Giving birth is a precious experience. After patiently waiting for nine months, you finally get to see your little one. However, it is also a very challenging experience and it is necessary to use methods for proper postpartum care. There are several well known techniques to help both of you recover and bond after this experience: skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping and, of course, breastfeeding. There is another technique that is less commonly known. It is a full-body oil massage for baby.
In Ayurvedic medicine this type of massage is called an Abhyanga massage. Here are the steps I take when giving the Abhyanga massage. Create a Schedule Choose a time that works for you and baby. You may need to experiment, and some days will be different. The key is to try to be consistent. For us, the night works best. If you decide the morning is better, just be prepared for baby to take a nap after.
Set the Environment
You will have to prepare for the massage. The room should be warm. If it is cold, we turn the heat on in the bathroom. Make use of towels and wear clothing that you don’t mind ruining. The oil will stain.
Be prepared to distract your little one(s). Toys, random objects or your husband/wife can come in handy here.
Select and Heat the Oil
In Ayurveda, Sesame oil is good during the cold months, as it has a warming quality. Coconut oil is used during the hot months, as it is cooling in nature. Of course, your location’s climate must be taken into consideration here. That is how Ayurveda works. It takes into account where you live and the time of year.
While the room is heating up and after you have everything else ready, heat the oil. Personally, I heat up some water, add it to a bowl and place a smaller container inside to hold the oil. I make sure to use organic oils. Always try the oil on a sensitive part of your body before using it on the baby.
Right before starting the massage ask your baby for permission. Starting from the head, gently rub the oil into each part of your baby’s body. Take your time. Be mindful. Connect with your baby. Use this time to bond with your baby and communicate through your touch. (for more detailed instructions, see the books below).
Finally, enjoy a warm bath with your little one. This is essential to the process. It will help the oil go deep through the skin. Baby may be fussy after the bath because he/she is so tired. Dry off and it is time for bed.
Hope this article has been useful to you. This routine has incredible benefits. It has worked wonders for us. I am not a health professional and you don’t need to be either. I am just a passionate mom who is in love with conscious parenting, Ayurveda and natural living.
-Touching Heaven: Tonic Postpartum Care with Ayurveda by Ysha Oakes
– Super Healthy Kids: A Parents Guide to Maharisi Ayurveda by Linda Egenes and Kumuda Reddy M.D
– A handbook for loving parents by Vimala Mcclure.
Paloma Olivares is a full-time mother and the creative director at BlueEthers.com. She also teaches yoga, practices and loves learning about conscious parenting, natural living and Ayurvedic Medicine.