Infant Massage for Parents
and Caregivers
IECC May 8th & 9th, 2014
Jacqueline Rosquita, MOT, OTR/L, CIMI
Irene Bryant, PT, DPT, CIMI
UW Medicine Valley Medical Center Children’s Therapy
Presenter background
Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI)
International Loving Touch Foundation
Financial Disclosures
Course Objectives
Explain 2 benefits of infant massage
Identify three cues the baby exhibits
that let the caretaker know it is an
appropriate time to provide massage
Perform head to toe stroke sequences
with or without handouts as a support.
Group Introduction
What is your personal goal for the course
How will you apply this material with your
infant or child
What is Infant Massage
“The art of infant massage is a special
touching we do WITH our babies, not TO
our babies. It is a reciprocal interactive
form of communication. It should be done
only as long as the infant is interested.” Diana Moore1
What is Infant Massage
“Infant massage is positive interaction
between caregiver and infant using
systematic manual manipulation of soft
tissues of the body.” -Diana Moore1
Infant Massage Worldwide
Global practice that has evolved over the
last 5000 years1
Cultural Influences
Traditionally passed down from mothers to
Cultural traditions and significance of
direct skin and body contact1,2
Evolution of baby products reduces skin to
skin contact3
Benefits of Infant Massage
 Stimulation1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Weight gain
Immune system improvement
Brain myelination
Respectful stimulation of multiple sensory systems
Growth Hormone production
Improved cell nourishment
Improved circulation
Benefits of Infant Massage
Pain management
Reduces stress levels
Benefits of Infant Massage
Improves intestinal motility
Helps with sleep disorders
Teething pain
Benefits of Infant Massage
Early communication
Promotes alert state and engagement
in environment
Improves body awareness/body map
Infant Cues
Mutual gaze
Brow raising/facial brightening
Reaching/turning toward caregiver
Relaxed body
Infant Cues
Gaze aversion
Arching pulling/pushing away
Clenching or stiffness in body
Hiccoughs/yawning/rapid breathing
Getting Ready for Massage
Be clear about your intention
Allow enough time
Good time of day for baby
Allow time after eating
Pair it with a daily ritual
Getting Ready for Massage
 Prepare the space
Improves well being in caregiver
 Warm
 Quiet
Turn off electronics
Blanket, oil, towels
Parent positioned comfortably
Remove clothing (diaper optional)
Eye contact and gentle strokes
Ask your baby's permission
Massage Sequence (handouts)
Legs and Feet
Arms and Hands
Massage for the Child with Special
Contact primary care provider prior to initiation of
Be aware of contraindications
Establish a massage routine (time of day, place,
Minimize additional stimulation (parent clothing,
lighting, music)
Explain to child the what and why during and to
prepare for next step
Child is in control
1. Moore, D. (2010). CIMI Certified infant massage instructor workbook for the Loving Touch Parent-Infant Massage Program,
8th ed. Portland, OR: International Loving Touch Foundation.
2. Field, T. (2003). Touch. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
3. Heller, S.(1987). The vital touch. New York, NY: Holt Paperback.
4. Heath A, Bainbridge N. (2004). Baby massage: The calming power of touch. New York, NY: DK Publishing Inc.
5. Field, T., Schanberg, S., Scafidid, F., Bauer, C., Vega-Lahr, N., Garcia, R., Nystrom, J., Kuhn, C. (1986). Tactile/Kinesthetic
stimulation effects on preterm neonates. Pediatrics, 77 (5), 654-658.
6. Mendes, E., Procianoy, R. (2008). Massage therapy reduces hospital stay and occurrence of late-onset sepsis in very
preterm neonates. Journal of Perinatology, July, 815-820.
7. Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Dieter, J., Kumar, A., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C. (2008). Insulin and insulin-like growth
factor-1 Increased in preterm neonates following massage therapy. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics,
29, 463-466.
8. Diego, M., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M. (2005). Vagal activity, gastric motility, and weight gain in massaged preterm
neonates. Journal of Pediatrics, July, 50-55.
9. Jain, S., Kumar, P., McMillan, D. (2006). Prior leg massage decreases pain responses to heel stick in preterm babies. Journal
of Pediatrics and Child Health, 42, 505-508.
How will you apply this material with your
infant or child
Thank you!
Course Evaluation

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