Stomach and Cues

When your baby is born their body and internal systems go through major changes. From a warm watery environment where nutrients were supplied via the umbilical cord to a bright dry world where they have to start eating. Like their feet, their digestive system is immature and takes time to develop.

It is best to wait until your baby’s umbilical has healed before beginning any direct massage to their tummy, so if this is the case, keep practicing the legs and feet.

In this module we cover the a full stomach massage, several of these techniques are used in the Daily Routine which comes up next. Practice these techniques a few times before moving on.

  • release and relief from gas and colic discomfort
  • improving digestion
  • increasing absorption of nutrients
  • calming and lowering stress
  • better sleep
  • increased body awareness
  • you will get to know them more and learn what helps sooth them

When we massage the stomach we always go clockwise as that is the direction of the large intestine.

If your baby has an umbilical hernia then I’ve highlighted which technique is not advised. And if you have any concerns always check with your healthcare professional.

While we are talking about the tummy let’s have a quick chat about tummy time. Chances are you will be told at some stage about the importance of placing your baby on their tummy to stop flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly) and help with strengthening their back and neck muscles.

From my experience many parents give up as it upsets their baby and they tell me their baby doesn’t like it. Like anything new it takes time for your baby to get used to this different position, a position that they are like a stranded whale. So the best place to start tummy time is on your chest or over your lap. I’ve included some tips below to get your started. Little and often is the key, with including some time lying on their side and ensuring that when they are lying on their back they can move their head around.