Home > Help for Families > What Support is Available? > SOFT UK Publications > Your Baby > Massage And Physiotherapy

Massage and Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy and gentle massage can begin as soon as baby is well enough in hospital or comes home. Babies with trisomy 13 and 18 clench their fists in a characteristic way and a physiotherapist can demonstrate the correct way to give the baby gentle massage and stretching exercises.

At birth Dani's hands were clenched tightly and it was several months before we could open them. Gradually, with massaging and using little dumbell shaped rattles for her to grip, they became more supple. She now has full use of all her fingers although her grip is weak.’

One of the first things the physiotherapist showed us was how to open our son's tiny clenched fingers. At the time our son objected but we now watch him play with his toys and are glad we spent the time doing it over and over again.’

Chest physiotherapy assists in the prevention of chest infections and a good seating position from a few weeks old will improve head control and aid mucus drainage. Parents can learn how to use a suction machine if needed.

Before feeding Jonathan, I put him on his tummy over my knees with his head down. Using cupped hands I thump his back to produce a hollow sound, then repeat on his sides, and VERY gently on his chest cavity. After five minutes I sit him up and hope he coughs. Clear mucus means all is well, but I run to the doctor for antibiotics if it is green! We also find it calms him if he is crying or in a temper.’

We have been doing exercises with John from an early age. Initially chest therapy, slapping his back and chest SOFTLY with cupped hands and gradually moving on to gentle stretching exercises. This sounds like a rigorous routine for a baby of a few months, however we managed to build it around playtimes and wakeful times and we noticed an improvement in his sleeping pattern when we started exercising him regularly.’

  • Currently 0 out of 5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 0/5 (0 votes cast) disabled.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Log in or create a user account to rate this page.