The power of touch can save & change babies

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I’ve shared previously about the numerous issues we had with Hannah post placement. In fact, both my girls showed varying degrees of post placement stress & trauma, which is common in babies placed for adoption. In both their cases, skin to skin, touching, cuddling and allowing them to grieve while holding them, was an important part of their healing process.

I’ve blogged previously abut our visits to the OT with Hannah when she was just a few months old, you can read a few of them here:

Grumpy, bad tempered or sensory issues?

Our appointment with an occupational therapist.

Our follow up with the OT.

The Wilbarger brushing and joint compression worked wonders in soothing and calming Hannah as she was in a perpetual state of anxiety post placement. As a trained beauty therapist, with a specialty in aromatherapy, massage and reflexology, I already knew the benefits of touch and massage and gentle pressure and so I began to incorporate this into Hannah’s routine as much as possible. Whenever we’d do joint compression or after I’d finished brushing her, which initially upset her even further, I would use the techniques I’d learned to massage her feet, her hands and gently around her neck. I practiced this daily on her, during bath time and after her bath before dressing her, I’d massage her with Johnson’s Baby Betime Oil and literally within a matter of weeks we started to notice a change in her behavior, she also seemed a lot less stressed and anxious.  Fast forward a couple of years and she has blossomed into a rambunctious little girl but she still loves those moments of touching and gentle massage every night before she goes to bed.

There is no denying that the power of touch can enhance how a baby grows and develops, but watch this amazing video of how the power of touch literally brought baby Jamie back to life. Warning – get the tissues ready!

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8 Comments

  • Reply Merlize

    HI, I am currently training to be a Doula and have learnt so much about the power of skin to skin for newborn babies. I have however been wondering how one would oncorporate touch for bonding for much older children , 6 or 9 years of age. Do you perhaps know of any methods that could be effective.

    August 18, 2015 at 9:31 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Hi Merlize
      I’m sorry I actually don’t. I’d imagine the best place for that kind of information would be from an occupational therapist or a play therapist?
      All the best.

      August 18, 2015 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Marina

    Claudio is currently going for OT sessions and we are using the Wilbarger brush technique as well as joint compressions and it’s definitely working to help with his tactile sensory issues.

    August 18, 2015 at 8:56 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      It is incredible! Within a week of starting the schedule we started to notice a difference with Hannah.

      August 19, 2015 at 6:52 am

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