The rocking chair is a timeless piece of furniture found in so many homes. While rocking chairs will usually conjure up an image of an elderly couple rocking gently on their porch, or a mother rocking her baby to sleep, you might not be aware of the tremendous health benefits gained from rocking.
Rocking is helpful and beneficial during the different stages of pregnancy as it helps the development of the nervous system of the fetus
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while soothing and easing any back pain momma might have. The gentle stimulation of rocking helps develop the part of the baby’s brain that’s linked to the balance mechanisms of the inner ear. The balance mechanisms in the inner ear are one of the main sources of input for the central nervous system. It also provides the foundation for language skills and other skills and tasks of higher-order thinking that will develop later on. A baby’s brain responds to movement after about the 5th month. Sit back, relax, and rock 20 rocks per minute. The motion should be soothing to mom and child.
Pregnant women may find rocking chairs especially beneficial because the chairs provide back support and often have stools that let the mom-to-be put her feet up and reduce swelling. The rocking motion can also provide simulation and improve muscle tone, helping prevent and even treat varicose veins.
We are familiar with the idea that rocking a baby will help them off to sleep, but it is also crucial in the bonding process between mother and child. In newborn babies, rocking has been found to reduce crying and considered a beneficial comforting method for pain (especially those who suffer from colic) while improving the regulation of breathing in both premature and full term babies. Rocking soothes fussy babies and relaxes mothers. Babies are lulled to sleep in the womb by the natural movement of their mother’s body, but post delivery, rocking chairs can re-create some of this natural movement and help newborns relax.
Rocking also offers post operative relief from any acute, painful medical procedure. New mothers who rock their babies in a rocking chair for an hour a day recover faster after a C-section delivery, reporting less gas pain after surgery. If they have been rocked in the hospital, they will spend less days in there and have the ability to walk faster.