An article posted to Our Kentucky, which serves the state, describes an infant massage program at Central Baptist Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Parents of babies in the NICU are taught infant massage, according to the article titled, “Healing power of touch: Parents of NICU patients learn benefits of infant massage.”

“Touch is the first sensation we feel when we come into the world,” the article states. “A soothing touch has been shown to relax a baby, help him or her gain weight and reduce stress hormones brought on by the birth process.”

According to the article, the infant-massage program was recently implemented in the NICU, and it is headed up by infant-massage instructor Jeri Hahn, R.N., who “trains parents how to massage their infants to enhance bonding and promote well-being.”

“‘Massage is very calming, and it’s a wonderful way of bonding with your baby,'” said Hahn in the article. “‘You see an almost instant relaxation of the baby, and that, in turn, helps reinforce with the parent that they can do things to help their baby, even in the NICU.'”

Editor’s note: The March issue of MASSAGE Magazine will include the feature article, “Infant Massage: Healthy Babies, Happy Families,” which discusses infant massage as a career path for massage therapists.