Being a parent is the most important job in the world, and isn’t always easy. Baby Massage can help support you through this time of change by offering some uninterrupted time of getting to know your baby and letting your baby get to know you. Baby Massage is designed for you with your baby from 8 weeks up to 12 months and I follow a programme which is designed to show parents / carers how to safely massage with confidence.
My classes focus on the babies needs and making sure they come first, therefore if a baby needs feeding, changing or is unsettled their needs will always take priority.
During the class I demonstrate routines on a doll. I do not touch your baby. The classes begin with relaxation techniques for parents/carers and then each class focuses on a particular part of the baby’s body for massage. If a baby is asleep, do not worry, I encourage babies to do exactly as they want to so there’s no need to wake them, you can practice the strokes on the demonstration doll and when you get home you can do it for real with your baby in your own time, when your baby is ready to receive a massage.
Below is an overview of my 4 Week Course Structure
Each week we work on a different part of the body and also include breathing meditation to help teach your baby to calm themselves and increase your relaxation. I also encourage parents to take part in skin-to-skin time with their babies. Below is a brief outline of what we will cover each week;
Introduction to baby massage. How and when to effectively massage baby. Benefits and Contraindications. Oils and patch test. Permission to massage.
Massage techniques for the legs and feet.
Meditation – in through the nose and out through the mouth
Tummy trouble and digestive issues. You will learn how to relieve the discomfort associated with colic, wind, congestion and constipation.
Meditation – Balloon bellies
Encourage sleep as we massage the chest.
Boost the circulatory system and give the immune system a helping hand as we massage the arms and hands.
Soothe and sleep techniques for the face as well as teething pain relief sequence and nasal congestion.
Deep relaxation techniques on the back.
All of my sessions finish with refreshments where you can relax and unwind whilst getting to know other new parents as well as letting your baby make some new friends.
There is no pressure in the classes, you can engage as much or as little as you wish as my classes are relaxed and you will always be put at ease, and most importantly they are fun for both you and your baby. By the end of the course you and your baby will have made some great new friends and have learnt beneficial massage techniques to use at home safely with your baby.
The massage strokes consist of Indian style massage, Swedish massage, reflexology and gentle yoga style exercises.
What is included?
- A bottle of massage oil for you to use and keep
- Emailed handout's with all the movements on at the end of the course
- Massage mat for you and baby to be comfortable in the class
- Expert baby massage tuition
- All you have to bring is a towel for your baby to lay on and a cushion to sit on
As an added BONUS, for every parent that signs up for my 4 week Baby Massage course, you will be gifted free of charge, access to a free online baby massage course to help support the learning from your classes. This will be gifted at the end of the course along with your certificate.
This on-line course is designed to support your classes, by providing online tuition. No other training provider does this and it makes my classes unique. It's a way of supporting my clients even more it also makes an impact on the world by helping to promote the benefits of baby massage, touch and connection and keeping parents and children connected through regular practice at home.
I also understand how difficult it can be to find sessions to suit your babies routine, so I offer evening, one-to-one and group baby massage sessions. If you prefer your own home to host the sessions during the day I can travel to you and teach in your own home (depending on location there may be a small extra charge to cover mileage).
And don’t forget Dad, baby massage is not just for Mums. It is just as important for Dads to feel included and experience the benefits and enjoy special bonding time. I can arrange a one-to-one session for an individual or group of Dads if they aren’t able to attend the class sessions.
Contact me to discuss your requirements. Saturday morning sessions are now available in Trowbridge, view my venue page for dates.
Benefits of Baby Massage
Evidence has shown that loving touching and nurturing contact between parent and baby has a positive impact on their subsequent development and can play a vital role in digestion and growth;
- Relaxation – Baby Massage stimulates the production of oxytocin and protactin which are hormones that help you and your baby to relax
- Promotes baby / parent attachment or “bonding”
- Decreases stress hormones
- Helps baby’s develop their first communication tool – touch
- Calms the nervous system which promotes regular sleep patterns
- Improves muscle tone and flexibility
- Improves skin condition, blood circulation and digestion
- Balances respiration
- Helps with colic, constipation and teething pains
- Boosts the immune system
- Builds respect and trust between parent / carer and baby
- Helps build parent / carer and babies self esteem
- Facilitates body awareness
- Helps parents / carers learn about their baby’s body and development
- Helps parent / carers develop an increased understanding of their baby’s cues and responses
- Pleasurable experience for parents / carers and baby
- Assists with post-natal depression
- Massage can also help babies who are premature and those with disabilities too, improving muscle tone and stimulating growth hormones
Baby Massage is beneficial for all babies but studies and research have shown that premature babies can gain particularly great benefits from touch and tactile stimulation and it can help support their development.
How can we describe a premature baby?
The World Health Organisation defines a premature baby as a baby born before 37 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period. With modern medical advances babies can now be delivered and survive as young as 24 weeks.
What is the evidence that baby massage helps premature babies?
A ground breaking and significant study on baby massage and premature babies was undertaken by Doctor Tiffany Field, the founder of the Touch Research Institute, which seeks to study the effects of positive touch and massage for individuals in society.
The study published in 1986 showed that;
Premature babies that received gentle touch gained 47% more weight than a comparative group;
Their development and sensory awareness was enhancing enabling them to leave a medical setting 6 days earlier than a comparative group;
Further study of the babies who had received massage shown that eight months after birth they had increased motor and cognitive development.
Massage releases feel good hormones into the body, which increase appetite and enable restful sleep and relaxation. Massage helps to counteract stress and anxiety.
Considerations and Precautions for baby massage with premature babies
Baby massage is gentle and safe to use with all babies but we can modify the massage routine slightly to support the development of premature babies. Below are a few issues to consider;
You may like to try massage whilst holding baby in your arms rather than lying baby down. This may make him feel more relaxed.
Premature babies commonly suffer from tummy pains and windy problems, as the digestive tract may be immature. Tummy massage can really help to reduce pain and colic. Start just by holding your hand across baby’s tummy to help bring comfort. Once he is comfortable you can move on to the colic tummy massage routine.
You may find your baby may be sensitive to touch so make sessions shorter and always start slowly on a non-intrusive area such as the hands or legs/feet. Make sure your strokes are gentle. When you are ready you are both ready, you can move on to other areas.
Always try to talk to, and make eye contact with, your baby during massage, making sure he is still happy to continue.
Baby massage also enhances the bonding process between mother and baby and can help you feel more connected to your baby particularly if the birth was traumatic, unexpected and there have been complication after the birth.
When massaging your baby’s feet, be aware of their body language and reaction. Some premature baby’s have sensitive feet, due to heel prick tests or memories of invasive procedures in hospital. Never massage over unhealed scars or an unhealed navel.
If you baby has any chronic health issues, always consult your medical professional before massage and in addition insure that your baby is health, well and happy before massage having no signs of fever, sickness, diarrhoea or rashes etc.
If your baby is very sensitive, try containment holds such as kangaroo care where you place baby close to your chest and hold them. Babies are often relaxed by the sound of the heartbeat, the warmth of the body and the security of your arms. Practice this until you feel you baby is ready to progress to massage.
Premature babies can have sensitive skins so avoid any chemically enhanced products and use an 100% organic sunflower seed oil on he skin, This is packed full of nutrients and safe to use. Click here to buy our organic baby massage oil.
Make sure you baby is warm enough. Try massage over clothes or keep baby wrapped in a blanket and uncover only the part you are working on.