Baby Massage – A Mother’s Perspective

We’ve discussed before the benefits baby massage classes can offer to your baby – but what first attracts parents to the classes? Are you reading this blog and wondering if baby massage would suit you and your baby? Well, today we are going to look at the classes from a mother’s perspective as we talk to Sarah, who has attended the classes numerous times. Here’s what she had to say about the experience and class as a whole:

“I had previously lost twin babies shortly after their birth and as a result I was an extremely anxious new parent. I wanted to do something relaxing with my new baby.  And these classes enabled me to have some time with my baby where I could feel totally relaxed. In addition to this, by baby was more relaxed too and she was very settled during the sessions. She clearly enjoyed the sessions and she was very smiley and vocal during them. My baby suffered terribly with constipation and the massages really helped with this.”

“These classes enabled me to have some time with my baby where I could feel totally relaxed. I also found that I enjoyed the sessions a lot and they enabled me to take time out of my busy life to ensure that I was just enjoying being with my baby. I also found that they enabled me to feel empowered and like I was doing something proactive to help my baby’s physical uncomfortableness with her constipation.”

“I had a really nice first impression of the classes, Vikki is really warm and welcoming. I think she made many of the women feel very cared for listened to. Physically the rooms were warm, clean and inviting. The sweets were a welcomed treat! I have recommended the courses several times to my friends. I don’t believe there are any drawbacks to the courses but it might be a nice idea to have some on-going drop in sessions to practice the massage techniques after the courses have ended.”

“Overall, I have now attended several of Vikki’s courses with my daughter and I have just started a new course with my newborn son. I have really enjoyed all of the courses and think they have have really assisted my bonding with my babies. The way Vikki facilitated the sessions also really encourages friendship between the mothers and the group discussions I think really help to ease any feelings of isolation.”

In my opinion, baby massage classes have just as much benefits on you, the parent, as they do on your baby as Sarah’s comments demonstrate first hand. If you do one thing for yourself today, book yourself onto your nearest course and witness for yourself how this simple, yet calming activity can significantly improve the life of both you and your baby.

 

Maternal Mental Health

Whilst having a baby is a wonderful and exciting time, it can also be a daunting and scary time too, resulting in a knock-on effect on the mental health of so many parents. ‘Maternal Mental Health Week’ aims to raise the profile of maternal mental health issues, offer support and ultimately let you know, you are not alone.

Baby Massage classes can support parents in not just supporting their babies development and developing a bond but also whilst benefiting the mental health of parents too.

As well as being a fun and relaxing skill to acquire, baby massage can help enormously with a range of physical and emotional issues that may be experienced by young babies and/or their parents/carers.

From developing the parent-child bond in those who have had a difficult pregnancy, a traumatic birth or are suffering from post-natal depression, to helping ease common newborn conditions such as colic and constipation,
I have experienced massage changing an unsettled baby to a happy content one, with the added benefit of a much needed confidence boost for their parents.

Baby massage can help with so many things that every parent struggles with. I hope to create a calm, relaxed non-judgemental atmosphere within the group to promote relaxation and confidence building. Everyone who books on to the course worries about their baby crying and upsetting the other babies but i always tell them very early on that every baby in the room will cry, wee, poo and be sick, most of the babies attending the course will be struggling with reflux, colic, wind, constipation and much more- that’s why they are there. I explain that the room is theirs to do with whatever they feel comfortable doing.

I have very young teenage parents who are struggling with coping for a newborn and much older parents who have had successful careers struggling with exactly the same things. It’s very powerful to watch these parents bond together, learning at the same time to cope with another life so dependent on them. I have many parents with additional needs that need time and extra explanation of the massage strokes but when they realise that have perfected it and can see their own babies relax and respond to them it is incredibly moving.
Many parents have lost babies or been very poorly themselves or their babies have had to have fought for their lives to be here. I allow these parents time to talk openly and frankly about their experiences and sometimes it is the first time they have allowed themselves to do that. It is incredibly powerful, humbling and heartbreaking to hear their stories but it then allows them time to work through their emotions and feelings to promote healing and strength. I always signpost those to the midwife counselling service at the hospital or liaise with their workers if I feel they need extra help with that.

Baby massage is SO much more than massaging your baby. It is about bonding and forming a golden thread that will run between you both for the rest of your life, it’s about picking up on your babies cues and learning about each other’s needs. It’s about creating an environment that is relaxed and calm, close and about the basic human need  of love and nurturing touch.

 

Baby Massage: Background

As well as being a fun and relaxing skill to acquire, baby massage can help enormously with a range of physical and emotional issues that may be experienced by young babies and/or their parents/carers.

From developing the parent-child bond in those who have had a difficult pregnancy, a traumatic birth or are suffering from post-natal depresssion, to helping ease common newborn conditions such as colic and constipation,
I have experienced massage changing an unsettled baby to a happy content one, with the added benefit of a much needed confidence boost for their parents.

Baby massage involves using a variety of strokes and gentle holds on your baby, using a high quality non-fragranced vegetable oil. These soothing holds and rhythmic strokes are given on each area of baby’s body by a parent or primary carer, following a sequence that has been developed over many years. My course, as accredited by the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), draws from both Indian and Swedish massage traditions and also incorporates principles from yoga and reflexology.

 

6B19FCE1-692A-4B71-95FE-7840C3145BEB

Massage offers a wonderful experience and a special time to communicate both verbally and non-verbally with babies, so that they feel loved, valued and respected. It can help with physical issues including constipation and colic, improve the parent’s confidence and enhance the parent and child bond.

Long before babies are able to speak, they communicate with the world around them through touch and we naturally communicate the same way with them. If a baby cries, for example, we often cuddle them or stroke their back. Massaging your baby is an extension of the instinctive natural impulse to use touch to soothe, heal & communicate and has a wealth of benefits for both parent and child.