s3 e7: benefits of infant massage with Elina from Get Kahlmi

In this episode we are talking with Elina Furman. Elina is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with over 15 years in the baby products industry. She is deeply passionate about spreading awareness about the importance of infant/child massage and earned her infant massage certification after talking to many parents who were confused and bewildered about how to perform baby massage.
As a baby massage expert, she has conducted education for such brands as Lovevery, Legendairy Milk, Mama Glow Doula Education, Finn & Emma, Gugu Guru among many others and has been featured in Fast Company, The Mirror UK, Yahoo!, Guardian, The Sun, NY News Press and popular maternity podcasts like Limitless Pregnancy and The Natural Nipple. Her social media platform in just one year’s time has earned over 460K followers on TikTok and 189K on Instagram. 
After I had my daughter, Eliana, I found Elina on Instagram through her helpful infant massage tutorials. Her videos demonstrating how to do massage for gas and congestion are used on a daily basis in our house and I’m so grateful for all of the education she provides. 

Visit Elina’s website 
Link for Kahlmi massager
Follow Elina on IG 
• Follow Elina on Tiktok @kahlmi 
• Free Training: Optimizing Hormone Health with Mineral Balance 
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Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian. And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner. And this is the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods. Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology and metabolic health. Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey. We hope you enjoy it.

And this episode, we are talking with Alena Furman Alina is a certified infant massage instructor with over 15 years and the baby products industry. She’s deeply passionate about spreading awareness about the importance of infant and child massage, and earned her infant massage certification after talking to many parents who are confused and bewildered about how to perform baby massage as a baby massage expert. She has conducted education for such brands as love every legendary milk Mama Glow dual education, Finn and Emma Gugu guru among many others, and has been featured in Fast Company the mirror UK Yahoo Guardian, the sun, New York news press. I was like reading through some like Yeah, and I had no idea because I follow you from Instagram. So that’s like where I’m the most familiar but you have a huge account on Instagram. Now you’re all over on Tik Tok. I found you because I had my daughter Eliana, and we are dealing with some gas in the beginning. And man that is challenged. You just there’s nothing you can do. You know, they’re digesting that breast milk so quickly. You can’t really everyone’s like change your diet. I’m like, it’s it’s really not your usually not your diet, it’s usually much more of just the baby’s developing digestive system. So that’s when I found your Instagram, and all those cool little videos you have. So I’m just so happy to have you here and dig more into infant massage. Oh, I’m so excited to be here. Because I was just fascinated by everything you do. And as a new mom with a baby is you know, it’s gas Central, you know,

Elina Furman 2:05
and teething or just talking about teaching before we started recording. I’m like, oh man we got. So we and one thing you had said before we started recording was what you did like previous extra talking about, you know, being a new mom and how hard it is like working from home with kids and a baby. You were an author. So that’s what you did before you got into the baby’s face. Wow. Yeah. So I was since I graduated college, I really never liked going into an office, I have a few office jobs. So I just decided to I’m going to publish my first book. And I sent a letter to all these publishers and I wrote the everything after college book, and someone bought it. And I was so excited and publisher liked it. And then I wrote 20 books since and I was just able to be at home. But that was before the kids. And when I did have my first baby, I started doing my own publishing baby product company where I would review baby products and so on, on a website. And that’s how I got into the baby space because I was only about babies at that time. And that’s all my brain was able to process. Yeah, I can definitely relate to that. I feel like that’s just like baby land right now. And so when did you get into infant massage with your own children was so that was why so after I launched my I actually had a few companies and where I was doing some other things for kids. But then I became a marketer for the baby space. And I, I was working with brands like DockAtot, I launched them in the US. And then some other brands like big sea baby, which is a great you had to get a big sea baby for your shopping cart. It’s like they can lie and in the shopping cart. And it’s a wonderful product and all these different brands that are super innovative. But I always was never knew about baby massage when my kids were little. And when I decided that it was time for me to start thinking about the next stage of my career. And I wanted to do a product and I wanted to do something around maternal wellness and fetal wellness and really do sub product that create a product that would I never wanted to just create another stroller or another. It was just like I spent so much time looking at all the baby products out there. I wanted to create something that was going to help really with especially the mother shock that I went through in the postpartum that I went through and my first son had colic, and I wished I had had those skills baby massage skills when he was little, because I wonder would that time have been easier for us? Would he have anxiety today because he’s 14 and he has anxiety. So I was just really upset that I nobody had taught me about baby massage and became a certified infant massage instructor and started talking to parents and they were so confused about what to do and why and how and when and so I want

Alena Furman 5:00
Under to give create a tool that would allow them to just do it easily. And it would serve as a reminder because we can get into the baby massage benefits, but it’s the baby massage. It’s cumulative in that the more you do baby massage, the more benefits you get over time. It’s not like a one time you do baby massage and baby’s never going to, you know, be colicky or gassy again, it’s really creating a practice that allows you to bond with your baby and learn about your baby in a way that maybe a lot of parents don’t have time for anymore, because we’re so distracted, too. So that was a huge thing, because I was working at home and we talked about how hard that is. And I was always rushing them to their nap. And like, I’m like, I have to be awake windows over. Okay, I have to work. And I remember being so frustrated because I just couldn’t I just never took that really concentrated time to to experience those moments sometimes where I could just focus on them for like, 20 minutes. And that was just our special time together. Yeah, I feel like that’s why I love breastfeeding. And I, I thought about I have a nanny now. That helps me a few days a week. And I thought about doing bottles with my daughter. And I was like, You know what, I don’t want to I think that I will feel happier and she’ll be happier if I can just take those breaks in my workday on the days of the nannies year and spend that time with her because that’s really that’s like a huge part of the bonding, which usually leads to massage because sometimes, you know, she gets gassy and stuff but I don’t I mostly due to massage around bedtime naps, because it calms her down. And then Beth, we don’t do ads, just because she’s still so little. But she does it. She doesn’t love the bath yet. So the massage is nice because it gets her to like chill out a little bit and not be so you know, hyper aware of everything that’s going on around her. But yeah, I love that. That’s it. That’s interesting that that’s how it all kind of like came about. And that’s hard. You know, it’s hard that you discovered this after your kids were already older. Because I mean, even you know, we just mentioned bonding and nursing definitely was like a great obviously, it’s like skin to skin, you’re getting direct contact, and making eye contact. But I also felt like, I never like played with babies before I had babies. I never carried a touch, you know, or held a baby. So for me to have someone send the baby home with me from the hospital, I was like, What am I

supposed to do now. And my handling skills and a sense of competency just wasn’t there. So I feel like with the calm and baby massage in general, it’s really teaching you how to you know what your baby likes, what they don’t like, like, you know, you know, baby doesn’t like this. And baby only likes to feet massaged and, and you learn about each other constantly, and baby’s always changing. So it really gives you that opportunity to just stop and like listen and learn. And because it’s all about watching for their cues and seeing like, oh, this baby like this, this a baby like that. So it’s just, it’s just another opportunity. Because also being at home with babies all day, you kind of get like a little bored. Like, because you’re like, Oh, we already did all our activities, and it’s only 10am in the morning.

You do now. And it’s like you know you’re super busy. But you don’t have that really quality interactive time so much because there’s not that much they can do yet when they’re super little. Yeah, and I we kind of my husband and I are really using like a Montessori foundation for Eliana and trying to like, let her explore. But also, like, there’s a lot of watching them, and just viewing and seeing how she’s responding to different things, how to know when she’s done with an activity or a toy. And it goes right hand in hand with the infant massage that we do and just like taking that time to like, you know, talk to her look in her eyes, like, be right, really close to each other, not like distracted doing other things. So and I have I know a lot of people that listen to the podcast are very into that as well. So I feel like this would go like very well because it is like you’re trying to learn their cues. And that’s all I feel like you do in the beginning is just like, watch them and try to figure out like what do you need? Like what do you need right now? You know, I mean, like Yeah, I just did an article for so we’re about the five baby cries where you know, distinguish between the and then but usually and then just makes you pause because when you babies are crying or anything you just get so wired up so it just makes you pause and realize it’s a normal way of they communicate with us that they thing Yeah. I love that. So talk about the research a little bit because I was honestly surprised that there wasn’t any research on this like the infant massage and like the benefits but there are there’s like quite a bit of for like both baby and the parents. Oh yeah. It’s it’s just it’s something that obviously we would love to get more research behind but there’s been a lot

Elina Furman 10:00
of research since the year 2000, and, and more every day. And so some of the research, especially with NICU babies is really, really exciting. Because what happens is it’s hard to for a lot of researchers to research babies because then you have to leave the hospital. And then it’s self reporting. So with NICU babies, you can really see the results and do all the studies through that. So Tiffany fields as a researcher, and she works at the touch Research Institute in Miami, and she found that babies who were massaged regularly, especially, you know, preemies grew faster and was discharged from the hospital much sooner. And they’ve done they’ve since replicated those studies, the BBC just came up with a big report that there was a study done, where babies who were massaged literally, the mortality rate just drops so much, especially when you’re talking about, you know, communities and environments where they don’t have the latest medical equipment, and so on. So baby massage in those countries has obviously, as always been a huge practice, especially India and China, where they generated originally, but there’s weight gain. There’s also cognitive and brain development. So they did some studies with babies where they read to babies for about 15 minutes before putting them to bed. And then they also did massage for you know, so they compare the two groups. And they found that the massage group was actually it was a preschoolers, they did a massage. So baby massage is not just baby massages, obviously, children and teens and my younger, you know, 14 year old loves being massage because it really is that sensory input he needs for his anxiety. But they just kids who are massage just are much more focused, they’re able to monitor their emotional states more so they can then attend to the story that they were telling them. And they focus and concentration was so significantly higher than the kids who were just read to. That’s interesting, because they’re always like drilled into your head. But whether it’s a baby’s or a child to like read to them before bed. Yeah, yeah. And I mean, obviously, that’s all great. It’s all important because it’s part of the bedtime routine that gives them those cues and associations for sleep. Because if you have a good bedtime routine and you read and you do bath and you do baby massage, and you nurse or feed baby, they know it’s time to go to bed. And that repetition really Prime’s them. We always I remember, I now they’re older. So it’s obviously very different. But I remember every single day we would read, but I wish I’d known about baby massage. And then there was another study that found that babies make eye contact 50% more often and will smile more and make sounds more who are massaged than babies who aren’t massages are much more. So the social neural emotional component of how they develop is definitely celebrated when you’re massaging baby regularly. Okay, that is so interesting, because I recently traveled with my daughter. So I’ve massaged her since the beginning because I met you like right before I had her I think and then yeah, we had like just connected and then I was like, Oh my gosh, I saved like all these videos on your Instagram. And I feel like I still look stuff up because it’s like, there’s certain like steps that I know work really well for Eliana so I do those but then sometimes I’m like, I should go back and look at the other ones. So if you don’t follow Alena on Instagram, is it apt get call me? Yeah, yeah. Follow her because it’s like every single day, there’s a new video. It’s ridiculous. And like, how does she make all this content? It’s really just helpful though. So we I’ve done it since she was born, though. And we did a ton of skin to skin. I mean that we did like, basically seven days straight. She was either on me or my husband. Really, it was like the first month which was amazing. But we did a lot of massage because we’re dealing with gas and she was waking up at night in the early stages. And so even though we hadn’t really built in a routine for massage, she was still getting massages every day. So it was honestly the only thing that helped. I traveled with her and so we flew all by myself, my husband’s deployed right now. And she loved it. I like couldn’t believe it. She was like talking to everyone at the airport and was so like, chatty and friendly. I was like, Is this normal? My mom was like, That’s not normal for her age. And it’s just like was interesting to hear you say that because she does she smiles at everyone she like talks to everyone and she’s always been that way. It’s it’s this like, you know, you have to be securely attached in order to really explore the world around you because it’s like that. In order to separate you have to be really attached and that’s why you know, with separation anxiety when they become preschoolers

then and so on, the more time you spend like just skin to skin and massaging and that you really invested in that time, and it just lays the foundation for their whole future because you see babies who are deprived of touch, you know, whether they’re orphan in adoption agencies, you know, and these babies have not been touched. They haven’t been their name has been used, no one’s talking to them because and you see how they literally their brain scans show like such different activity in relation to outside stimuli. It’s amazing. And it’s just, it’s hard to imagine that it’s really as simple as doing and massages should be simple, because that’s the thing people think it’s so complicated, but it’s, you touch your baby in mammalian ways every single day. It’s just a little more intentional with massage. But it’s, it’s something anyone could pick up in like a minute or two just by watching some videos. Yeah, and that’s literally all we did. Like, I didn’t take a course we didn’t do anything like that. I just watched Instagram videos, I have your most baby massager, like call me. And that comes with like a little insert. So that was very helpful, by the way that I was like, oh, because I mean, in my mind, we had really just been doing for gas, really just gas. She was never constipated. But I know a lot of babies deal with that. But when I looked at that, I was like, oh, there’s like a million things you can use infant massage for. And one thing that you say that I don’t want to forget to mention that I love this was on your website is baby massage is the bridge between love and science. And I think it’s just that little bit of intention that you use with it. And like you said, this can apply to kids, because I know a lot of people are gonna listen to this and be like my babies on a baby anymore. Like, can I still do all this stuff? But it seems like you absolutely can. Well, that I get that’s the question I get the most well, I get two questions I get when should I stop massaging my baby? And I’m like, well, never, never. And then they asked if is, is it too late for me to start? If I didn’t start when they were little? And it’s like, Absolutely not. It’s you can start when they’re 10. I mean, is it ideal to start when they’re first born? And yes, but it’s the benefits for children. And we obviously are an anxiety epidemic with young kids are dealing with so much school issues and pandemic and school shootings, and then just social media onslaught, oh, they need to disconnect as much as anyone and really connect with you. So anything you can do, to foster touch Foster, that kind of communication with them through physical touch is so important and has so many benefits that go beyond just you know, gas or pain mitigation or any of those things. Yeah, I love that. You mentioned that. And one of the things I know that we were gonna talk about was like how to actually do the massage for I feel like gassing onto patient are the things that I talked to other moms about the most biggest Yeah, and the thing that surprised me the most you have like a few videos. And it’s like you start with like the abdomen and all that kind of stuff. But the foot reflexology and how effective that is. I mean, it literally works every time. Can you talk a little bit about foot reflexology? Yeah. So it’s amazing. Because when I started doing this, I even do it now on my old you know, they’re older and it always works. And I did a video on tick tock and I think it went to like 11 million, you know, and then all these newspapers started calling me and being like you’re the foot viral foot

size mom and it could be kids everybody was writing in and saying this by baby hasn’t pooped in literally six days. Because a lot of times babies get constipated. And really whether they’re breastfed or, or formula, they get constipated. And they it can be days where you’re waiting and baby’s uncomfortable. You’re miserable. So they would write in and say the minute they did the foot massage like maybe like 20 minutes later or 10 minutes later, baby immediately went and so foot reflexology, obviously it’s a reflexology is a very ancient therapy where you activate energy points in the body that are connected to organs. So when you’re doing foot reflexology in your, whether you’re rubbing up or down or across, I mean really just getting those areas. It’s connected to your upper abdomen and lower abdomen and there’s a left middle point that is the solar plexus where you can make small circles with your thumb. But you know, even if you don’t watch the video, just literally getting your thumbs together and you know and getting whether to call me or your hands and starting massaging your baby like there’s nothing and there’s no adverse reactions that you’re going to get to massaging you

Babies feet, the most that can happen is people say, Oh, my baby’s ticklish, and they won’t let me massage their feet. But then you know, I say just use a firmer touch because sometimes when you are too light, and in your approach, it’s actually does tickle. So it’s okay to go a little firmer with baby, obviously, you know, our hard baby and make sure they’re not crying or resisting too much. But it’s so important to just do this, even if your baby’s not constipated, just to keep their immature digestion because, again, my son had colic. And I always wondered, like, Is it his digestion? Is it just GI issues? Is it as a reflex, I had no idea from, like six months, it was like, I was going crazy. And like, I’m like, I wish I had known about these techniques and how to massage him because I felt so incompetent. And I felt so impotent, like, I couldn’t help him. And it was just the worst feeling as a new mom, because you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. And your baby’s broken, you know?

Amanda Montalvo 21:02
I like my baby’s broken, like, I need a new one. Not like it’s not working. Yes, that thing I’m doing is working. Yeah, it’s the worst feeling ever, when you can’t help them when they’re upset to try everything. You try changing your diet. And it’s like, that didn’t help. Yeah.

Elina Furman 21:20
I think that’s like the big thing. It’s like, they’re going to have gas. You know, like, that’s like, that was the one thing I was like, I think you just have to accept that in the beginning. And that’s why if you know, tools, like doing the little circles in the solar plexus, and I’ll have this image, I’ll have it come up, you guys watching on YouTube can see, because it’s just really neat. Like, you know, there you have like one on your Instagram, it’s like the heads in the teeth or on the big toe. The lungs are like the upper part of the foot. The solar plexus is like right below in the middle, upper abdomen, lower abdomen, and then pelvis, which I always do like the solar plexus, and then her heel. And that like really helps for gas helps so much. So yeah, that chart really just gives you a visual to how to eat, you can do this at home. And again, it’s just applying pressure and holding it and or using a stroke and just doing it every day because their systems are so immature. They’re just you know, they were just born nothing is operating at optimal levels yet, and you know, their circulation, their immunity. All of this helps so much. I mean, I don’t know if Eliana has been she gets lots of colds or anything, but I know that a lot of parents who massage report that their babies are much stronger immunity. she’s ever had like a cold or anything. She does get a little congested sometimes. But I think that’s more just like my immune system passing under. Probably not like with allergies and stuff. I’ve never had allergies until we moved to North Carolina. And now I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is awful here. But everything around us is like pine. So I’m guessing that’s probably why. But I do think when people hear reflexology, they think, Oh, I don’t know how to do that. But it’s very, it’s very similar to massages, just like you’re focusing on this. The points basically, yeah, you focusing on points. And, you know, even if you’re just using your thumbs and you’re not, you know, they say to hold, there’s points in your ears for teasing. And there’s points for fever for sleep. There’s like all these different areas in your baby’s neck and our necks that allow us to relax. And so just picking up I mean, at some point, I feel like I’m going to do like a really good reflexology chart of just to help people and include that they can always have it so they can always, you know, naturally because it’s all about finding natural solutions. And yes, this is like the commies. You know, it’s kind of a techie product. But it’s really bringing an ancient practice that’s been handed down for centuries to the Western world and making us aware that just because we don’t, you know, it’s not a huge thing here. I mean, babywearing wasn’t a huge thing until 20 years ago, when Ergo baby made their first carrier and that was obviously a huge practice in other cultures.

Amanda Montalvo 24:16
Hey, Amanda here, just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break for your brain in the middle of this podcast episode to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health or mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there. And the main reason for that is because you’re gonna hear us say things like mineral foundation, having a solid foundation, are you putting the foundations in place, especially what as we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the body, the the mineral foundation is always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t watched the free training, you can find it in our show notes or you can go to hormone healing rd.com And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there so you can understand how is your

Current mineral status. How do you assess this? And how to get started with all that just you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it. I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode

Elina Furman 25:20
that’s so interesting. Eliana has ever been in a stroller yet because I just wear her everywhere. I’m like, I don’t know how she would do is taller. And when I was traveling, I’m like, I don’t want to lug a stroller around. But the wearing is honestly just like, easier to me. It’s it isn’t. I was talking to my mom about like, when I first had her, she’s like, everything’s different now, you know, like, from what I had me and my sisters. And she’s like, it’s just crazy how like things change, you know, like the cosleeping. Like, I went to a wedding in New York when I was traveling. And so I put Eliana to sleep with my mom, just like next to her. And I was like, yeah, just sleep with her until I get back. And she was like, a little sad when I got back because she’s like, I never did that with you guys. Like, we’re always told that you can kill your baby, if you sleep with I mean, that’s kind of still the message now. But yeah, but at least co sleeping in, like the alternative health space is, like considered normal for most people. But yeah, and she, you know, she was like, really sad after and I was like, well, you can sleep with her whenever you want, you know, like, it’s it just, like hurt my heart a little bit that it’s like, certain things like baby massage and like co sleeping and breastfeeding. And sometimes, obviously, breastfeeding doesn’t work out for many reasons. But, like practices like that, moms don’t have enough support in implementing them. I feel like in all areas,

Amanda Montalvo 26:38
you know, I mean, even what’s closely being such a, it’s such a controversial topic and, you know, mainstream culture, because doctors will just make blanket, you know, warnings because there’s a lot of people that don’t know the rules and safe, safe ways to do it. And so but what happens is all these other families who want to do it or could have done it safely, don’t get to enjoy the benefits, which is super sad. And what I was like listening to a podcast, and they were talking about an interesting study about co sleeping and I don’t, I don’t think it was in the US, I think it was probably just like, all over and or in another country where it’s, like, more widely accepted. So I’m like, why would they do that in the US, but they were talking about how, like, they some moms had instruction on co sleeping, some moms didn’t. And they just all of the moms that even though they didn’t have instruction naturally formed a C shape around their baby, and did it correctly. So which I was like, I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t like look at any cosleeping stuff. I just was like, I’m I know I’m gonna go sleep and like, we’ll figure it out. And that’s what my body did. Because I was like, there i Yes, there’s rules for everything, but there’s also a lot of rules for breastfeeding that like made it harder for us to breastfeed, so I was like, I’m like throwing all those things out. And I’m just gonna see like, what does my what are my instincts tell me so like that really helped. But yeah, it’s it is it’s hard it’s like all that stuff is just you’re not really supported people look at you like you’re crazy. I showed my mom how to do massage and Eliana in case she woke up with gas because I was like, Oh, if this happens, you know, it’s there’s just nothing you can do to calm her down. So and she was like, Oh, that’s so neat. You know, like I had no idea like, I wish I knew that with you girls. But it’s it’s something that’s why I love what you do. And I’m like, you know whether you get the massage tool and we can if you want to show them that now or not like you can do it and massage. Yeah, that’s the thing I never wanted to one tell people that they need the call me to do massage because you don’t you can you can start you have two hands. It’s free. It’s it’s completely natural with the kami does is it because it vibrates with three settings, gentle settings. It allows you to pick and choose a vibration that is most comfortable for your baby. And it allows you to be reminded every day because it’s something that you display also can be used as a lactation massager. So I don’t know if you’ve tried that. Yeah. So you know, you would lead down and you could warm your breasts and then massage so there’s more let down. You can massage baby while you’re nursing. So they can, I’ve seen a lot of lactation consultants use it for that because it allows baby to relax more, and they’re able to latch better. So it’s really interesting how there’s all these different applications now that people are writing to me and saying that parents who maybe don’t have full use of their hands, maybe they have some special needs, also can now massage their babies in a way that they couldn’t before. So there’s so many different you know, but it’s obviously also vibrating. So we were talking about teething. And so this can be used. The first thing a lot of babies do, especially older babies, just put it in their mouth because that vibration, you know, to give it to them to let them hold it. It’s soothing, automatic

Elina Furman 30:00
They just that just that input that they need, and then putting on their gums and their face really helps massage their jaw and their gums. And finally, it’s great for travel in case they’re having a meltdown. Because it’s a, it’s kind of like there’s all one soothing tool. So it’s not going to be I would never say you need to get a kami to massage. But it’s really becomes like a multifunctional product. And because we have the three heads, you can do it in the bath, you can do it, there’s a morning massage, you can use the Accu touch head with. So it just creates this just practice because it’s again, it’s all about setting an intention and following through. And I find that with babies and being moms and having a million things we need to do, it’s hard to always, you know, I’m gonna massage baby today and the next day and always find that time. And also, it’s good for dads because dads don’t have as much opportunity for that bond less than wearing baby or feeding baby, but they can’t nurse them. So massage is just a great tool for dads to feel like they’re really helping out and being able to connect with their child at such an early age, you know, whether it’s, I mean, yes, you can wear your Baby, and I love those wearing shirts, I don’t know, yeah, where you can actually put them in your shirt. And but baby massage is just another opportunity to communicate with your baby, your love your intention, your support, I always advise people to try to sing to name the body parts while you’re doing it. So it becomes it becomes also opportunity for them to acquire those language skills and early literacy and proprioception becoming aware because babies are born being aware of their body parts. So you they don’t know that they have a foot or like they don’t even have to find their thumb, right? Like, it’s all so confusing for them. So by labeling all their parts you kind of in showing them and stimulating those parts. You’re making them aware of those those body parts. I love that. And it’s fun to like if you go through the different stages, like if you’re following along with different apps and stuff that tell you like, oh, babies starting to realize what their hands are now, it’s like just fun to have something to do to like support that, you know, because it’s like, okay, they can actually understand this a little bit now. So it makes more sense for me to do it. Like Eliana will just hold her arm up and like stare at her hand. It’s it’s so funny. I’m like, that’s your hand girlfriend, like, what do you do?

Amanda Montalvo 32:26
But yeah, that’s I love that. So let’s talk about teething again. So the way they can use it is mostly like on the outside of the mouth. Yeah. So like, so if you have this is our little baby friend. So. So you can use the, the regular massage has just comes off or the accutouch. So it’s really good to do the massage on the side where the jaw goes from the ears to the chin. So you’ll want to just because the jaw gets super tense when they’re teething, because they’re just does, they carry a lot of tension there. So just you’ll want to make little circles and massage down all the way to their chin. And then again, you can use to do use your hands and fingers just to do that, then they’ll also want to if they’re at an age where they can, it’s very thin, so they can easily grab it and just stick it in their mouth, and that massages all their gums and that vibration is just so much, you know, stimulus right there at the point of pain with that really helps those pain receptors. Obviously, putting given them something cold is so important. You know, we’ve all seen the washcloths, and that’s great. So used with this could really be a nice solution. And then you’ll want to massage the areas right above their lip. So going down, you’ll want to just draw your fingers down. And you can also use the Accu nose visual column and that has that additional vibration and then you can also trace a smile going from one sheet to the other right on that sheet because it’s all this like, got me area right around. Yeah, so as long as you’re massaging that jaw line on both sides, they will get relief over time and they just immediately jump down on it if they’re if they can hold it. I have to try to give a offering until I haven’t Yeah, she just like she’s very used to me using on her belly and like her head and stuff. She does do it during bath time and everything and mostly on her feet. I swear it’s like I feel like I’m always doing acupressure on her feet. Do you want to show how where that what that would look like on the

Elina Furman 34:31
so so the beats and we can just do a quick so again that like you just you could take your finger and just rub across is the upper abdomen, lower abdomen and again using a more firm pressure. Then you can also fan the foot just going up and down. So you can use your kami to do that because that really energizes a lot of those reflexology points that connect to those vital organs. And then this is the pelvis area so you

You can just use your thumb and finger to massage there. And finally, in the middle, where you have the plushy mount, you can just use your finger to gently make circles. And you’ll want to do this, like you said, probably end up doing this a lot, because every time they’re stressed or upset, I used to just nurse them every time they were upset, you know. And then I realized now like, I should have probably tried massage on their feet, because, you know, colic worse, because if they’re already gassy, and then you nurse them on top of it, it can just it’s like a recipe for disaster. colicky I was just I didn’t know what else to do. So I was just nurse nurse all day. And I was like, exhausted and trying to work on my computer while nursing all day. It was so much fun. So yeah, so by just learning a few of these techniques, and again, you could just learn that, like you just learned how to massage your baby. And doing it maybe twice a day, if they’re especially constipated. And then once or twice for like 10 minutes, just do whatever you can, because I think a lot of parents put so much pressure on themselves, like, well, when do I do it? How do I do it? How long? I’m like that. The thing about baby massage, there are no rules, because there are no rules about babies, you know, yes, we want to keep them safe. And there are certain guidelines and and so on. But we are just so disconnected. I feel like that from our mother, you mentioned instincts, Mama, you know, and the more we sometimes there’s so much information coming at us that it forces us to question our basic motherly instinct, which is your your your biggest power. That’s our that’s, you know, that’s our superpowers women and moms. And yet we are all so stressed out and anxious. And we the voice of the instinct just gets quieter and quieter. So just remember that it is just really about connecting with your baby touching your baby in a loving way and look making eye contact with them. And those are things that you do already. So there’s nothing you’re behind on, there’s if you want to massage them in the morning, or there’s if there’s crying to this minute like, and they don’t like the massage because a lot of times people also ask me, my baby hates massage. I’m like, you know, that’s the biggest thing my baby hates was that. But I’m like, Well, you know, maybe they hated that minute, or maybe they were crying. And maybe that wasn’t the time that was best for them. And again, you can try it in the morning child at night, you could try five minutes later. And it’s really just paying attention to your baby. And it’s so important to keep on trying the baby massage because they a lot of babies are also very touch sensitive, because they’re maybe not touched as often or they have sensory issues, which so many people do these days. So they need to get used to that kind of it’s a theory, it’s a form of therapy. So just because they didn’t like it today doesn’t mean they won’t like it tomorrow. And the more you do it like in a week, if you just give yourself like a week to do it every day, and try out different things with your baby. It’s all trial and error. Every baby will end up liking massage, because you know, we love massage. Yeah, it took a while like it took even for I did it from birth. And it just took her a little while to get used to certain things, especially like anything on her head she did not love at first like that was like a huge adjustment, but that that like really helps her relax. And that is one thing where it’s like you can use it for sleep, which I’m like what new mom doesn’t want a little help with getting their baby to sleep, what are what are the best ways that they can use it if they feel like their baby is struggling. So sleep obviously is like the number one with gas. Those are the two things because be you know, we’re so exhausted as parents as new parents. So when you know, they found that babies slept longer and deeper when they received a nightly massage. But I also think it can be daily. So whether you could do in the afternoon before the nap or at night, great whenever you can get it in. So there are you know, just doing a daily massage where you’re doing the full body massage, just, you know, you can just lay them down or if they don’t like lying down, you can put them on a wedge, or you can even do it sitting up or with very small babies, you can lay them on your chest and that gives you additional tummy time and massage so you can massage their back while you’re doing that. But for sleep specifically, I find that massaging their eyebrows going from the middle to the when they’re really small really calms them down. And it just begins to just relax them and this is a very light touch but not too light that it’s ticklish and then rubbing down from the forehead to the nose that really really helps. You can also use your kami to do any of these massages. And the vibration just really helps them relax. And they just because I really feel it’s one they’re releasing those feel good chemicals that allow them to then fall into it.

deeper sleep. But so that there’s a science behind it, obviously, you know, that allows them there’s a release of oxytocin in both of the baby and the mom actually. So when you’re doing massage and and then it lowers your cortisol levels. So that is a stress anxiety level because and then when they get separated from you, and they wake up, they’re stressed or there’s they’re upset. So if you’re just doing this kind of work every single day during the day, over time, they’re going to be much better sleepers are gonna be much more securely attached to you. And that all leads to better sleep in the long term as well.

Yeah, it’s like very easy, but that eyebrow area, it’s magic. Like, if she won’t calm down or fall asleep when she’s nursing. And she’s like, really hyped and I’m like, you need an app, you’re overtired. It’s like I just while she’s nursing, I like rubber eyebrows. Okay, so we can I feel like we’ve talked so much about like, you did some demos, we showed the call me the actual tool. And just like the benefits and stuff, and you you kind of went through because I just want people to like, you talked about like tips for any time of day. If you if someone were like, what are some tips for me to actually build a routine? Yes. What would you say? Yeah, so it could be building a routine is as easy as you know, like, oh, you eventually figured out the baby likes to be massage in the morning when they wake up after you nurse. So the most important thing is, you know, making sure you figure out a time that your baby likes, there’s no perfect time. And nighttime is a great time for everyone. So I always say just start maybe with a nighttime routine. And you can set quite, you know, nice music on you can dim the lights of the room, you can do it in the bathroom on a wedge or on a Barbie. And it really is about doing it any time of day. And also when you’re carrying baby as you are, or you’re lying down baby on your chest, when they’re super small. That’s a great way to start from infancy. Because you don’t have to lay them down on a mat or do anything. But as they get older, you can start doing those kinds of routines. So they know and and it’s very important to always ask them for permission. So people think I’m crazy. Why would you how do you ask me for permission. And I always say start with a taking deep breaths, three deep breaths for yourself. So you can calm yourself because baby really picks up on your energy. So if you’re trying to massage baby and you’re anxious about it, or you’ve had a really hard day, just try to calm yourself, take some grounding breaths. And then as baby would you like a massage and maybe put your hands together and baby begins to know that this is maybe like a sign for massage. And they will smile or they will wiggle around and they will that’s sometimes that’s a positive cue for yes, you can massage. If they’re turning away in the tensing up, their muscles are crying, you might want to wait and do the massage at another time. So all those kinds of and it also sets up by asking permission, it sets up that early consent, understanding of consent that you know, no one is allowed to touch my body unless they asked me permission. So it just it’s just pays respect to your baby. It’s and it shows them that they are worthy of consent. And it’s important for them to agree to being touched.

Amanda Montalvo 43:22
And I think too, like that’s one thing. I’m so lucky with the midwife and birth team that I chose. They were very adamant about that. Like even during pregnancy, they would say like Eliana I knew her name. We picked her name very early on like they are. So they would like ask if they could feel my belly. But they would ask her, which I thought was really cool. And that really instilled in me that like, I like to not just just to slow down, right like, it’s so easy as a mom to be like going a million miles an hour like changing their diaper superfast and like feeding them burping them and trying to get to the next thing trying to get them down for a nap. So you could record a podcast or do a meeting or something like that or get something for work done or clean your house, maybe do a little laundry like and I get it. It’s like I feel like it’s so easy to go go go and be like running off stress hormones, but it is so much better. Like she’s happier. I’m happier when we just hold down and I think that’s one of those things that I really liked about like incorporating massage, even talking to her asking permission like when I do like her diaper change. I tell her what I’m doing, which sounds silly but like it’s good for their language skills. It’s good for like so many things. And then she can start to like recognize that stuff. But I love that you brought that up for massage. I think it’s very important all honey, because she likes it. She likes it too. And taking those slow moments and any opportunity you have to slow down and really be with your baby and connect with them and it’s we’re so stressed out. And mothers are have so much anxiety and postpartum that it’s also good for you. It’s really good

Oh, that’s why I also love products that do double duty because it’s the I feel like there’s few products that are as good for the parent as they are for the baby. And this is one of those practices that is going to pay dividends to you and your baby because you are taking the time to honor yourself and slow down and take the it’s almost like a meditative practice that is good for because everyone’s always like when I was I had postpartum anxiety and they were saying, Oh, go do some yoga, but it was separate from my baby. And so if I now I know that if I had taken that time to just center myself and ground myself, I would have had that benefits of that meditative practice. And baby would have had the same benefits of connection and all those other physical touch benefits. Yeah, because it’s like you said, everyone gets the oxytocin. So I mean, that’s one thing. Like my husband did a lot of skin to skin with her because I’m like, first two weeks, I’m like, so high on hormones. I was so happy, like nothing could really brought me down. I felt like, but he was like, he was tired. And he was stressed. And I was like, just so they did a lot of tummy time. And that really helped me with massage her. But yeah, there’s just I mean, I just have seen so many benefits with it. So I was like, I have to have a lien on here to talk about this. And I just appreciate it so much. And I just encourage everyone, like even if you don’t get the call me, you don’t have to get it but put it on your registry. Number one, put it on your registry. Those are little things that like people think are a luxury and that you shouldn’t put on your registry or it’s like, I don’t know, people feel weird about putting breastfeeding stuff on there. I’m like, you just got to put everything on your registry that you really need. And if you think that you could benefit from this or if you had a baby that was super colicky or gassy put it on for the next one but even just following your Instagram like really helped me and Eliana you love the massages? Seems like a very happy baby. I know you’re happy. She just wants to. She wants to see the world. She wants to travel the world I saw her I was like she was never happier than when we were traveling.

But I’m gonna go thank you so much it was her and massage her and put her down now. But I really appreciate it. I love talking with you. I love everything you do so much for having me

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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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