both baby massage and yoga encourage parents to get in tune with their babies allowing them to secure, enhance and forge that special bond.
Physical contact full of love and warmth triggers the release of several stress-busting chemicals in the brain, including oxytocin (the “love hormone") and endogenous opioids (natural painkillers). These have a calming effect, and help switch off the production of cortisol. The brain is then more likely to develop a long-term pattern of resilience to stress.
Joining a Baby Massage and/or Baby Yoga class will help you as a parent to learn and apply relaxation techniques for both you and baby. You will explore and experience massage and yoga techniques to soothe and settle baby's immediate ailments and needs. With regards to aiding your baby long term you could potentially be setting them up for a really positive and empowered future. A future where they are able to process, deal with and move past stress inducing situations or experiences. In a world that seems to be growing ever stressful baby massage and yoga are wonderful experiences and a valuable gift from mother or/and father to their baby.
For more information on the Little Lotus baby massage, baby yoga and baby & beyond massage/yoga inspired classes please visit;
For further reading on this topic you may like to explore;
Blair C, Granger D, Willoughby M, Kivlighan K. 2006. Maternal sensitivity is related to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stress reactivity and regulation in response to emotion challenge in 6-month-old infants. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1094:263-7. - See more at: http://www.parentingscience.com/stress-in-babies.html#sthash.mf5urBvZ.dpuf
Stright AD, Gallagher KC, and Kelley K. 2008. Infant temperament moderates relations between maternal parenting in early childhood and children's adjustment in first grade. Child Dev. 79(1):186-200. - See more at: http://www.parentingscience.com/stress-in-babies.html#sthash.mf5urBvZ.dpuf