Baby Massage has been a longstanding parenting tradition in many cultures, and has been introduced to the western world over the last thirty years. Founder of the International Association of Infant Massage, Vimala Mclure, believes that through positive touch and massage, parents can communicate with their babies from an early age. This theory has been endorsed by many paediatricians, midwifes, and parenting specialists, many of whom have come to realise the value and importance of baby massage as a positive means of interaction with babies.
So what does Baby Massage involve?
During baby massage the parent or primary carer performs a number of strokes whilst holding their babies or with baby lying down on a yoga mat. The IAIM course draws from both Indian and Swedish massage traditions, as well as incorporating principles from yoga and reflexology. Over a six-week course parents can learn rhythmic strokes to perform all over their baby’s body, following a sequence that has been developed over many years. 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.
And what are the benefits?
Parents who attend a Baby Massage course learn so much more than just a massage routine.
Benefits for your baby:
- Helping your baby to feel securely attached
- Helping your baby to feel loved, valued and respected
- Reduced crying and emotional distress
- Increased levels of relaxation and longer sleep
- Stimulation of the circulatory and digestive system
- Development of body awareness and coordination
- Relief from wind, colic, constipation and teething discomfort
Benefits for parents:
- Feeling closer to your baby
- Gaining a deeper understanding of your baby’s behaviour, crying and body language
- Providing an enjoyable opportunity for you to spend one-to-one time with your baby
- Feeling the relaxing effects of giving your baby a massage
- Increased confidence in your ability to care for and nurture your baby
- Learning a lifelong parenting skill
What makes baby massage different to other baby classes?
Baby Massage is a great way of giving parents back ownership of their parenting skills by teaching them to believe in their innate skills. There is no substitute for a parent’s caring touch, and no swing or rocker can compare with being carried in the loving arms of a parent.
Our fast-paced society can overload babies with input, but it is often seen as unacceptable for them to cry to release tension. This double bind leads to many frustrated babies with pent up tension and anxiety.
Baby Massage is a relaxed class for everyone, where it is ok to cry, to express emotions and learn new ways to deal with these different feelings and baby cues. Many new mums and dads find that massage gives them a joyful way to communicate with their babies, providing time for them to become intimately acquainted with their baby’s body language and rhythms of communication.
Amy holds weekly baby massage classes in Discovery Bay and also private massage classes in the home. She is currently offering free taster classes for new mamas, so for more information check out her Facebook page, or email [email protected].