Navjat Shishu Abhyanga is a full-body Ayurvedic Newborn Oil Massage (done with lukewarm oils) and a practice that’s part of Navajata Shishu Paricharya (Ayurvedic Neonatal Care).
After birth, massage with oil is popular in India, and babies are regularly massaged with special oils, such as Sesame oil and Bala oil. Abhyanga Navjat Shishu can be practiced immediately after birth, as soon as the baby is stable and healthy.
In India, it’s believed that Abhyanga is beneficial to keep the baby warm and to avoid dehydration. Additionally, the oil can get partially absorbed through the skin of the baby and provide nutritive benefits. It’s also believed that touch (massage) helps develop a healthy emotional and neuromuscular function.
Other benefits include strengthening of the baby’s bones, muscles and tendons, promotion of good sleep, and the stimulation of weight increase and growth.