Massage help for tender tummies

Certified baby massage expert Tina Otte says your baby’s tummy is one of the first places they will identify pain. Any distension of smooth muscle (which is what the bowel is made up of) causes pain and discomfort no matter how old they are.

We all carry emotions in our gut, hence the feeling of “a pit in your stomach” or “butterflies”. Your baby may be showing emotional pain at times when feeling afraid, abandoned and lonely. Don’t forget to love and acknowledge your baby’s need for attention and, even when there is no physical cause for discomfort, a hug and a love will help with any emotional discomfort.

“Doing a little bicycle exercise with your baby’s legs, applying a little pressure onto the belly, can also do wonders to help trapped wind and poo escape.”

While there are a few massage strokes that can help with wind and constipation, this is one of Otte’s favourites.

  • When working on your baby’s abdomen, remember to work in the direction of the plumbing! From baby’s right to left, i.e. in a clockwise direction.
  • Bubble hunt – place your right hand across your baby’s tummy, with your fingers pointing towards to the right-hand side of your baby’s body. Let your fingers curl around the side of baby’s abdomen. Gently, sensing into your pressure, ‘walk’ your fingers across your baby’s tummy from the right to the left side as you search for any trapped wind bubbles that are causing pain. In this way, you break up any big bubbles into smaller ones that move easily through the bowel. This will also increase the peristaltic movement of the bowel, moving faeces as well.
  • Doing a little bicycle exercise with your baby’s legs, applying a little pressure onto the belly, can also do wonders to help trapped wind and poo escape. Watch out!
  • Using a drop of mandarin and dill essential oil, in five millilitres of grapeseed oil, will aid in calming, digestion and hiccups.