Chest Massage & Integration

Well done on making it this far. I’m sure you are doing really well and your baby is thriving with your touch and interaction.

Moving up from the tummy we can add some simple techniques to open the chest and then incorporate the other areas you have already learnt to massage. Massaging their chest brings you a little closer to them, great for eye contact and having a chat.

This is a really good moment to pause and reflect on what you have learnt about your baby and consolidate your massage skills. Practicing and bringing together all the parts of the body you have learnt so far. We’ve only got their arms, hands, face, head and back to go before you will be fully equipped.

I hope as you have been on this wonderful journey that you are starting to appreciate all that your baby is. They are an amazing human being in the making, yes even when they are unsettled and crying and you’re at your wits end – if only they could talk! There is so much going on inside in terms of development and growth that we just don’t see. They are like a sponge, absorbing and taking everything in and at the same time trying to make sense of it!

The navel is in fact our earliest connect to our mothers, so your baby’s connection to you via the umbilical cord. A connection needed for survival and ‘attachment’. From where early developmental movement patterns arise. Patterns of in and out, flexion and extension begin in the womb and are the building blocks for future movement. You can’t read without knowing the alphabet, and you can’t move without these foundational skills.

Once born your baby will build upon these simple movements by adding in rotation to ensure they can move with maximum ease and power. As they progress through the milestones they will be arranging themselves around and moving from this ‘central core’. It is a place of stability – stand for a moment……yes, stand up and then I would like you to stand on one leg. Then look down. Where is your navel (belly/tummy button) in relation to your foot? You cannot stand on one leg without shifting your ‘centre’.

You can help your baby develop a strong sense of their body, from the core to their finger tips, toes, head and tail with a simple routine that can be done over clothes. It is a great way to introduce how everything is connected and naming of body parts. It will increase their awareness of their own body, their sense of where they are in space (proprioception), and help them feel safe.

Incorporate into their daily massage and movement routine or as they are going to sleep. It is especially recommended for babies who:

  • experienced any birth trauma
  • were premature
  • delivered by Caesarean-section
  • have had their movement restricted
  • Watch the video (2:14 min)
  • Download the Chest Massage Routine
  • Practice combining the Chest Massage with the Stomach, Legs and Feet Massages
  • Check out the Connecting the Core routine (4:55 min)