Dr. Sachith Methananda
Colombo North Teaching Hospital
Mothers worldwide massage their little ones to relax their bodies and minds. They use carefully chosen oils for this purpose. Did you know massages play an important role in bringing them joy and wellbeing? According to research this process stimulates various hormones, reduces anxiety and helps overcome gloomy, unhappy thoughts.
Choosing a massage oil:
Although there are many types of oil available for this purpose, olive oil is the oil of choice not only in Sri Lanka but world over.
What makes olive oil special?
Olive oil has may health benefits. Many who take olive oil are blessed with a long life. This has been used by our ancestors as it protects and rejuvenates skin.
Olive oil contains Oleic acid which is a known penetration enhancer of cell membranes. This helps absorb oil and water particles easily contributing to nutrition of the skin.
The other component of olive oil; linoleic acid, helps maintain the health of cell membranes of deeper layers of skin while strengthening the body’s natural health defences. Therefore, olive oil has wonderful properties of selective strengthening and nourishment.
Uses of Olive Oil
• Remedy for Nappy Rash : Some babies develop a rash over the area of skin covered by the diaper. In such instances, the oil can be applied over buttocks and affected pubic area. This is a great natural remedy for this condition.
• Massage Oil : This is the choice of oil as it helps protect your little one’s skin. It is best to mix olive oil and cooled boiled water in equal amounts in a container prior to applying.
Due to the above mentioned qualities of olive oil it works wonders on your baby’s skin retaining its moisture, providing nourishment and rejuvenating.
Properties of olive Oil
It’s known as a brilliant moisturizer as it deeply conditions skin. Oil can be applied 2-3 times a day.
A dry scalp is a problem some babies develop which can even lead to dandruff. An olive oil scalp massage is a remedy for dry scalp. Wash off with cooled boiled water.
This can be used to remove dirt from belly button and nose.
Skin Nourishment and Radiance
This great moisturizer nourishes and brings a glow to the skin.
Remember: Olive oil should not be applied when your little one has a rash or wound as the action of Oleic acid on permeability of skin walls could worsen the condition.
Olive oil massages helps new-borns gain weight
Latest research shows, underweight or small for gestational age babies tend to gain weight when massaged with olive oil routinely. Therefore, nursing officers in some institutes pamper preterm infants with olive oil massages.
The monounsaturated fats present in olive oil; Oleic and linoleic acid aid in increasing the ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) quantity in the body. Furthermore, it has great antioxidant properties and contains a wide variety of vitamins such as A, C, D, E, K and B.
Aids in Development
Olive oil can be used to prepare your little one’s meals once weening starts (after 6months). This helps in brain development and protects your little one from constipation. Its immunity boosting properties help protect from asthma and many other conditions.