The Power of Touch:
Touch is the newborns’ first language and prime means of communication. Touch, through massage, can also play an important role in their emotional and physical development. Research into the benefits of massage on pre-term infants shows that massage leads to an improved quality of sleep (with babies more alert when awake) and an increase in rate of weight gain resulting in earlier discharge from hospital. These advantages need not be restricted to pre-term babies: any baby can benefit from massage.
Baby massage also offers benefits to you as a parent. By incorporating baby massage into your daily routine, you create a special time that allows you to communicate with your baby and pick up on baby’s verbal and non-verbal cues. This enhances the process of bonding with your baby on a physical and emotional level and can be especially valuable for fathers, particularly when baby is being breast fed, as it allows them time to bond and gain confidence in the handling and caring of their newborn infant.
The benefits of baby massage for you and your baby:
- It is a great way of strengthening your bond with your baby.
- It can help you become more confident with handling your baby and better at recognising her needs.
- Baby massage is also a great way for partners, grandparents and siblings to bond with the newest addition to the family.
- Your baby’s muscles relax, breathing becomes deeper and the oil nourishes your baby’s skin. Skin stimulation also provides a vital trigger to the nervous system.
- It can also provide relief – massaging your baby’s tummy, for example, can help ease colic, constipation or trapped wind.
- Massaging raises levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone oxytocin in both you and your baby, helping you both feel calmer and relaxed helping to promote relaxation and sleep
- Massaging the gums through the skin may ease the pain of teething
- A gentle face massage can help unblock a blocked nose.
- Massage can alleviate the effects of postnatal depression and help a mother have a more positive interaction with their baby
Baby massage can be easily adapted and changed to suit the needs of a growing child and for babies and children with special needs.
The classes are small, friendly and relaxed and run for an hour which allows time for a practical session where you massage your own baby and I demonstrate the massage strokes on a doll. Information on the benefits of massage, contraindications, types of oils, etc. is provided. The session concludes with refreshments allowing time for you to discuss and share experiences regarding common baby care topics with other parents and this also gives the opportunity to make new friends. If you are a first time mother this social contact can be especially valuable.
Cost for the 5 week baby massage course £45
For the classes you will require to bring a change of nappy and a feed for your baby; babies can become hungry after massage so it is better to be prepared! I provide massage oil, mats, towels and a laminated baby massage guide.