• Snuggles n Bubbles

Insights from a Midwife - History and Benefits of Hydrotherapy

Updated: Aug 28

Hydrotherapy, or water immersion, is a holistic health and wellness approach used across the globe for people of all ages and for numerous health benefits. It truly is fascinating that there is evidence of its use in the ancient Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, and Roman civilizations and

continues to be a method for relaxation and pain relief used today - nothing would carry on that long if it wasn't greatly beneficial! Hydrotherapy may seem like a new concept to many, but it really isn’t, it's ancient!


As a midwife, my discussions with regards to hydrotherapy begins in pregnancy when my clients are experiencing discomforts such as back pain and swelling. Our body’s response to water

immersion is to improve circulation and soothe/relax our muscles. The use of hydrotherapy is also often considered in early and active labour since research has shown that it reduces pain and the overall need for further anaesthetics. It reduces the release of stress hormones and

allows our mind and body to relax. With all these found benefits, why stop there? If it can do this to adults then surely to babies too!




There are numerous tremendous benefits to hydrotherapy for infants, some include improving sleep; strengthening muscles, bones, and motor skills; stimulating cognitive development; establishing balance and good posture; and promoting good growth in these early stages of their life. One of the most common discomforts that my clients recognize in their babies is ‘gassiness’ and ‘fussiness’. Babies become gassy mainly because they swallow air when crying and feeding, additionally the introduction of new foods can increase gas buildup as their gastrointestinal (GI) tract learns to digest new foods. Sometimes, this buildup of air can cause pain and discomfort as they have difficulty passing the air on their own.


How is hydrotherapy beneficial for gassy babies? When babies are partially immersed in water and engaging in physical activity (swimming), it promotes relaxation through the release of endorphins and stimulates the body's circulatory system which overall helps their GI tract function more efficiently. With the systems working better, it improves digestion, relieves gas, and relieves

their discomforts; leaving them soothed and likely ready for a nap!


Hydrotherapy is an accessible and affordable holistic treatment for your infants that has shown to have countless health benefits through both research evidence and historic use. The great thing about Snuggles n Bubbles is that they offer both hydrotherapy AND massage. Numerous research studies have found hydrotherapy combined with massage to be beneficial to the growth and development of the physical and mental health development of infants.


Zainab Attia

Registered Midwife


Sources:


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3940223/#:~:text=In%20agreement%20with%20t hese%20studies,and%20labour%20progress%20(9).


https://journals.lww.com/jwhpt/Abstract/2011/05000/Water_Immersion_to_Reduce_Peripheral_ Edema_in.2.aspx


http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTotal-YYCY200908016.htm


https://www.yourbabyspa.co.in/hydrotherapy#:~:text=More%20benefits%20of%20Hydrotherapy &text=Increases%20lung%20capacity.,Cognitive%2C%20Emotional%20and%20social%20beha vior.